Tips for Approaching “Cold” Prospective Sponsors for Your Association

Oct 30, 2023

Sponsorship can be a valuable source of funding for associations and having the skills to approach and secure sponsors is crucial for the success of the organisation. Sponsorship revenue can help support the association’s programs and events, and can also provide valuable opportunities for brand exposure and partnerships. However, approaching prospective sponsors can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t have a pre-existing relationship with them. Here are some tips for approaching prospective sponsors “cold”:

Research the company.

Before reaching out to a company, be sure to research their business and values to ensure that they align with those of your association. For example, if you are seeking sponsorship for a conference on sustainable business practices, it would be a good idea to approach companies with a strong focus on sustainability.

Personalise your approach.

Instead of sending a generic sponsorship proposal to multiple companies, tailor your pitch to the specific company and their goals. This could include highlighting how your event or program aligns with their business objectives or values. For example, if a company has a goal of increasing brand awareness among young professionals, you could emphasise how your event targets this demographic in your proposal.

Offer value.

Sponsors want to know what they will get in return for their investment, so be sure to clearly outline the benefits for the company. This could include exposure to a targeted audience, brand recognition, or the opportunity to align with the values of your association. For example, you could offer the company a prominent logo placement on event signage or the opportunity to host a workshop at the event.

Network and leverage connections.

Utilise your personal and professional networks to see if anyone has a connection to the company you are targeting. This can provide an introduction and make it easier to get your foot in the door.

Use social media.

Social media platforms can be a useful tool for reaching out to prospective sponsors. Follow the company on social media and engage with their content to get on their radar. You could also consider running sponsored social media posts targeting the company’s audience to showcase the value of partnering with your association.

Follow up.

Don’t be afraid to follow up with a prospective sponsor if you don’t hear back from them initially. A friendly reminder email or phone call could be just what they need to reconsider your proposal. Be sure to keep track of your communication and the status of your proposal to ensure that you are following up at appropriate intervals.

Be prepared for rejection.

It’s important to remember that not every company will be a good fit for sponsorship, and that’s okay. Don’t take rejection personally and continue to pursue other potential sponsors. Keep track of your outreach efforts and use this information to refine your approach for future proposals.

By following these tips, you can effectively approach prospective sponsors “cold” and increase your chances of securing a partnership.

If you are looking for support to optimise your partnership programs, please contact Julian Moore from SMS at [email protected]