Searching for corporate sponsors? Three tips for smarter fundraising.

The approach many nonprofits take to attract corporate support appears to be sending out multiples of mass produced sponsor material in hopes of garnering a donation; after all they have so much money–certainly they can give you just a little, right?

You have a much better chance of attracting corporate support by thoughtfully identifying a handful of companies that naturally align with the nonprofit mission, and then crafting individual communication for each of them.

If you are involved with a nonprofit looking for a corporate partner, consider:

  • To whom does your mission matter most?
  • Who is in your circle–musicians?  moms and dads?  environmentalists?

Illustrate to the company how your mission is relevant to their market and their customers.

Where do you deliver your programs:

  • Locally, regionally, globally?

Show how the nonprofit is a good match to the company in size and scale.

Research opportunities to partner horizontally across the company:

  • Does the company have the expertise to help the nonprofit improve its supply chain or to expand into a new market?
  • Can you support their business model in return; are there services the nonprofit can provide to the company’s customers or employees?
  • Can you introduce the business to a new audience or deepen its relationship with a constituency that is valuable to them?

Share analytics that quantify the nonprofit’s reach through social media, the press and newsletters.

Your goal is to build a meaningful, long-term and genuine relationship between the nonprofit and the company.  Always remember, you are looking for a marriage—not a one night stand.

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