Sports sponsorship does not have to be only for the largest nonprofits. If you have a small or medium sized organization, you too may want to consider developing a sports sponsorship program. Your sponsorship program can include local businesses and large multi-national corporations. With a little ingenuity, you may be able to create a new revenue stream.
If You Have a Sports Program
If your organization already has a sports program, you should be looking for funding from the business sector. The money can be used to raise money for your travel to events, uniforms, equipment, or even promotion.
It's important to remember that you can have sponsors who will donate different things to you. It could be money. But sports sponsorship can also come in the form of in-kind gifts, such as the use of their facilities or food services. I've known sports teams that have gotten corporate funding. I know others that have received sponsorship for printing and marketing material. And, I know others still that have gotten sports celebrities to attend games as part of a professional team's corporate social responsibility. This, in turn, has increased attendance and money from ticket sales.
What you want to do to ensure a solid program is do the following:
- Have a designated person on your team who will handle outreach to corporations, professional teams and local businesses.
- Research your prospects. Think about all the businesses in your neighborhood who can offer you in-kind gifts. Also, think about the local corporations and banks in your area that can give you money or promotion. And, if you live in a major city, think creatively about partnering with your professional sports teams and also the non-college ones.
- Develop sponsorship packages for different types of donors. Remember, you're approaching businesses and they want it to make sense. So, quantify it in terms of time and money.
If You Don't Have a Sports Program
If your organization is not youth or sports oriented, you can still potentially get sports sponsorship. Many nonprofits that address diseases have fundraising events with corporate sponsors. This is a great opportunity to recruit businesses and corporations to support your cause because people involved in the events want to participate.
It doesn't matter if your organization works with kids or senior citizens. Actually, it doesn't even matter if your mission is related to animals. You can develop a fundraiser that is “sports” driven and tap into sports sponsorships. You can create an annual event around a walk or run event.To stay healthy, people have to move in some way, shape or form. You can develop an event to help people, or animals, or many any other mission.
Remember It's Not About You
It's important to remember that you have to place yourself in the shoes of your prospective corporate sponsors. Large companies are always looking to be good corporate citizens. They have foundations and marketing budgets. Local businesses likely do not have extra money, but they seek promotion for their businesses. They may be able to offer you in-kind support (eg food), but you also have to develop ways to help them out. Offer to place their logo on the materials that will be printed for the event and on social media. Include them in your press release. Feature them in any media events you'll be having to make it attractive for both of you.
As the nonprofit sector continues to change and evolve, increasingly, the future belongs to those who can adapt the fastest.