Much like individual donors and volunteers, many factors influence a business wishing to support a Rally for the Cure event. Although some will be happy to donate cash or make an in-kind contribution because of a personal connection to the cause, others may be hoping their support will benefit their business in some way.
Here are some ideas for delivering benefits to fit sponsor expectations:
1. Commitment to the Cause – Businesses already committed to the goal of ending breast cancer and supporting those touched by the disease want to be assured that you will be good stewards of their donation and make the best use possible of their contributions. Be sure to share your cost-saving planning strategies, such as ensuring potential expenses like cart fees or printing costs have been discounted or donated. Share details about how funds are used by your local affiliate, the extent of your local service area, and identify grantees who will benefit from funds raised.
2. Recognition in the Community – Always mention your main sponsors and supporting businesses when submitting a report of your event to the media, they will be encouraged to see their involvement is publicly acknowledged. Look for opportunities to share details of your supporting business partners in the local press, community magazines, local society pages, and in radio and TV interviews. When sending out thank you letters after the event, include a certificate of appreciation that your supporting businesses can display, so their customers and clients can see their support of your event. Stylish and professional looking certificates are easy to produce at virtually no cost on a home computer.
3. Increase Business – Businesses keen to find new customers from your event will appreciate advertising opportunities in your event program, on marketing flyers or promotional posters. Mentioning supporters by name and reminding your participants to support your sponsors will help encourage people to try out their services.
4. Reach Event Attendees – Many businesses welcome actual face-time with your attendees and enjoy receiving complimentary tickets as a benefit of supporting your event. They may like to share a few remarks with participants to explain their commitment to supporting breast cancer awareness and would welcome the opportunity to mix and mingle with your attendees by joining a golf foursome or over dinner. If you have an event program, website or newsletter you could interview your sponsors to highlight their continued commitment, while including a little background about their business.
5. Connecting with Other Sponsors – Spending time with other sponsors at your event can also be appealing to your supporting businesses. Considering having a pre-dinner cocktail hour for key supporters to meet with each other, your keynote speaker and event leadership. Always think carefully about your seating plan, so that your leadership team is well placed to look after important business partners, and help with strategic introductions.
6. Recognition as a Brand Supportive of Breast Cancer Awareness and Women’s Health – Displaying a company logo on your event banner, website, and program can solidify the public perception of a particular business being committed to supporting women’s health issues and the fight against breast cancer. Branded donations to a “swag bag”, table favor or silent auction will also confirm the connection between the business and its support for Rally for the Cure.
Establishing what motivates your business supporters and providing the benefits they are looking for will go a long way to ensuring they want to continue their support year after year, and will help you compile a benefits package to suit all your supporters.