3 Tips to Get More Sponsorships

Last week I got to meet up with my friend Joe Waters in Newton MA! Joe was a blast and we talked nonstop for over an hour! It was such a pleasure to listen to him expound on ideas about the nonprofit sector.

I forgot to get a picture with him, so here’s a picture of me and his book.


Since it’s that time of year again, the time when sponsors are making decisions, then I wanted to share some tips on selling sponsorships from Joe Waters’ excellent book, Cause Marketing for Dummies, and one of his teachers, Jack Falvey.

Jack Falvey’s first tip is that the best salespeople in the world ask the best questions. So what questions should you ask?

Tip 1: Become a student of your sponsor’s business. This means you’ve got to learn the answers to these questions below.

  • What are they doing?
  • What makes them good?
  • What are they most proud of?
  • How do I help them be better?

Ask your potential sponsor:

  • What do you do best?
  • What makes you so good in the marketplace?
  • Why are you a winner?

Go ask them.
They’ll tell you.

Tip 2: Is there a match between this sponsor and you?

Jack Falvey says, “Selling is easy but finding someone to sell to is hard.”

Are you a similar size to this company? If so, they’ll be more likely to listen to you.

Are they a financial services company and does your nonprofit teach financial literacy? If so, they’ll be more interested in talking with you.

Ask yourself, what is the application of my nonprofit service or product that applies to what they do?

If there’s no match, then keep moving.

Jack Falvey says, “Know your customer. Know your product. See a lot of people. Ask all to buy.”

Tip 3: Your sponsor phonecall: Getting right to the point

When you meet with your potential sponsor, there are three questions that every meeting will need to answer:

Question 1: Why listen? What makes this call relevant to their business? How does it solve a problem they’re having in their job? Maybe they want more employee volunteerism because they’re having a lot of turnover. Maybe your event is a way to do that.

Question 2: What’s in it for me? There are lots of things in it for them, but you’ve got to know which ones matter most. If they are a marketing person, they’ll be looking for more exposure. If they’re a sponsorship manager, they might want a number of things. Check out this interview with Bruce Burtch for more questions to ask your sponsor or join us on our upcoming webinar on July 17th if you’d like to learn more about how to get your potential sponsor nodding their head and saying yes to you.

Question 3: Why should I buy now? Is there an early-bird price for sponsorships? When is your event? How can you show them the event will help drive the results they want?

Tip 4 (BONUS!) Your challenge, for extra credit, is to have this meeting, and do it without making a single declaratory sentence.
You’re a physician. Don’t prescribe medicine until you find out where it hurts. So how can you find out where this sponsor’s pain points are? Ask these questions:

  • Tell me a little more about this?
  • What’s your impression of this?
  • What do you think so far?
  • What makes a successful sponsorship?
  • Where do we go from here?

Jack Falvey of Making the Numbers wrote a series of articles for Inc. Magazine

His final quote? “Some Will, Some Won’t, So What? Next!”

Don’t give up! And if you’d like even more sponsorship support, check out my free mini-course on how to get sponsorships,

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