It’s tough times for not for profits and community groups everywhere are looking for revenue to keep the doors open and the lights on.
Australian groups are no exception. Many are facing increasingly tough times as people have second thoughts about where to spend their charity dollar – if in fact they have a spare dollar for a worthy cause.
Our PR agency in Australia’s national capital, Canberra, has provided free marketing support to 183 not for profits in the past five years. And we find a common reaction of groups with shrinking budgets is to say “let’s get a sponsor”. Across the not for profit sector the search is on for a large corporate to help fund something significant down to a small business to provide valuable in-kind support.
Since 2004 we have noticed very few medium sized not for profits and certainly most smaller ones lack a sponsorship policy. It seems the cupboard is bare when it comes to clear intent about their sponsorship ambitions.
Our workshops have always encouraged charities and community service organizations to set out a simple sponsorship policy to guide their efforts. Now the competition for the corporate cheque book is so fierce it is mandatory to have a sponsorship policy. It could be the one thing that separates fund raising success from failure.
The first step really belongs to your CEO and Board. They must set clear policy guidelines. They must also be right behind all sponsorship efforts and personally willing to devote their energies to the business of winning donors.
A sponsorship policy begins by clearly stating why your organisation wants outside funding and should explicitly state:
The types of large and small organisations to approach?
I know that is a big list. But it’s better to think of these key issues now before your sponsorship marketing is in full swing.
Bob Crawshaw runs Maine Street Marketing.He began his communications career as the Australian Army's first Director of Public Affairs. He helps organizations with limited time and budgets get maximum community impact. Bob blogs PR at http://mainestreet1.blogspot.com/