Alex Hillman answered a listener’s question about how to approach and negotiate with sponsors.
How do you reach out to sponsors and be mindful when working with them?
Sponsors are a way to bring in money or reduce costs. There are two different kinds of sponsorships:
- One where you get equipment or resources in exchange of making sponsors visible to your clients.
- Cash sponsorships
- One where you use the funds from sponsors to invest in different aspects of your project.
In-kind sponsorships are easier to get. You can look for vendors who would be aligned with your community and would want their product in front of your members. For example, the coffee provided in your space can be sponsored. In exchange for visibility of their coffee, sponsors will either give free of discounted coffee to your space.
Ask yourself what sponsors what to get out of a relationship with you.
Make sure there are people from the company sponsoring you involved with whatever you are trying to get sponsored. This helps ensure your sponsors are getting the value they want. It can also give a sense of who the company is and why they are interested in sponsoring you. Their involvement creates an understanding and appreciation of them. Connection to them can make people view a company in a different way. Participation is key when it comes to connecting with businesses. Do not come just to make a pitch. Interact with the community.