Before searching for sponsors, your group should take a look in the mirror. There are a range of factors you should discuss before jumping head-first into the world of sponsorships.
Some of the factors that should be considered and discussed include:
Does your group have the resources and administrative ability to commit to a sponsorship without stretching itself too thinly?
It's important for your group to be realistic on this, as you want your sponsorship to boost your existing operations, not divert you away from them. Your group should investigate how much it would cost in money, time and other resources to service a sponsorship and whether you are ready to do so.
Ensure any potential sponsors share your group's outlook.
You don't want to be associated with a company that promotes behaviour that runs against your own mission. To take a few obvious examples, would you enter into a sponsorship with a tobacco company? How about an alcohol or gambling company?
How would your group like to benefit from a sponsorship with a business?
It may be through volunteer or in-kind support, skills sharing, knowledge building or a sponsorship arrangement. It is a case of working out how you can maximise the benefits from your group and if you can leverage any other assistance.
What can your group offer a potential sponsor?
Thinking about what your group has to offer could also generate some preliminary ideas about an ideal sponsor for your community group. Options include: Assistance in volunteer projects, sponsorship or naming rights, providing access to your network of members and supporters and promoting the business to your database.
Know your worth.
You should be aware of what your group is worth and what sort of benefits a business would receive in sharing a sponsorship with you and being able to associate and market their association with your good name.
Which local businesses are in harmony with your organisation's values system and could be potential sponsors?
Developing a sponsorship with a local company multiplies the benefits to the local community and should be a priority when looking for a partner.
Finding the best fitting sponsor to align your group with will provide positives for both sides of the sponsorship, and the community as a whole.
The following is a checklist of what you should look for when looking at a possible sponsor and assessing both their positive and negative traits.