Mastering Sponsorships: A Guide for Nonprofits and Businesses

Download MP3

Unknown Speaker 0:00
You're listening to locally produced programming created in KU NV studios on public radio K, u and v 91.5.

Unknown Speaker 0:11
You're listening to special programming sponsored by the cars marketing Chamber of Commerce. The content of this program does not reflect the views or opinions of 91.5 Jazz and more the University of Nevada Las Vegas or the Board of Regents, the Nevada System of Higher Education.

Unknown Speaker 0:37
People live in the whole world addicted to the drama happy holidays, everyone and welcome to the business of giving show. My name is Guy Dawson and I am the founder and executive director of the cause marketing Chamber of Commerce. We are an organization that brings businesses and nonprofit organizations together to create synergistic relationships that benefit the community. With the business of giving show we highlight these two pillars of the community week in and week out and the way that they benefit one another, as well as the overall community. If you would like to learn more about what we do at the cause marketing Chamber of Commerce, we can be reached at cause marketing This valuable show was made possible through the generosity of series sponsor solar up an energy solution and conservation company specializing in solar and battery storage systems, including solar panels. To learn more about them, they can be reached at Seoul Speaking of solar, they're going to be making an appearance in the studio on December the third with a nonprofit that they've been partnering with for years. It's called the Nevada Conservation League. I know we've been talking about this upcoming show for quite a while where in one week, we will be having sold up in Nevada Conservation League. As a part of the business of giving show, they'll be talking about their partnership. And it's really a phenomenal story that each of these entities have, I think you will be greatly interested in learning about both of them, as well as seeing cause marketing and action with a traditional business as well as the nonprofit that its support. So please be sure to tune in to the business of giving show on December the third at 7:30am right here at 91.5k u n v jazz and more. And as always, my co hostess Maria Perez, the cause marketing coaches out there, Maria, how are you?

Unknown Speaker 2:46
I'm doing great. How are you doing today? Guy?

Unknown Speaker 2:48
Oh, I'm hanging in there getting ready for the holiday festivities? And I'm when No, we haven't been live in the studio for a couple of weeks. I've been kind of really anxious to get back in here and talk about things related to call marketing and business. So always great to have you as a part of the show. Thank you likewise. Yeah, and I had mentioned we've got this wonderful sponsor sold up that has been so supportive of our show. And one of the things that we want to speak with all of you about today is the value of sponsorships like the one that we have with Seoul up in Maria as a cause marketing consultant. I know that you are really an expert on sponsorships. And I think we're going to talk a lot about this today, why it's valuable for a nonprofit organization, why it would be valuable for a for profit business. You want to kind of give an overview of our discussion for today.

Unknown Speaker 3:49
Yeah, we so my guest Our guest today is Coach Walter, who is my partner in an educational endeavor, the sponsorship seekers lounge, where we work to educate the public and nonprofits on the art of discovery and sponsorship sales. And this is a really important fundraising activity for for causes that they're that they they're not aware of, or if they are aware of they don't really know how to do it. And so that's why we wanted to talk about it today and really point out some of the differences between philanthropy and corporate partnering and sponsorship.

Unknown Speaker 4:27
Right. This is going to be really some meat and potatoes. For all of you out there who are interested in this sector. Maybe you are running a nonprofit organization or you are in a traditional business and you're looking for partnerships. I think you're going to get a tremendous amount of value out of the information that Maria and Walter Willett and I will share today. It's great to have you as part of the show, Walter.

Unknown Speaker 4:52
Thanks, guys. It's great to be here. And Hi Maria. It's great to be on the show with you both.

Unknown Speaker 4:59
Yes, Maria. Walter work together. And maybe since the audience has hasn't met you before, Walter, you could share a bit of your background and why you are so passionate about the cause marketing sector.

Unknown Speaker 5:13
I've worked most of my career in the nonprofit space. So I've worked in the museum space, I've worked for several national trade associations that are non for profits, and have represented many non for profit and charitable organizations. So very much in tune with the opportunities that sponsorship fundraising represents to these organizations. Oftentimes, sponsorship is a core pillar of financing activities and operations in many nonprofits. But with it is also a number of challenges. In terms of how to do it successfully in an evolving landscape, the you know, the sponsorship world is changing and evolving rapidly, mainly due to sponsors putting increasing emphasis on value on audience and digital asset. So as as this changes, nonprofits need to be in tune with how they can stay ahead of that and make sure their their value proposition and what they're offering is keeping pace with what sponsors are expecting.

Unknown Speaker 6:25
Yes, having a tour guide is so important. And I have had many conversations with Maria, where she talks about the value of your partnership. And, Maria, what do you think each of you bring to the table in terms of really being able to provide a lot of value in in teaching people about sponsorships? And in the partnerships, what is it that you both of you bring to the table you feel?

Unknown Speaker 6:51
Well, I think one of the most important things is clarity, clarity on what sponsorship is, is not and clarity around the confusion that nonprofits have with those they serve and their mission. And bottom line. I think Walter will agree with me. Sponsorship is a sales activity. And that's a word that nonprofits don't like to hear, you know, they're not in the business of selling. But but they are. Because if they don't sell their mission and their assets, they can't further their mission and serve more people. So I think that is probably the most important thing that we that we teach. Wouldn't you agree, Walter?

Unknown Speaker 7:37
Absolutely. I think that what we tried to bring to each engagement is, you know, leveraging some of our experiences over many decades in various campaigns, trying to help our clients solve problems along the path, that mean, the selling of sponsorship is quite complicated. We try to simplify it, we try to bring it down to its basics. We try to carve out for each client, their specific pathway to success. And, you know, one of the things that we teach in our workshop in our masterclass is talking about what sponsors are looking for, because oftentimes, clients will believe, you know, if we just put up a sponsorship sign, and a logo and offer, you know, to sponsor a breakfast or lunch, that that will do it. And we talk about, you know, the principles of what sponsors are looking for these days. And it's very different than what you believe. I mean, the the top three right now are, of course, lead generation, they're looking to through through your audience to find new new prospects, new clients, they're also looking for brand differentiation. So this means rising above their competitors. Things like exclusivity clauses are becoming more and more demand demanded up by the, you know, by sponsors. And then finally, thought leadership, which often takes the form of video or executives being able to make brief presentations to the audience. And these are things that are not sometimes always available. But it's important incumbent upon nonprofits to really think about those three areas and how they can look at their value proposition, their evaluation of their asset, and see if there are elements of one or three of those within their properties.

Unknown Speaker 9:40
Maria, you touched on a point a second ago that I think is really important, and I can relate my own experience with all the people that I know who run nonprofit organizations or have run nonprofits is they are actually some of the greatest sales people in the world. When it comes to Whoo, whatever their mission is. So in terms of being able to get people on board and to believe in what it is that they are presenting, that will benefit the community, they're experts at that the question that I have for you is, as coaches in this sector, how are you able to channel the gifts that they already have? They are salespeople naturally, even though they don't think that they are, through your coaching? And through the programs that you offer? How do you channel that natural ability that they already have into something that's going to help them be able to further that mission by selling more sponsorships?

Unknown Speaker 10:40
Well, I think we have to help them switch their mindset to, you know, we joke about them about telling our nonprofit clients, customers and students that we coach, that they have to, you know, business fi their mission, they have to take that mission passion, and put it into sales. And we stress that, and again, they have to take their their mission lenses off and and look through their business lenses. And again, you know, so so it's really a matter, it's not difficult to get them to pivot. But that's that's the path that we tried to take them down.

Unknown Speaker 11:23
Yeah, Walter, I know that you are the process. Really the process King. I know he had a conversation off off air not that long ago. And we discussed the fact that you are very systematic in your thinking, which, when it comes to sales, or it comes to developing these relationships there, there has to be a systematic way of going about it for these nonprofits, and how are you able to help them in that way to develop sales processes and to really approach all of this systematically?

Unknown Speaker 12:00
Yeah, it's, it's a really critical part of the the overall success of a campaign and you're so right. You know, most of our clients are excellent at describing their mission and the passion. So as far as getting to a presentation and making great presentation, that's not always the issue, the issue is being able to, to get to the presentation. And when we talk about going outside of, you know, an immediate level of contacts where you have to do more mass communication, you're working on cold prospecting and developing lists, managing those lists. There's a lot of technology pieces that come into it. And now there's the impact of artificial intelligence on everything from finding out who are your competitive set to where the organization's you should be reaching out to, to helping you craft your sales content, your sales messaging, so what we tried to do is, is really combined the very best of what everyone's already doing, but look at the gaps, where opportunities to improve a process or a system or a step that will help facilitate towards the closing. And, again, I don't say as you say, it's not giving the presentation isn't the problem. It's everything that is wrapped around it from start to finish, that we might be able to find efficiencies, enter new ideas into the equation, help generate more leads that ultimately they can get in front of.

Unknown Speaker 13:42
I know through the cause marketing chamber, we encounter a lot of nonprofit organizations, Walter and Maria, who are where they feel stuck in the process. And I have these these conversations with leaders, CEOs and the people that run these nonprofits about wanting to be able to create these partnerships, knowing that they've got a valuable mission that needs to be spread and just not being comfortable enough to to position themselves to make things happen so that they can really reach more people. Maybe Maria, you could take this question. Could you give us an overview of the process that you engage in when you are working with these nonprofits through your programs and workshops?

Unknown Speaker 14:29
Well, I think Walter alluded to the pathway call, you know, we we are really cognizant that everybody's pathway is different. We're also very cognizant that that these folks are flying the plane while that while they are building it, and so that, you know, we take, we do a very careful analysis, and it's really an iterative process, depending on what they're trying to achieve. Is it an initiative is it an event so It's it's you know, we have a we have a pathway call that we do, where we we sort of lay lay the groundwork for the curriculum for the particular clients, or students. And then we just take them, take them by the hand and take them through it.

Unknown Speaker 15:18
Kicking and screaming at times.

Unknown Speaker 15:21
is kicking and screaming at times. Yes, yes.

Unknown Speaker 15:26
Right. I mean, we're, we all have our moments, right? Running a nonprofit organization is just like running a business. And when the kicking and screaming comes, Walter, how are you able to center them? How are you able to get them back on track? Or either one of you, but specifically, I wanted to ask, Walter,

Unknown Speaker 15:47
I think it's a great question. And, you know, what we often are finding ourselves in situations in, in coaching clients is, you know, coming at it from this outside perspective. Maria often talks about, you know, clients getting caught down at how hole where they're trying to focus on, you know, one specific task, and they lose sight of the big picture. And I think, because of our vast experience in selling sponsorship, and operating sponsor campaigns, we can simplify and see the forest through the trees. And I think that helps us to get back on track from a from an overall standpoint. So I think in many areas, it's not about magical fixes or equations, but oftentimes, is fine tuning. We're like mechanics that are working on your car, and we're gonna get a bit more horsepower out of it, we're not changing the car. We might paint it a different color, but we're still driving the car. And so that's all we're really doing is, is tweaking and, and making sure the car is running at top, top efficiency.

Unknown Speaker 17:00
And that's really what the coaching is all about. It's like an elite athlete. Even though you have other skills in order to be able to win the race or to win the competition that you're involved in. Sometimes just having a coach, having someone with an outside perspective, can be very helpful. Oh, by the way, for any of you who are just tuning in, you're listening to the business of giving podcast. My name is Guy Dawson with the cause marketing Chamber of Commerce. So hlep in its channel partners are providing complimentary solar to local charities supporting for Hope link transitional housing properties, solar to feed pets of the homeless, Volunteers of America and opportunity village, their founder sits on the board of Nevada Conservation League. And as I had mentioned earlier, we're going to learn a lot about Nevada Conservation League. On our show on Sunday, December the third, please tune in to learn about this outstanding nonprofit organization. Did you know that in addition to listening to our show at K, u and v 91.5. You can also listen to our podcasts on Spotify, Google podcasts, and Amazon music to listen to downloads of our podcasts giving business dot transistor dot F m are also on any of those platforms, you can just look up the business of giving podcast and you can listen to us on Spotify, Google podcasts, Amazon music and more. And I have been speaking with the cause marketing coach Maria Perez and Walter Willett, who is also a coach in the cause marketing sector. We've been talking about the value of sponsorship partnerships in the teaching that both of them offer in terms of getting the most out of your efforts when you're out there trying to blaze the trail to develop a bigger following with your nonprofit. And Maria, I know you've got some phenomenal stories, because we've talked many times on the show about them as well as in person of successes that you've created with these principles. Would you like to share with the audience how you've helped some nonprofit organizations to be more successful in creating the sponsorships and partnerships?

Unknown Speaker 19:23
Well, I'm sure you know, it's extremely powerful to get these public private partnerships happening. One of my favorites that I worked on was the social issue of impaired driving. And I was able to partner FedEx, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and bracing, because there are a lot of at risk young males, they're at races and they want to go fast and they want to drink beer. And so it was really an important partnership. and an outreach effort to really reduce fatalities in every race market that where we would go and FedEx is happy to, to support it. So that's, that's one of my favorite accomplishments, because impaired driving, you know, it kills people.

Unknown Speaker 20:19
Right, that definitely speaks to the the impact that you talked about quite a bit. Maria, the social impact of these types of partnerships, is when you're talking about things related to public safety, which affects all of our lives. And that's I know, personally, this is part of the reason why I enjoy this work so much. And I know, through our conversations, that that's always really a big factor for you to Maria is really the social impact of the work that you can do if you'd be willing to really jump in here and follow the steps that Walter and Maria can outline for you in terms of getting more sponsors. Will you have any thoughts on this? Walter?

Unknown Speaker 21:05
Yeah, I would take a spin on it in the sense that, you know, coming back to what Maria said before about this being a sales activity. And, you know, I think for many in the nonprofit space, the passion and the drive for the mission is there. But when the word or the term sales comes up, it's often has this connotations. And so what we try to do is dispel some of those myths, and, you know, get them to a point where they understand the selling process, the process of rejection, which is part of the sales process, and it's a normal thing, and just really helping them to, to navigate some of the aspects which are sales oriented, because again, at the heart of it, as good as your mission, as good as your cause is, when when we're out there fundraising. There are core sales principles we need to apply. And so that's what really, our effort is in trying to share this with, with our clients and, and help them navigate you know, these unfamiliar waters of direct selling.

Unknown Speaker 22:19
Maria would imagine that an objection that you get from people in the nonprofit space about applying these principles would be I'm so busy working on providing the service for the community, why can't I just hire a salesman to do it, or that dirty sales word that Walter was talking about a second ago that is so offensive to some people, usually, by the way, these people are some of the greatest salesmen you've ever seen in your life. That is something that I have found over and over again, usually people who say they don't like salespeople are some of the greatest people in terms of sales, they just don't realize that they're great sales, men or women. But Maria, how do you address that with them, where they'll say, I'm just I've got to spend so much time just making sure that I provide the service for the community that I don't have time to sell to sponsors or potential partners?

Unknown Speaker 23:18
Well, first of all, I think they get very excited when they realize that they're leaving money on the table, and that they have assets that are valuable. So one of the ways we overcome that objection is to help them identify the assets and properties that they have and monetize those to further their mission. And one of the ways that we do that is by helping them to understand the difference between philanthropy, corporate partnering and sponsorship. So philanthropy is patronage is I like this artist, I'm going to commission a painting and someone gives you money and you say thank you. Corporate partnering, you might be having a run or a walk and somebody provides you 15,000 bottles of water that removes that line item from your budget. But sponsorship is about delivering on audience and value. So if you're a nonprofit leader, and you have an audience that a brand or company wants to get next to and we can help them to realize that that is valuable and will further their mission. That's kind of how we we get them to pivot.

Unknown Speaker 24:21
Yes, you just keep speaking to their passion Maria within anyone that runs with a nonprofit organization. That's the spot that you that you hit and I know at the cause marketing Chamber of Commerce, a big emphasis of ours is showing how to take care of your customers that aspect of it. Part of the principles that we teach are when you're able to work with a Maria and a Walter and you start to learn these strategies. You land a good partner, where you land a good sponsor, part of what we work with you on and I know in my own business, classic communications as a publicist, I work on the Customer Service Act. aspect, which is also important because landing a client is one piece of the puzzle, it's a big piece of the puzzle because nothing starts until the sale is actually made. From my point of view, and I would love for the two of you to speak to this, by the way, it's also important to maintain that client because of how much easier it is to maintain an existing client. And that's as a salesperson, or someone like me, as a publicist, so much easier to maintain that client than to constantly be going out and getting new clients with either if you'd like to speak to that how nonprofits could be more effective in that area of the entire sales and marketing process.

Unknown Speaker 25:45
Well, unfortunately, when you do accept sponsor dollars, there's a fulfillment obligation. So it's critically important, I'll let Walter comment as well. But yeah, that's super important, you have an obligation, you have to deliver on promise.

Unknown Speaker 26:02
Yeah, and I was gonna say that, if you think about the initial engagements with any company or corporation that may become a sponsor, the role here, even though it's it is a sales role, of course, but this is very much about connecting opportunities with brand, and what the brand is looking to get out of it. And so I think if you can come at this and approach to this, that you're bringing value, and you're really looking for, to make a good fit, this is not a high pressure sale, it's about finding the right fit. And when that fit comes together, you're creating a relationship long term with the renewal in mind from day one. So you know, guy as you were saying, the renewal process and the process of remaining engaged year round with your sponsors is something that is so crucial and and valuable to the organization as well to to build a roster and a solid list of, of core partners that year after year come back because not only they believe in the mission, but you've connected those dots, it's the right fit, you're delivering the audience they want, and you're communicating with them at all times. How can we improve this? What are other opportunities and ways to engage? They're very important to success ultimately, in terms of hitting your numbers and your forecast is, is a solid renewal strategy.

Unknown Speaker 27:36
Maria Perez and Walter Willett our cause marketing coaches and Maria, how can people get in contact with you to learn more about the services that you can help them with to improve their ability to reach out to potential sponsors or partners?

Unknown Speaker 27:54
Well, we have a website, which is www dot sponsorship seekers You're welcome to visit us and and enjoy a complimentary sponsored partner pathway call. And we encourage you to do so. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 28:13
thank you both for the great amount of information that you provide for all of us today. And we look forward to getting together again and continuing to to discuss the power in sponsorships and partnerships just really quickly wanted to announce a holiday party that the cause marketing chamber is going to be hosting on Tuesday December the fifth from 6pm to 8:30pm. It will be at Pine Hollow winery, it is going to be a member appreciation and community event. If you want to get more information about how to come and be a part of this mixer event, you can reach us at cause marketing I also want to encourage you to follow us on our social sites. And the business of giving podcast was brought to you by sole UPS underwriting of our series. I hope you all have a wonderful day. And as usual, I always encourage you to give and do business. We'll see you soon.

Unknown Speaker 29:18
Wave is

Unknown Speaker 29:30
the weight of the world on my shoulder as I'm getting older your people get sold. Most of us only care about money.

Transcribed by

Mastering Sponsorships: A Guide for Nonprofits and Businesses
Broadcast by