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    Part Two: Small Shop Sponsorship – The Three-Headed Hydra

    Last week we looked at the first head of the hydra that can be corporate sponsorship in our sector. This week, we’ll look at vanquishing those other two heads, and set you on course to be a hero in your organization of Herculean status.

    The second head I was up against was the most daunting……the valuation. Now this is the head that’s tough to conquer, and that can be time consuming in the short run. The starting point will be to list out all the different events/initiatives/campaigns you’d like sponsorship for, we’ll call them “properties”. Then what you’ll do is build out an “inventory” which is a collection of all of the opportunities (or “assets”) that you have to sponsor: These can be everything from speaking time, to a logo on a program, to an e-blast. You’ll do this for each of your properties, no cheating and just creating one single one. You’ll then take these assets and group them into custom packages for your potential sponsors. How do you know what to put in these packages? Ask your sponsor! I’ll guarantee you two things: One, if you ask your sponsors what they want in their package, and if you’ve done your homework beforehand that this is a property they want to sponsor (don’t know this yet? Check out this blog post to learn more about audience data and how to collect it) , they will tell you exactly what they want in their package; Second, if you customize your package, and don’t give people a pre-set basket of assets you’ll be able to bring in even more sponsorship dollars, and have even happier sponsors. But wait! What about how much to charge my sponsor? Great question, you’re on fire today! We’ll get to that right now. All you need to do is look at what similar properties are charging based on your audience! If your audience, as was in my case, post-secondary university students, then look to some of the student newspapers and magazines! If it’s social media, run an Ad campaign. If it’s a speaking opportunity, look at how much other events charge for a speaking spot at leadership conferences. When you’ve done your research, and looked around, you’ll see how quickly the dollars start to add up for your event. Have more questions about the inventory building and valuation? Check out this great webinar for more in-depth information. Still want more details on valuations? Check out this great guide for even more info

    The third head I did battle is getting my office on board, especially my bosses. Now I’ll admit…. this is a tough nut to crack, I can almost feel the eyes rolling in the back of an ED/Fundraiser’s head. In our resource-constrained environment we don’t get a lot of chances to mess up, or even to experiment, to see what might possibly work if something else is a sure-fire thing. So, this is what I suggest as an approach. The first is to have a conversation with your boss and let them know there is this new way of doing things……we all know how this normally goes, I feel the eyes rolling again. The second thing to do then is to start small. Try some of the above techniques with a few sponsorship prospects, and let the results speak for themselves, showing that you’re landing more meetings and getting more replies than you were before. The final step is to actually involve your boss in the process. I did this at my own work, and did so in a smoke screen of “I’d really like a second, more senior person at the table to help me” Sure enough, my boss trusted my judgement from thereafter seeing the positive response from sponsors. You can do the same thing with your board, and in fact it will likely motivate them to go out and talk about sponsorship more with their contacts. Want some more examples of getting your board involved in sponsorship? Here are 7 ways to get your board involved.

    So, from one small shop warrior to another I say this: YOU CAN DO IT! You can beat the three-headed Hydra, and slay that beast of corporate sponsorship. And to you, the victor, will go the spoils!

    Missed Part One: Small Shop Sponsorship – The Three-Headed Hydra? You can read it here.
    About the Author

    Christian Robillard, Sponsorship Consultant

    Christian’s expertise is firmly within the event and cause sponsorship space. Christian helps our clients identify sellable assets, determine the value of their opportunities, and, most importantly, implement strategies that work.

    In addition to his work with The Sponsorship Collective, Christian is completing his masters degree in philanthropy and nonprofit leadership at Carleton University, with a focus on corporate social responsibility and corporate giving, social entrepreneurship, impact investing, and fundraising.

    Christian is the founder of the AFP Collegiate Carleton Chapter in Ottawa.

    Follow Christian on Twitter and LinkedIn