Corporate sponsorship is a mutual business proposition that offers something in exchange for financial support from a corporation. Sponsorship is very lucrative if you are a small business with something of value to offer. So how can your small business tap into this market? If you want to can get corporate sponsorship from a Fortune 500 company, there are a few ways to go about it.
Finding a Corporate Sponsorship: 4 Departments to Check
There are four doors typically open to these types of solicitations within a major corporation. But before you approach a potential corporate partner, make sure you have your ROI clearly defined as this is not FREE money.
The marketing and sales department is where the money is, but they are very clear about getting a return on their investment. Are you going to allow them to speak at your event, do a product demo, or give away samples as a part of your program or event? Do you have a tribe or a huge blog following? Can you bring them an audience they can sell to that they don’t have access to already? They must be able to tie their sponsor dollars back to sales or be able to develop a prospect list.
2. CSR Corporate Social Responsibility
Often when companies don’t have a formal foundation, they set up a CSR office to handle corporate giving. Read up on this department online before developing a proposal; often they establish giving priorities.
3. HR/Diversity and Inclusion
If your initiative puts the brand in front of a target hiring audience for that brand, such as veterans, minorities or women, this could be of interest to a corporate HR department or the company’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
4. The Corporate Foundation
If you have a registered non-profit that is a 501©3, it’s best to approach a company’s corporate foundation. Just make sure to read up on what the foundation’s strategic priorities are. For example, you don’t want to waste your time pursuing an organization to fund an event to support teens when in actuality they only focus on early literacy programs.
Your success in gaining a corporate sponsorship will be in your ability to follow-up. People are busy and often on a deadline. Many people lose corporate sponsorship deals because they do not follow-up. If you don’t hear back from a brand after you’ve submitted your proposal, pick up the phone or send an email to check in.
Pursuing corporate sponsorship is a great way to partner with large corporations looking to expand their reach. Just make sure you know what they are trying to accomplish, and show them how your initiative can be a great fit. If your event can generate visibility and sales, you are a great candidate for corporate sponsorship.