Last week we discussed the first two of our 5 Secrets for Engaging Corporate Sponsors. If you remember, the first two were Take Time to Build Relationships and It’s All about the ASK. If you haven’t read that post, we highly recommend you taking the time to go back. Now, on to the final three.
Secret 3: It’s Who You Know
People always say, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” and that could not be more accurate when seeking corporate sponsors. In your planning meetings for your next great fundraising event, simply ask around the table for names of people in your community that your team knows. You will be surprised at how many people know other potential donors in your town.
Once you find out who knows who, ask the people at the table if they would mind introducing you to that donor. Then you and your team member sit down with this potential donor and present your case. Having a prior connection will always create a better environment for the ASK.
Secret 4: It’s Better in Person
We stated this before, but it’s worth repeating: the only way to run a great corporate sponsor campaign is to ask each donor face to face to help you raise more money. Emails, snail mail and Facebook ads simply do not work. These potential corporate sponsors have earned the right for a face to face visit.
Don’t shortcut this process. It’s way too important and you will raise so much less money if you skip this step. Make an appointment, show up on time and be respectful in the ASK process.
Secret 5: Just Keep Swimming
Fundraising is not for the faint of heart. You have to be a go getting, world changing, on fire, lovable nag for this job. You will hear “No” a lot as you try to raise money for your school, charity, booster or organization. There will be long days and longer nights as you agonize over whether or not you even could have said the right thing. I want to leave you with this one encouragement, don’t give up.
In the words of a famous fish, “Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.” As long as you keep moving forward you have it in you to raise some serious money for the thing that makes your heart come alive. And when you finally reach that mountain top, when you finally hit that goal that you’ve been pushing toward for months on end…well, it’s something you just have to experience to understand. So keep pushing. Don’t give up. Just. Keep. Swimming.