Let me start off by saying that I really feel for for profit and not for profit organizations alike in terms of attracting sponsorships and sponsorship dollars. Dollars are tight and measurement of ROI is tough to gauge.
That being said, PEOPLE, you need to effectively communicate with your sponsors or you will lose them!
Too many people think that just because someone sponsored an event the year before they will be back. Why would you assume that? Did you have an “gauge of effectiveness” survey with them after the event to find out how things went? Did you ask them what went right and what went wrong and see if there are ways you could make things better? Did you add them to your year long communications so that they have an idea how their sponsorship dollars are being spent over the year and who benefits from them? Do you invite them out to other events throughout the year to show them the difference they have made to others? Do you communicate with them early and often about what is happening for the following years events and how they can get better exposure by committing early?
ARE YOU COMMUNICATING YOUR STORY?
These are all simple things that people can do to build long term strategies to keep sponsorship dollars coming in yearly and very few people do it!
As corporations, we want to give back to the societies we live and work in. We want to be seen as good corporate citizens and give our employees causes that they can associate with. What most organizations looking for our dollars do not understand is that if you do not make us feel like we have done some good, we will go elsewhere and take our dollars with us.
Take the time to build long term relationships with your sponsors. Understand what is important to them and how they can work with you long term. That is how success for all is created.