Event sponsors serve as the financial backbone of many nonprofit events. For years, those event sponsorship packages have been supported by incentives such as “the prominent display of the company logo in the event program” and “10 complimentary tickets to the event.” Today, with increased technology, more advanced marketing budgets, and competition, nonprofits can create more sophisticated sponsorship incentives by adding awareness building tools and metrics to the package.
While donor and guest data should always remain private, there are metrics that can boost your sponsorship appeal and ensure that you retain event sponsors from year to year.
Event website traffic: Your event website should display your sponsor logos on every page of the site. After an event, capture the number of unique visitors to your event website in the 45 days leading up to your event. For example, one Swell client with 500 attendees was able to also show that 17,000 unique visitors saw their presenting sponsor’s logo in the 45 days leading up to the event. This led to the immediate renewal of their sponsorship for the next year without awaiting the formal request process.
New Donors Acquired: For a multi-year sponsor, it is important to demonstrate that new guests are being exposed to their brand and your cause. To illustrate this, include the number of new donors/guests acquired as a result of your event and report it to your sponsor. Thank the sponsor for assisting you in (a) raising funding and (b) expanding your reach to these new donors.
Corporate Sponsor Attendance: Do you know if your sponsors used their corporate tickets and who attended? Let your event sponsors know that you were good stewards of their guests. Report back to your event sponsor about who attended using their corporate tickets. To do this, it is important to have ticket holder data and to know if they checked in. As an example, your report back to the sponsor can say the following: ‘thank you for introducing our cause to (list of attendees on the corporate tickets)’ we are grateful for their support.
Impact: Convey the impact that the funds raised will mean for the community in a mathematical way that a sponsor can easily include in their summary reports about community impact. Go a step beyond and ask your corporate sponsors how they report impact and make their job easier by providing numbers that they can easily use to bolster their reporting.
Presenting Sponsor Reach: When you name the event website and include the presenting sponsor in the website name, each time the event is shared online it will include the presenting sponsors’ name. This reach can be tracked on Facebook and through certain software programs. Even if a nonprofit does not have the tool to track the reach of a website link, demonstrating the number of times the link was shared will show additional reach. Additionally, it is common for the sponsor to see this online and instinctively understand that their reach is greater because of this step. For one Swell client, this led to a strategic presenting sponsor for the last 5 years because they love the exposure online.
While many in the nonprofit sector would like for fundraising processes to stay the same, the world is changing quickly and the future of our causes depends on our ability to ‘keep up’. If you are struggling to add these components to your events, reach out to your software provider. It is not a nonprofit development director’s job to be tech-savvy, it’s your software provider’s job and you can rely on them (us) for that service. Nonprofit events and donor communities can offer significant value to corporations if harnessed and understood.
Here are a few related articles about event sponsorships: