One of the most difficult aspects of managing a Non-Profit is putting on successful fundraising events. Most fundraisers take months to plan and trying to get sponsors is always a last-minute scramble.
One best practice a lot of organizations follow is attempting to get sponsors to agree to sponsor the next year at, or immediately following, the current event. This isn’t always possible though, because companies do not know what the year ahead will hold.
Get Started Early
The amount of time it takes to prepare for an event depends on a number of factors including:
- the number of people who participate,
- the budget and resources that you can bring to bear for a specific event, and
- how the event has been received in the past.
In our experience, most organizations start much too late to effectively plan their events. By the time they are reaching out to solicit sponsorships, potential patrons have already allocated their budget to other events and causes. This is why you must start earlier.
It’s All About their Budget
In order to maximize the likelihood that you will have sufficient sponsorships to make your events viable, you should get in front of potential sponsors before they have begun their budgeting for the following year. By “getting on their radar” while they are in the planning and budgeting process, you’re much more likely to get sponsorship dollars and perhaps even a higher tier-level sponsorship.
For this reason it’s important to reach out to potential sponsors now to try to secure commitments and ensure your event is part of their budget. Find out where they are in their budgeting process and ask if you’ll be a part of it. This will help you with your advanced planning and event budgeting. Also make note of their budgeting cycle so you can reach out at the appropriate time in the future.
Proactive planning and ensuring that you’re your potential sponsor’s radar can yield huge dividends. When you reach out to them don’t be afraid to ask to be included in their budgeting process. Be sure to sell the value of your past events to the community you serve and to your sponsors.
If you have any questions about how to maximize your organization’s sponsorships and giving, contact your Zinner Not-for-Profit Expert.