Improve Your Corporate Sponsorships: Focus on Engagement First

Written by Lewis Flax

Are you tired of dealing with companies that cut back on supporting your events? Losing funding when a key corporate contact leaves? Want to figure out a different approach to increase corporate support?

Nonprofits are achieving success by creating opportunities that are in concert with corporate social responsibility goals. One proven strategy is to first approach the company about their objectives and future plans. Companies are much more likely to seek opportunities with nonprofits that align with their mission and a proven track record of achieving measurable impact . As companies evaluate and increase the scrutiny about which organizations to support, consider  approaching them beyond the traditional outreach of repeatedly asking for event-based sponsorships. This becomes tiresome from a corporate perspective. Funding decreases over time and an organization usually loses support if a primary contact leaves. Companies realize that this type of giving often fails to meet their goals.

First try to figure out how they might be able to participate or engage meaningfully. Pursue opportunities that reach CSR goals such as providing staff  volunteers, tapping into their professional expertise, or use of their networks to expand involvement. The more engaged the company is, the more likely they will be to step up and support your organization. While we all acknowledge that this makes sense, we often have difficulty changing our approach.

United Way of the National Capital Area is providing training to nonprofits with an interest in learning how to leverage their relationships that lead to meaningful, engaging partnerships with greater income potential. If your organization is seeking to move beyond event-based support, tired of losing funding when a key contact leaves, and is looking for higher levels of support, please join us for a three-part workshop on Maximizing Your Corporate Partnership Support in September, part of the Nonprofit Learning Series. We will dive deeper into how your organization can increase engagement and address critical factors leading to an increase in corporate sponsorship support.

Lewis Flax, President of Flax Associates, has specialized in fundraising efforts for nonprofit organizations for many years.