A collection of thoughts and resources available to community-based organizations. Feel free to submit your ideas.
Recently, while on vacation in Cuba, I met up with some fellow travellers at the hotel bar where we enjoyed some Havana Club rum and cuban cigars. Being a Canadian, I enjoy the benefit of freely travelling to Cuba, where I've found some of the best beaches in the world. But I digress.
As things tend to go at an all-inclusive resort bar, each night travellers gather and - in turn - share what we do in our "real life" - that is, when we're not beaching, drinking rum, or enjoying one of Fidel's best.
When I explained what it is I do for a living - brokering corporate partnerships - two gentlemen were very interested, and wanted to learn more.
One of my fellow travellers was an Architect living in Winnipeg, who happens to be a Board member for a community-based organization. A second Canadian - an Engineer from Toronto - expressed his desire to secure corporate sponsorship for his child's soccer team.
And so, through the night, while the Cuban dance troop performed for us in the background, we explored methods in which both organizations could secure the money they needed.
My advice was simple and appropriate for both men: Look inside your own organization for sponsorship.
The Architects' group hosts a dozen concerts a year, selling about 200 tickets for each event. Their goal is to realize sufficient revenue from sponsorship to off-set their overhead expenses before the event, so that all of the ticket revenue could be re-invested.
The Engineer simply wanted a sponsor to cover the cost for soccer uniforms and tournament entry fees.
I asked the Architect if his group knew who was buying their tickets? I said, "Specifically? Their name, mailing address, and company?" Knowing your audience is critical to selling sponsorship. "Who would benefit most for having their logo in front of this audience for every event? What companies could realize near-immediate sales from associating their brand with your concerts?"
To the Engineer, I asked "Do you know if any of the parents of your childs' soccer team own their own small business? What about your own firm?"
I pointed out to both men, that the ticket buyers and parents of the soccer players have already demonstrated an interest in the success of their respective organizations.
The key to a successful corporate partnership is recognizing that both parties have needs, and then structuring deliverables for the corporate partner to see a healthy and near-immediate ROI (return on investment).
Simply stated, the best place to commence a search for sponsorship revenue is with people who already believe in, or benefit from your organization!