For Momentum is looking forward to participating in next week’s Run Walk Ride Fundraising Conference 2011 organized by David Hessekiel and the knowledgeable folks at Cause Marketing Forum. As always, the two-day agenda is jam-packed, so it’s a really good value for all involved.
One of the March 2 sessions will bring together seven fundraising industry experts who have been asked to condense best practices into three-minute segments (naturally David made a ‘’speed-dating” joke when originally sharing this idea with his “speed-speakers”). The topics will cover a wide range of event sponsorship tactics from putting on your sales hat when managing operational issues to recognizing event participants in unique ways that will keep them coming back.
Since this blog post is about cause marketing and sponsorship sales, I thought I would share a bit of my three-minutes: Partnership Benefits that Sell and Retain Sponsors.
By focusing efforts on three aspects of sponsorship sales, you’ll be sure to out-perform your competitors:
#1 BUILD VALUE
Creating value for your sponsors before, during and after your event will help you be a better partner.
#2 FOCUS ON RETENTION
Consider how the right benefits become compelling reasons for your sponsors to return year after year.
#3 RETURN ON INVESTMENT
Build in sponsor engagement activities focused on activation, ROI and building buzz to avoid losing them post-finish line.
An almost shockingly-high percentage of corporate sponsors don’t re-engage with the nonprofit organization once the event is over. The same could be said about many event participants, too!
Let’s consider one example of how more benefits, and, really the right benefits, become compelling reasons for sponsors and participants to stay engaged. It’s key to establish a sponsorship benefit that drives foot traffic to your sponsor, generates an incremental revenue stream for your nonprofit and ties in buzz-worthy social media tools. A true partnership win/win/win…
One model is to incentivize event participants to ‘check-in’ via a mobile app like FourSquare and Gowalla at the event sponsor’s bricks and mortar location throughout an agreed upon time period, say three or six months. For each participant who visits and uses their mobile app to ‘check-in’, a small donation to the nonprofit is triggered. To sweeten the kitty and encourage more participation, the sponsor could also offer a value-add or special discount for the event participant.
For example, in the three months following a 10k run/walk to benefit their local animal shelter, a runner ‘checked in’ five times at Sam’s Sporting Goods. This activation triggers Sam’s to donate $1 per ‘check-in’, or $5 in total to the animal shelter. When properly communicated to a motivated audience, there’s a good chance each partner will realize a significant return.
Uh, oh…according to my timer, that’s three insightful minutes — I hope to see some of you at the Run Walk Ride Fundraising Conference 2011 next week for the whole 30 minute session!