Is Your Association Ready for Corporate Sponsorship Investment?
You may have heard more talk in recent years about corporate sponsorship. As revenue generation professionals, we are all familiar with sponsorships and the various forms that they can take. We may even feel pretty confident in our ability to build relationships with possible sponsors, and we all know how gratifying it can be to make a valuable connection that benefits both your professional members as well as a sponsoring organization. However, some of us may get stuck on the word corporate. It sounds so… well… intimidating. And it may not always be a welcome word when talking with your leadership or board members.
This was the topic of PAR’s most recent webcast, “5 Ways to Assess Readiness for Corporate Sponsorship.” Sean Soth and Carolyn Shomai, both with PAR, were joined by Lori Zoss Kraska, author of “The Boardroom Playbook” and an expert on forging beneficial relationships with corporations. Lori shared her tips on how to perform a sponsorship readiness assessment for your organization. Below are some key takeaways:
- Identify untapped resources: If you have not made a concerted effort to reach out to corporations, now is the ideal time to start! According to Zoss Kraska, many corporate entities have prioritized investments that bolster their corporate citizenship… and this includes associations. Studies show that this type of non-traditional investment by corporations has grown by 23% over the past year! Be sure to do your homework to find corporations that have built up their CSR (corporate social responsibility) departments in recent years.
- Put your best foot forward: Is your messaging up to date? Perform an audit on your social media, mission statement, website landing page… does your unique value proposition pop? Would a corporation be able to understand the value of your membership? 55% of corporations vet associations before greenlighting an investment, so ensure that your public-facing content is up to par.
- Get Clear on Content: Is your association open to partnering with corporations to provide content? This does not have to be self-serving on the corporate side; look for organizations that offer products and services that could truly benefit your member base, such as financial services or educational opportunities. Opening your content up to sponsorship or co-creating content with a valued corporate partner can boost your revenue while also providing new ideas and services to your members!
- Steer clear of ‘pumpkin spice’: Zoss Kraska likens the tendency to overdo proposal details to the proliferation of pumpkin spice ingredients during the fall; it’s great in small doses, but a little goes a long way! Review your proposal submissions and look for extraneous or distracting details. Look at your proposals with fresh eyes- are there antiquated sections that no longer make sense? Be sure to create a proposal that emphasizes your value and avoids the ‘pumpkin spice’ syndrome!
To find out more about how to get your association sponsorship ready, watch PAR’s webcast: 5 Ways to Assess Readiness for Corporate Sponsorship. All PAR virtual workshop recordings and resources are available as a benefit to members.
About the Author
Shannon Reid has over 15 years of experience working with associations to identify, develop, and promote digital, print, and event/sponsorship products that provide access to highly valued professional member bases. Shannon is a content contributor to the Professionals for Association Revenue (PAR) and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.