Volunteer advice: Get savvy with your sponsorship

By Clive Barnard, Sported volunteer

As a business adviser working with businesses of all size and sector I very often hear the frustrations of business owners, who tell me that they are frustrated by the sheer volume of requests for sponsorship from local schools, sports clubs and other social enterprises.


It’s not that they are not willing to support their local community, it’s more because the requests for sponsorship are more often than not, requests for donations and not actual sponsorship opportunities.


So what is the difference?


True sponsorship is a business transaction between two parties, where one supports the other, either financially or in kind and the other publicises this support to its maximum potential.


A donation is simply a gift for which the giving party receives publicity.


So, how can you increase your sponsorship deals?


The first thing to say is that raising sponsorship is not easy and clubs who are successful at raising it put a lot of time and effort into the process.


If you look on the Your Sported  Network under resources, you will find a simple PDF called “How to Raise Sponsorship”. This is an easy guide that will take you through the process.


However, for this article I will list the 10 easy steps to be successful;


1.Designate one person to lead of raising sponsorship.


2.Identify the reason you want the sponsorship for


3.Identify the profile of the potential sponsor that fits with the profile of your club


4.Identify the benefits that a sponsor will gain by sponsoring your club


5.Research the potential sponsor in as much detail as possible


6.Prepare a document that tells the potential sponsor as much as you can about the success of your club, what it has achieved, who it attracts as its members, what it aims to achieve in the future and the impact that your club has on the local community, people’s lives etc.


7.Prepare a succinct letter addressed to the decision maker of the potential sponsor, outlining the main benefits of sponsorship and the reasons why you have selected them.


8.Make your request as professional as possible (it is worth spending a few pounds to prepare a colour sponsorship pack and include an image of how their logo will look on your sponsorship opportunity).


9.A few days after you have sent the sponsorship request, follow up with a call or telephone call. If the answer is no, don’t give up. Ask for feedback, include them in future newsletters, follow them on social media and develop a relationship, so that next time they just might say yes.


10. One final thought…there are many different ways that a business can sponsor your club beyond the logo on a shirt or board and it need not be cash!!!!


Think the unusual.  They like that!