How to Approach a Sponsorship

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Tell the sponsors what's in it for them.
Tell the sponsors what's in it for them. (Image: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Whether you are looking for individual sponsors to help get your small business off the ground or are after large, corporate sponsorships, it's important to be well-prepared for the task of approaching sponsorships. The process takes time, energy and research on your part. It helps to ask others in your industry how they were able to secure sponsors and what path they followed in approaching sponsorship opportunities. Above all, be persistent and follow up with your leads.

Outline a sponsorship policy or mission statement. This is a document that explains exactly what a sponsor's role will be for you or your organization. It also includes information about your company, goals and how sponsors can benefit from being affiliated with you. Have this document on hand to give to potential sponsors.

Research a potential sponsor that may be a good fit for your organization. Don't waste your time with companies or individuals who won't have a vested interest in what you're doing. For example, if you run a salon, sponsorship opportunities will probably be best found in the beauty and fitness industries. Find out what companies have acted as sponsors in the past and target those organizations.

Meet with potential sponsors in person. This establishes a personal relationship and is a more effective selling technique than talking over the phone. Explain to them what you're looking for and clearly outline how a sponsorship will benefit them or their companies. It's important for sponsors to know what they will receive and how it can help them meet company goals.

Agree to terms. Once a sponsor agrees to a sponsorship relationship, you must agree to the terms of that partnership. Decide how much money will be spent, what marketing activities will be executed and how long the sponsorship period will last. Draw up a contract to finalize the terms and have both parties sign it.

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