Strategic Planning Pays Dividends

Nonprofit marketing isn’t that different from the corporate world. Competition is tough and budgets are tight. Unfortunately, when it comes to seeking and engaging the ideal corporate partner, most nonprofits contact as many prospects as possible as fast as possible at the expense of quality contacts and building relationships. Develop a contact management that reaches prospects 7-10 times in a variety of ways over each year. Think reach, frequency and source variety.

Increasingly the feedback from corporate sponsors is that generic proposals are dead on arrival. Bring value to the table and be prepared to talk ROI. Sincere interest in what a sponsor hopes to achieve through a partnership is vital. After the initial conversation, some companies want to receive a standard proposal as an introduction. Others have specific requirements.

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By making the initial call you are not only increasing the chance of your proposal being read, but you’re also identifying:

  • When is the best time to send proposal – 43 percent of budgets are organized from September-November;
  • Who the best person to contact;
  • Whether they are interested in a partnership with your organization or event;
  • What their budget is and what to charge;
  • The future direction of their company/product range;
  • What they are hoping to achieve and what their objectives are;
  • If they want a soft introduction into a new market;
  • How they hope the relationship will influence purchasing behavior;
  • How they value the credibility that a partnership offers; and
  • The ‘perceived’ endorsement a partnership with you provides.

The next time you’re looking for a partnership think quality, not quantity – generic proposals won’t get you anywhere. Take the time and effort to know your target partner, and engage with them around value and branding.

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Crossbow Communications is one of the leading public relations and public affairs firms in the United States. We have influenced public opinion and public policy around the world for more than 30 years. Today, we are tackling some of the most urgent issues of our time, including vital health and environmental challenges. We have offices in Denver, Colorado and Phoenix, Arizona.