You have support from individuals, but they can only give so much. Finding a corporate sponsor to support your cause and initiatives can result in significant benefits for you both – that extend well beyond finances. Your best opportunity for nonprofit corporate sponsorship is from the connections of your board members. But how do you encourage them to tap those networks?
When you work with a corporate sponsor, you not only have support from that brand in financial terms. You also benefit from their pool of employees. A single employer can introduce dozens of employees to your cause. They could become future participants, volunteers, donors, or even board members. In addition, obtaining corporate sponsors seems to have a snowball effect. Once you can show prospective corporate sponsors that you have locally recognized businesses supporting you, they are more likely to invest as well.
For brands, sponsoring a local nonprofit has some clear benefits as well; from enhanced community awareness to the more tangible tax benefits of donating. In this era of social media and social proof, a business that can showcase the food they’ve donated to a local pantry or the warm jackets and shoes for a kid’s charity benefits in a big way online.
Awareness and community involvement increase as well, when a business commits to supporting a worthy cause. Since the business then becomes paired in many ways with the nonprofit, they are seen as doing good works – and in a positive light. Studies show that 87% of Americans are more likely to buy from a company that is philanthropically active.
Giving back to the community or to specific at-risk groups is a vital component of many nationwide brands. Walmart offers community grants strictly for this purpose, while Michelin provides robotics and STEM education funds to kids’ non-profits across the country. Most banks, including Bank of America and Wells Fargo serve the homeless and at risk in their communities with donations for homeless shelters, food banks and more. The typical non-profit board has many choices for corporate sponsorship; in many cases, simply making the right selection and connecting with a brand is enough to get things started.
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Look for national brands with a local presence or successful private local enterprises. These businesses will benefit the most from community involvement and will be right in your own backyard. In many cases large banks, insurance brands and manufacturers have local initiatives. You simply have to research and ask for assistance.
Ask brands that directly relate to your non-profit for best results. They’ll gain the marketing benefits of supporting your cause and will be better equipped to understand your needs and mission. So, a corporate sponsor for your animal rescue could be a local vet, dog food brand, or even lawn care businesses who serve residential (i.e. pet owners!) areas.
In some cases, the corporate founder or decision maker has a real connection to your cause. A special needs family member could mean that one corporate brand sponsors Special Olympics or Autism education. Likewise, someone who was helped by a charity as a younger person may want to give back by supporting a similar charity. Cultivating connections within your community can pay off in more ways than one if you find corporate sponsors with a personal connection to or interest in your cause. Don’t forget to tap the companies your board members are professionally affiliated with. This is an obvious ask for board members. Be sure to provide them with any talking points or brochures they need.
Once you find a corporate sponsor, they are often very dedicated. Their employees and leadership will hopefully invest their hearts and time in your organization, too. Showing them the results of their efforts, your needs, and opening communication can help you create a connection that is beneficial to you both. Together, this special partnership can improve the whole community.
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