Today, nonprofits are forced to restrategize amid the unprecedented disruption caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The rapid escalation of government regulations, coupled with the proliferation of the virus, has restricted movement, forced event cancellations and severely impacted small businesses. As a result, nonprofits will need to adjust to a host of changes while proactively supporting their stakeholders, and that includes sponsors. As chaos encroaches, nonprofit organizations need to approach sponsors from a place of optimism, despite prevailing uncertainty, as well as maintaining authentic and consistent messaging. The question remains, how do we reframe the narrative, effectively communicating to sponsors the importance of pivoting their dollars away from cancelled events to support small business relief and recovery efforts?
Typically, sponsors do not contribute to nonprofit events solely for advertising value. They also support the organization’s mission, believing that their sponsorship dollars are helping to make a difference in the community. To retain funds, nonprofit organizations need to capitalize on that common “do good” purpose and highlight the critical WHY factor, reminding sponsors about the immediate impact that such funds will have on the organization’s capacity to support and directly address the needs of small businesses that they themselves likely frequent.
You can certainly talk about your organization, but be sure to also talk about “we” and “us” — making donors participants in the mission and a critical part of your impact and outcome. – Madeliene Rosen, MissionBox
The discussion no longer centers upon the stock package because we are seeking to deliver outcomes not outputs, e.g. logo placement. Nonprofit groups can certainly craft appreciative and shareable content for those that prefer recognition, but if you want to reallocate sponsorship dollars to build an emergency response, organizations will need to demonstrate why they are the best vehicle for the distribution of funds. Sponsors must view the nonprofit organization as the connector because the success of our rebuilding efforts will depend on how resources are thoughtfully offered to small business owners. Keep an ear to the ground, understanding the urgent need for relief, and be prepared to demonstrate what initiatives could be enacted through the use of sponsorship dollars, such as short-term grant programs, zero interest loan funds, or e-commerce/training solutions, that maintain the greatest value to struggling merchants and stress access and inclusion.