For years Channel Islands’ challenges, events and initiatives have gone ahead thanks to hundreds of thousands of pounds of financial backing from the islands’ corporate sector. Often these have benefited essential charities and other worthy causes and typically the sponsor has demanded relatively little profile in return.
However, times are changing. The economic climate and extreme pressure on finances all round have resulted in sponsorship budgets reducing and in some cases drying up completely. As a consequence, we have seen some major events downscaling or being called off due to the lack of funding.
This is understandable. The financial environment means that, while corporate philanthropy undoubtedly still exists, businesses are going to think twice before signing a cheque.
The organisers of events now need to give far more thought to their relationship with a sponsor and it is no longer good enough to promise “media coverage” in return for a sponsor’s cash and then hope the media will come good. A sponsor deserves for the sponsored organisation to expend some considerable thinking and energy in ensuring that they get the recognition they deserve before circulating the sponsorship begging bowl.
Here are some tips to the thought process required:
- Is there an organisation that has an obvious and natural synergy with your initiative and why would they want to sponsor you?
- Can you be creative in developing a better “fit” with your sponsor?
- What can you guarantee in return for financial support?
- Are you prepared to spend time talking to the sponsor to work out how you can ensure the best mutual benefit from the association?
- And finally, remember to say “thank you”. It’s surprising how many don’t.
Posted by Steve.