Marketing Firm Recommends Targeting, Customization

By Abby Clemence, Infinity Sponsorship

Nonprofit marketing isn’t that different from the mainstream 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 as possible all at once at the expense of quality contacts and relationship building.

Increasingly the feedback from corporates is that generic proposals make it no further than the bin. As a NFP, you are competing with 600,000 other organizations seeking corporate investment. Being genuinely interested in what a sponsor hopes to achieve through a partnership and asking what it is that they want is a must. After the initial conversation, some companies will be happy to receive a standard proposal so they can see who you are and what you offer. Others have specific requirements that the partnership must fulfill from the beginning – this provides an opportunity to meet with them and understand what they’re trying to achieve, and also to tailor your offer.

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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. Do your homework – take the time and effort to know your target partner, and engage with them.


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Crossbow Communications is an international marketing and public affairs firm. We can help you influence public opinion, public policy and business decisions around the globe. We can help build your brand, your bottom line and a better world. We have offices in in Denver, Colorado and Phoenix, Arizona.

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