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Sometimes a proposal is necessary for corporate fundraising, but when?

I know you’ve heard it, don’t do a sponsorship proposal before the first meeting with a corporate prospect. Lots of the corporate sponsorship smarties say so! And, I couldn’t agree more, but I do believe there are exceptions. For people who know me, this will be no surprise, as I love a good exception.

You know when the best time is for a proposal, after the conversation when you’re fine-tuning the partnership and offering something awesome that is right in the sweet spot! That is always the perfect time for a proposal.

If that’s not where you are at, here are some other times when a proposal makes sense:

  1. You are a small charity and you have limited time and limited resources. Your ability to build a customized proposal isn’t there, and frankly, you’ve looked at your case for corporate and it’s not that strong. Recommendation: set a low target for corporate revenue, and send a friendly and basic letter/proposal only to corporations where you, or your volunteer, has a direct contact. And please always follow it up with a phone call.
  2. You are a charity that needs internal buy-in on corporate sponsorship.  Recommendation: build a proposal so that you can solicit the information you need from different departments (things like marketing/pr metrics), and get feedback and input. You don’t have to use it with your corporate contact, but at least then you know what you have to sell and that your team is onside.
  3. You are looking for entry level event sponsorship on a small property.  Recommendation: the proposal is not going to get you big money, but if your focus is on running an efficient event, and you have multiple goals from the event, then it might be the answer. It is true that it takes a lot of effort to change expectations when companies want to look at a chart of levels, and it is ok if you decide you’re not the one to take on that battle. Some battles can be taken on by someone else, or you on another day. So, if that’s you, build a great sponsorship proposal, with some sizzle, and get it done!

What do you think? Do you agree there are times when a proposal makes sense? comment below. I’d love to hear from you. AND I have started sending these blogs directly to your inbox. If this is something that appeals to you, so you don’t miss any, I hope you will join my inner circle by signing up HERE.

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