We are midway through January – Or, as we are calling it here at MemoryFox, PLANuary! In the nonprofit fundraising world, we know what January means – it’s finally time to start securing event sponsorships so you can meet your sponsorship goals.
You have already done the hard work of pulling together your sponsorship opportunity levels, you’ve picked your date, and you’ve booked your venue. Perhaps you’ve even begun planning the fun stuff, like the floor plan and menu (food samples, anyone?!)
But we both know that you can’t solidify those big decisions without the promise of one major bucket of funding: Event sponsorships.
Finally, those corporate sponsorship applications have opened back up and the funds are yours for the taking! But how will you stand out from the crowd?
Nonprofit storytelling is an incredible way to find sponsors for your next fundraising event. No matter how incredible your impact numbers are, you need storytelling to give the numbers context. You can give context in three ways:
1.Share a Mission Moment. The vast majority of sponsorship applications will contain a question asking about your nonprofit’s impact. Sharing a mission moment – defined by our partner Lori L. Jacobwith as “a tiny, powerful example of how your organization is making an impact” – is absolutely essential to demonstrate your nonprofit’s impact.
Do your best to find a mission moment that this particular potential funder will find relatable and inspiring.
This could be related to the organization’s values, priorities, geographic location, or their brand image. To get an idea of a related mission moment, take a look at their mission statement and corporate giving pages to see what other nonprofits they have supported in the past.
Once you’ve chosen your relatable mission moment, tell them exactly why you chose to share it with them! Don’t leave room for assumptions – state it clearly.
Here are a few examples:
- “I saw your mission statement mentioned …. which made me think of the following story…”
- “It’s clear from your home page that you recognize the importance of family. This reminds me of the following client testimonial…”
- “I know your organization has branches in the following areas… all of which are areas we also provide assistance! Here’s one story of a client located in….”
2. Tell Your Event’s Story. Once upon a time, you started planning an event with specific goals in mind…goals that your potential funders are dying to know!
This could include data and stats about the need for the event and the expected outcomes. You can also share stories and testimonials from individuals who have been helped by this specific event in the past. Or, you can share highlights from years prior that show much fun your guests had in attendance to increase excitement!
The more you can paint a picture of the impact that the event will have, the more likely you are to engage with potential sponsors.
Yes, securing their funds is a top priority, but encouraging them to attend the event in-person makes them more likely to give consistently year after year, or expand their annual giving.
FOX TIP: No place to upload a video on your sponsorship application? No problem! When you use MemoryFox’s Story Builder, you can create a branded web page, equipped with its own unique link, with content geared toward your prospective sponsor.
3. Give ‘em the 1, 2 Combo! If you have flexibility with your character and word count, why use both storytelling methods? The combination of impactful mission moments along with an event highlight is the ultimate sponsorship application blend for success.
FOX TIP: If you are planning to highlight a specific person, family or organization at your event, consider releasing a “teaser” video to generate interest and excitement. We recommend you use Canva to easily use your MemoryFox content to create your teaser. Check out these “Teaser Video” templates.
For example, if you are a veteran service organization and you are honoring one of the veterans you serve at your annual gala, release a short clip of the honoree speaking about your organization’s impact. Get your audience hooked and invested, but be careful not to give away the entire story before the big day!
Overall, the key is to create a compelling narrative about the event and its impact on your mission. By sharing stories and data that demonstrate the need for the event, you will create more meaningful relationships. These relationships with potential sponsors will convince them to get involved, and stay involved.