With any organization, the key to success is an influx of money. Running a non-profit from home can be particularly challenging. You need to find a sponsor, but how do you go about doing that? Here are a few ways that you can find a sponsor for your home-based non-profit.
Realize Who Your Audience is
The very first step that you need to do is realize who your target audience is. If you're just throwing proposals out there, you're going to have little success. For instance, what if you're running a non-profit saving homeless animals from your home in Missouri? You don't really want to send a random proposal to a company that makes pacemakers, do you? Of course not! You'll want to send proposals to the local vets, pet stores, or maybe even neighborhoods.
Create a Proposal Letter
After determining who your audience is and consolidating your existing operating expenses, you need to create a proposal letter. This proposal letter should never, ever focus on your needs. It should focus on what you can offer the business you're looking to obtain sponsorship from. These proposal letters should never be mass produced with only a few details changed, nor should there be a template of any sort. You should craft a unique proposal letter for each company that you send a letter to.
Offer Tiered Rewards
If you're just going and asking for a handout while giving nothing in return, you're not going to have much luck. If a company is going to sponsor you, it’ll likely expect something in return. You should offer some sort of tiered reward system. For example, if they give you a certain amount of money, they can display a banner and have a representative to talk to people about what they do, as well as advertise their business.
If they donate more, they can have their logo in anything that your non-profit puts out, such as a newsletter. If they donate even more, you can display their logo on a website, or even allow exclusivity, ensuring that you'll never advertise a competing business. Make sure the tiered benefits are relevant to the size of the company, and be sure to include all of this information in its own section in your proposal letter.
Follow Up on Responses
You need to follow up on responses, no matter whether you think they were intrigued by your proposal, or if you think they’ll pass. Many people wait to make their decision until all interested parties have been consulted, and they’ve had time to think on it a bit. Just because you think they might pass doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow up. You just might be wrong.
You should set aside some time and give the prospective sponsor company a call and ask what they thought of your proposal, and if there are any questions you can answer or concepts you can clear up for them. If they're not interested, now is your opportunity to ask why, and potentially apply that feedback to future endeavors. If they decline, make a note to not contact that company again.
Create an Event
The best way to give sponsors the publicity that they desperately crave is to hold an event. The type of event and location of the event is completely up to you. You should invite as many people as possible — the more, the better. The more people that show up to your event, the more likely the sponsor is to get involved with your organization.
You should also make a mental note of how many companies declined to sponsor your organization, because it's likely that they'll make an appearance at the event to see what you're all about. It's completely possible that they'll change their mind and agree to sponsor an event in the future.
After the event is over, make sure to stay in contact. The last thing you want to do is lose your existing sponsors. The advertising doesn't have to stop with the event. For their continued support, you should offer your continued advertisement services. Make sure to let them know how the event went, as well — once they see some hard statistics, they may decide to throw down some more money to help your cause.
It's not impossible to find sponsorship for your home-based non-profit organization, but it's also not the easiest thing in the world, either. Using these steps, though, hopefully you'll be able to get the sponsorship that you're after. Once you’ve developed your non-profit into an organization you’re proud of, you’ll have all the tools you need to secure continuing sponsorship.
The preceding is a guest post by Emily Green. Emily is a freelance writer with more than six years’ experience in blogging, copywriting, content, SEO, and dissertation, technical and thesis writing. She has worked for companies like www.homeinsurance.com. On her free time she likes taking her Pug for a walk and to the dog park.