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Q: How to get corporate sponsors ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: How to get corporate sponsors
Category: Business and Money > Advertising and Marketing
Asked by: shihan-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 16 Apr 2003 09:23 PDT
Expires: 16 May 2003 09:23 PDT
Question ID: 191246
What is the procedure to get corporate sponsors for profit businesses.
We are a youth organization, and trying to get corporate sponsors for
our events and website.
Subject: Re: How to get corporate sponsors
Answered By: umiat-ga on 16 Apr 2003 12:58 PDT
Hellow, shihan-ga!

  Since I do not know the type of business your youth organization
promotes, I am supplying  you with some general recommendations that
you can gear toward your particular needs.

 First and foremost, you need to identify the companies that would be
most interested in identifying with and supporting your type of
business. Seek companies committed to youth ventures (especially in
your community) as well as companies that might have an interest or
attachment to they type of business your are developing. Once you have
identified those parameters, you can properly pick and choose helpful
guidelines from the following suggestions!

 If you are a youth organization comprised of students from various
schools or neighborhoods, a good direction is to approach business
owners who graduated from the local schools in your area. They are
more likely to have a vested interest in seeing youth from their own
neighborhood succeed!

Why Find a Corporate Sponsor?

The following information was excerpted from the Rossetti Enterprises,
Inc. website, and the article "Finding Corporate Sponsors."

"A sponsor is a company or organization that can benefit from having
exposure to your organization. Identify a sponsor based upon their
need to be known and recognized to market their products or services
to your group. It is possible to use more than one company or
organization to co-sponsor a program. Sponsorship is a win-win
situation! The sponsor receives exposure to their target market and
you receive funding for the program!"

2. Write a script of what you plan to say when making the call or
sending the letter.

Why are they the logical sponsor?
How many people will be exposed to the sponsor?
How much money are you requesting?
What will the money be used for?
How much value will they be receiving for their investment?
What is expected of the sponsor?
What do they need to do before the program?
What must they bring to the program?
What must they do at the program
What exposure and recognition will be provided to the sponsor that are
benefits to the sponsor?
Display banners in the meeting room 
Display table for literature or products 
Exhibit booth space, 
Listing on the web site
Ads in newsletter or publications
Distribution of promotional items (Ex. pens, bookmarks, key chains)
Logo on all program related materials
Attendee listing
Opportunity to network with participants
Recognition at the program for a representative of the group to stand
Certificate of participation 
Mention of sponsorship in press releases 


(Please be aware that corporations don't always seek a tangible
benefit, other than the desire to help a group of youth. However, it
is always important that you highlight their sponsorship, especially
on their website, as a means of saying a public "thank you!"



The following information is culled from an article about finding
corporate sponsorship for the "Project del Rio" student river
monitoring environmental project. Although the project is not a
"profit business" as yours is, the information still provides some
valuable suggestions.

Excerpts from "Finding and Keeping Corporate Sponsors," by Craig
Heacock. The Volunteer Monitor, Vol. 5, No. 2, Fall 1993 at follow:

An Investment, Not a Donation

We try to recruit corporations that have a stake in the communities in
our project area. Corporate leaders want to see their donations at
work in the community, and respond favorably to our requests when we
can point out that our work benefits the people who work for and
support the corporation. In approaching potential sponsors, we
emphasize that their donation is really an investment - an investment
in the community and its future, and an investment in the company's
image and public relations.

Making Your Case

Before you approach potential corporate sponsors, you need to have a
thorough vision of your project - not only in your mind, but also on
paper. Prepare an easy-to-read written document, with bulleted main
points and highlighted objectives, that explains your goals, specific
work plans for reaching those goals, and precise monetary needs.
Business people expect their clients and peers to be well organized
and thoughtful in their plans and presentations.

The written presentation should emphasize the program's "selling

Contacting Sponsors

New monitoring groups often discover that finding the first corporate
donors is the hardest task. Recruiting new sponsors becomes much
easier once well-known businesses are already on board. If you can
link the new project to an established, respected project, corporate
sponsors may be more willing to take the first plunge. For example,
associating our new project with the well-known and successful GREEN
Rouge River Project in Michigan helped us to convince General Motors
to sign on as our original sponsor

As frustrated telemarketers and neophyte fundraisers know, "cold
calls" are an extremely difficult way to make connections. Therefore,
we always try to use our current sponsors to help find and recruit new
corporations. Lisa LaRocque, Project del Rio Director, points out that
"corporations get many requests for funding. They're more likely to
listen to a request from a peer than from another solicitor."

A little name-dropping never hurts. For example, a letter can start
out, "Joe Smith, one of our project's sponsors, suggested that I write
to tell you about our project." Include a "cc: Joe Smith, CEO, Company
X" at the bottom of the letter.

Often corporate decision makers are hidden behind a maze of
secretaries and closed doors. Industry and trade associations meetings
offer a prime opportunity for current supporters to avoid such
barriers and network directly with potential new sponsors.

Maintaining Support

The key to maintaining corporate support is to keep corporate sponsors
closely informed of how their money is being spent to help the
community, and appropriately acknowledge their support. At Project del
Rio we try to link sponsors with specific schools or projects, so the
company can tangibly see the fruits of their contribution. Sponsors
might be invited to a monitoring day with "their" school or asked to
join a specific advisory committee.

Publicity is one of the major benefits that a monitoring project can
offer to sponsors. Effective approaches used at Project del Rio
include mentioning sponsors in interim and annual reports, publicizing
a corporation as the major sponsor of a workshop, having the company
name mentioned in newspaper articles, and producing T-shirts with
sponsors' names on them.

We offer sponsors a four-tiered system in which the amount of public
and private acknowledgement a corporation receives is tied to its
level of giving (see figure). We include a copy of this chart in our
funding requests to help sponsors choose their level of investment.
The higher-level donations usually come either from very large
corporations or from company-associated foundations.

We have found that keeping up with our corporate sponsors is a huge
task, so large that we recently decided to hire a new fulltime staff
member to handle public relations. The job involves promoting Project
del Rio not only from the project's perspective but also from the
sponsors' perspective - that is, making sure sponsors are acknowledged
in articles, press releases, and reports. Communicating with sponsors
- thanking them, updating them on program activities and progress,
sending them special invitations to events - is another big part of
the job. Finally, the public relations staffperson needs to assist in
the sponsors' own publicity efforts by providing their public
relations departments with photographs or materials for presentations,
arranging special promotional activities, and so on.

Staying Objective
We are sometimes asked whether Project del Rio's reliance on corporate
sponsors affects our agenda or inhibits our actions. LaRocque says, "I
don't feel we've had to compromise. We might not have the support we
do if we took an aggressive approach to advocacy. But we look at
advocacy as conflict resolution."


Ideas to consider when seeking corporate sponsorship

The following was taken from the article, "Principles of Successful
Corporate Sponsorship." Sponsorship Strategies, LLC.

"Properties seeking new corporate alliances and sponsorship can this
use list as a guideline for establishing a new system for program
development, partner recruitment and activation."

Develop a plan: Be smart, strategic and thorough in considering how to
package and deliver benefits to sponsors. Create a plan, work the plan
and revise the plan as needed.

Know your assets: Creatively consider how you can leverage the most
valuable assets of your organization and property to provide true
value to corporate sponsors. Dig deep and consider all options.

Find benefits for all involved: As you devise a plan and conduct due
diligence, identify methods for everyone involved to receive benefit
from corporate sponsorship support. This can include direct revenue
sharing or provision of other benefits such as advertising support,
volunteers or access to corporate contacts.

Determine methods of business development: Find ways to deliver direct
business to corporate sponsors. If you can illustrate methods for
sponsors to directly offset their investment in your organization, you
will see corporate doors open when you come forward.

Provide media: If your organization buys or uses media in any way to
promote activities and programs, be sure to offer sponsors integration
opportunities. If media is not a normal communication platform for
you, consider developing media partnerships before pursuing corporate

Build in community extensions: Whether you represent a for-profit or
not-for-profit organization, creating extensions for the sponsorship
into the community is essential for maximizing sponsorship development

Have a single point of contact: Centralize sponsorship development
activity so that messages are consistent and appropriate. Corporate
contacts will not respond well to organizations that have multiple
people making contacts with the same or similar sponsorship packages.

Leverage community relationships: The best way to establish viable
corporate contacts is to utilize relationships that exist between
members of your constituent community and the corporations doing
business in your area. Someone having a direct contact with the local
fast food franchise owner is a better route into the parent company
than sending a "cold" proposal to the fast food company headquarters.

Find internal advocates: Find someone within a prospective corporate
sponsor company who has affinity for your organization. Finding
someone at a level of authority with some knowledge of, and belief in,
your organization can accelerate consideration of your offering at the
right level within the corporation.

Target appropriate companies: Knowing your constituency and assets is
the first step in being able to identify the type of companies that
should be approached with a sponsorship proposal. Read business
publications and trade magazines to better understand the target
markets of companies you plan to contact. Be honest with yourself
about what companies may be interested in what your organization can

Sell using the "Three P's": Once you have a defined plan, sponsorship
program communications materials and a qualified contact list, make
your contacts with professionalism, patience and persistence. There
are a plethora of other organizations out there seeking a slice of a
finite pie. Those organizations whose proposals rise to the top of the
stack are the ones presenting viable business opportunities
communicated in a professional manner. Practicing "patient
persistence" in making contact with prospects will lead to dialogue
and, eventually, new corporate sponsors.

Always deliver on commitments: Once you have a sponsor, be sure to
fully deliver on all commitments and, where possible, offer additional
benefits at no added cost. This will endear your organization to the
sponsor company, providing a great source for additional corporate
contacts and valuable testimonials. Start thinking renewal as soon as
the first contract starts. Keeping current sponsors is a lot easier
than finding new ones.


Find a Sponsor via a Website Listing Service

Companies such as SponsorDirect help to link organizations and
businesses with corporate sponsors via their website.

IEG SponsorDirect   


Example of a Sponsorship Opportunity Listing:


Corporate Sponsorship Listings

Some possible sources of corporate sponsorship money may be available
by wading through the extensive list of sponsors at "The Foundation
Center." The list is lengthy, and provides the particular focus of
each company when providing sponsorship, so you can easily weed out
the companies which would not consider your organization.

See "Websites of Corporate Grantmakers." The Foundation Center.


Sponsorship Guideline Suggestions

The following is taken from information provided by "Waterwatch
Australia" at

What is Sponsorship?

Sponsorship is an effective marketing and communication tool used by
many businesses, organisations and government agencies, regardless of
their size. Sponsorship is often mistakenly regarded as a form of
corporate generosity. However, sponsorships are not donations, the
sponsor expects their sponsorship will provide a measurable financial

The worthiness of your organisation or cause is not enough in itself
to convince an organisation to sponsor you. When a business is
approached with a sponsorship request, they are looking to see a solid
business proposal that will help them to achieve their business goals.

The general aim of sponsorship is to raise the profile of the
sponsoring organisation, to sell more products or services and to
reach particular target audiences. Sponsorship also promotes a
positive awareness of the organisation with customers, potential
customers and the community.

In large organisations, sponsorship decisions are typically made by
marketing, advertising or corporate communication teams. Some
organisations even have their own personnel or teams responsible for
managing sponsorships. In smaller companies, the owner may make most
sponsorship decisions.

Most sponsorships are structured in the form of direct financial
assistance, but this is not the only form of sponsorship. A second
form is "in kind" sponsorship, which involves the sponsor providing
equipment or resources. (e.g a hotel chain might offer discount or
free accommodation as a form of 'in kind' support)

You also should remember that all sponsorship comes with conditions
and obligations, for instance, your sponsoring organisation may:
 wish to be a sole or major sponsor 
 request that their logos, slogans or graphics appear on your
promotional material
 review your budget, strategic plan or other documents 
 wish to know about current or past sponsors 
 need to approve press releases and other material 

Finding a Sponsor

Begin by looking at organisations in the local region....

You will probably be less likely to secure sponsorship from national
or international organisations, as larger organisations generally
favour sponsoring a handful of high profile events. However, if a
large organisation has headquarters or a large regional presence in
your area, you should always consider approaching them for support.

When you approach an organisation to gain sponsorship, they will check
that your activities and aims are consistent with their company.
Likewise, you should thoroughly research your potential sponsors - and
make sure that you actually want to be involved with them. A poor
sponsor could detrimentally affect the credibility and reputation of
your Waterwatch group

Many publicly listed companies are required by law to produce an
annual report, which can provide valuable background on a company, its
aims, philosophy and major business areas. Press releases,
advertisements and other promotional material can also provide useful
background on how an organisation is positioning itself.

Thorough background research will help you determine if you want to
become involved with a company, and if you do, it will provide a good
basis for customising and 'pitching' your sponsorship proposal.

At some point, you will need to balance the costs and the benefits of
any sponsorship. Some sponsors are quite relaxed, while others are
more demanding. In any case, time and effort will need to be spent
looking after the needs of your sponsor or sponsors. You will have to
balance this effort against the resources, money or assistance that
you sponsor offers.

Contacting Potential Sponsors
Unless you are very lucky, or have an extremely high profile project,
it is unlikely that you will be approached by an organisation willing
to offer you sponsorship. You will have to make the first step.

Usually, you would call or write to the organisation, and ask about
their sponsorship policy. You might also obtain the correct name and
address of the person responsible for handling sponsorships, and
deadlines for sending sponsorship proposals. Many larger organisations
have pre-existing sponsorship guidelines which they will happily send
to you.

The most commonly accepted way of seeking sponsorship is by writing a
sponsorship proposal and forwarding it to potential sponsors. It is
possible to present a verbal case for sponsorship, but a written
proposal is much easier for the prospective sponsor to review and

List the Benefits

Your first step in putting together a sponsorship package is
determining what, within your group, is "marketable". List every
tangible and intangible benefit you could potentially offer a sponsor.
You are unlikely to promote all the benefits on your list, but it will
help you begin to understand what you have to offer to a sponsor.

Value your sponsorship on merit, rather than on what you would like to
receive. When initially approaching a sponsor, there may be some value
in asking for slightly less than market rate for your sponsorship.
Remember that you are asking the sponsor to take a risk on your
organisation, and you are looking to establish a long-term, mutually
beneficial relationship.

Writing a Sponsorship Proposal

Each organisation you approach will have different requirements, and
will ask that you provide specific information in your proposal.
Remember to follow any sponsorship guidelines provided by a potential

Your mission when writing a sponsorship proposal is to succinctly
introduce your organisation, provide some background on your
organisation, and to present a logical, well researched argument on
why your organisation is worth sponsoring. Remember that the person
reading your proposal may not have heard of your organisation, so
never assume that they know who your are, or what you do. Try to
create a proposal that is creative, unique and attention grabbing,
without being smart or cute.

The sponsorship proposal is essentially a business pitch, so it should
be professionally presented in terms of content and layout. You should
always try to keep it as brief as possible, and try to address the
following basic points:

Provide a concise overview of your organisation. Include your
location, main activities and goals, a brief history of your

Include the benefits that your organisation can offer a sponsor, and
demonstrate how these benefits relate to the sponsor's ethos, business
goals and activities.

List the credentials of your organisation and key personnel. The
sponsor needs to know that they will be dealing with experienced and
reputable individuals.
Supply a list of current and past sponsors (if applicable). The
organisation you are approaching will want to review the background of
existing sponsors, and check that you are not being sponsored by a

Provide references or endorsements from past sponsors (if possible).
It is in your interest to establish a track record of successfully
dealing with other sponsors.
Outline any rights that you are prepared to offer the sponsor. Will
the organisation be an exclusive or major sponsor? Alternatively, will
it be one of many sponsors? Are you offering the organisation naming
rights? (this is when the sponsor's name is incorporated into the
title of your group)

Explain the nature and extent of any favourable media coverage your
group has received, and include brief examples.
Supply a realistic estimate of the amount of people who regularly
participate in or who aid the sponsored activities.
Demonstrate the current level of community support and awareness for
your project. Sponsors have a strong interest in supporting projects
that have wide community support

(Please read the remainder of the article about working with and
retaining your sponsors, and avoiding common mistakes!)


 As suggested, I would identify those companies who would seem most
interested in your particular business venture. You can also target
wealthy individuals within your community who would like to see local
youth succeed, rather than focus solely on corporations.

 Also, remember that sponsors provide money for a variety of reasons.
They do not always want financial gain, themselves. Often, sponsors
contribute money strictly for personal satisfaction. Keep that in mind
when writing letters and approaching individuals!

 And, always remember to provide a public "Thank you," via a
newspaper, brochure, or website!! That is extremely important.

 I hope this provides enough information for you to gain some valuable
direction! Let me know if you need additional clarification. I will be
more than happy to help if I can.


Google Search Strategy
finding corporate sponsors 
developing a youth business
corporate sponsors for Youth business projects

Request for Answer Clarification by shihan-ga on 16 Apr 2003 22:55 PDT
When targeting local corporations or individuals, where should I start
to get information on addresses to send letters, or phone numbers to

Clarification of Answer by umiat-ga on 17 Apr 2003 10:37 PDT

 For corporations, it is important that you contact the CEO or the
President. If it is a large company in your area, I would simply get
the phone number out of the phone book, call the company, and say you
would like to write a letter to the president of the company. You
don't have to reveal what you are writing about. Ask for the CEO's
name and the company address. It is as simple as that.

 If the company is out of your jurisdiction, or in another state, you
can go to, or, to look up the
company or the individual's address and phone number. Alternatively,
you can try a web search, typing the company's name into the search
box, and see if they have a website. If so, there is often a contact
page on the site, which lists the company phone number and address. If
it lists the CEO's name, you can write a letter using the company

 For individuals, it is a bit trickier. Even is you find them in the
local phone book, their street address may not be their mailing
address. You can try sending a letter to them at the address listed in
the phone book. If it comes back, you can call them directly. If you
know where they work, you can send a letter to them at their place of

 I think the most important aspect is to add a very catchy, yet
personal touch to your letter. Maybe incorporate some thoughts of the
youth involved, or some scanned pictures of individuals in your
organization, or events you have already participated in.

 And again, I would start with any individuals or companies that have
direct ties to your neighborhood or individual schools that the youth
graduated from or are currently attending.

 I hope this helps. Let me know if your need more help. Actually, I am
really curious as to what type of business you are trying to start,
and the type of events you have sponsored. If you feel free to divulge
that, please do!


Request for Answer Clarification by shihan-ga on 17 Apr 2003 11:41 PDT
We are a youth organization the specializes in teaching youth sport
programs for children. We hold various tournamnets throughout the
year, and we are looking to get some corporate advertising or

Clarification of Answer by umiat-ga on 17 Apr 2003 12:38 PDT
A logical choice would be to contact sports shops, local sport teams
(if you have any that are pro or semi-pro) makers of equipment for the
particular sports you teach, and businesses that would be willing to
sponsor a child year to year. Banks, insurance companies and grocery
stores are also usually good choices. If you have a local sports
figure, don't hesitate to contact him/her. They are often very
interested in lending their name, and some money, to promoting youth
sports organizations.

My son has played hockey for 15 years, and the kids, especially at the
Junior A level, are always sponsored by a company in the area. It is
not always sports- related. If you could get some companies to commit
to sponsoring one or two individuals on an ongoing level, or provide
money with their banners or logo's highlighted at events, it would be

 Another way to get money is to ask a company to sponsor a raffle for
one of their products. They get the recognition, and your organization
gets the money. This is also a major draw at hockey tournaments.
Often, a company will even be willing to donate a vehicle! Anyway,
that is another direction you might pursue.

 I hope I have been helpful! Let me know how things work out, or if
you need further suggestions. Good luck! And what a great venture you
are involved in!
Subject: These guys need a good charitable cause <'(((><
From: sergeantshultz-ga on 11 May 2003 13:30 PDT
and since they broke away from another company, I am sure they should
appreciate the "for profit" nature of your business.

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