So you’ve spent hours upon hours attracting fundraising sponsors to your upcoming event, raising a ton of incremental dollars for your cause – congrats! The biggest question left regarding your sponsors is…How can you adequately highlight your fundraiser sponsors in a meaningful and engaging manner?
In this post, we will provide you with a few ideas for how you can highlight your fundraiser sponsors, both before your event (in the digital space), and during your event (in the physical space). Enjoy!
The months and weeks leading up to your fundraiser provide ample opportunity to display your sponsors in a creative and engaging way. The key here is to realize that you have your guests’ attention for a limited time leading up to your event, across many different digital channels – don’t miss out on a great opportunity to acknowledge your sponsors here! Here are some of our favorite ways to engage with your guests on your sponsors’ behalf.
Does your event have its own website? If so, this is a perfect place to incorporate your sponsors. In the example to the left, you will see a specific section of this event’s website dedicated to thanking sponsors and displaying their names and logos. As a tip, make sure you link the sponsors’ websites to the logos you display on your event website.
Your Mobile Fundraising Page
Hopefully, you are using a mobile fundraising platform to help increase your proceeds, reach a larger audience, and promote your silent auction, raffle, or donation page prior to your physical event. In addition to helping you raise more money, mobile fundraising platforms also provide valuable digital real estate you can use to acknowledge your sponsors. When choosing your mobile fundraising provider, make sure you choose one that will let you customize your fundraising pages in order to display your sponsors.
Your Event Ticketing Page
Along the same lines as your mobile fundraising page and event website, your event ticketing page is another great place to showcase your sponsors. In some cases, you may even be able to use a platform for both event ticketing and mobile fundraising! Below, you’ll find an excellent example of sponsor acknowledgment on an event ticketing page.
As your event approaches, an effective way to build hype and momentum for your event is through an email campaign. Emails can be sent to current and past attendees, and even general users who are on your nonprofit’s mailing list.
While the focus of your email campaigns should be to drive ticket sales and keep your audience updated on important fundraising event information, we would also encourage taking a sentence or two to spotlight and thank your sponsors. You can even include their logos at the bottom of your emails (example below):
Finally, we suggest acknowledging your sponsors through social media. You can also combine multiple social media accounts to promote your sponsors, including:
- Your event’s social media accounts and pages
- Your nonprofit’s social media pages
- The personal social media pages of your staff, volunteers, and guests
When thanking your sponsors in the digital space prior to your event, it’s important not only to list and display your sponsor names but also to try and create exciting opportunities that will allow your sponsors to engage with your guests in a memorable fashion. Engagement with your guests will drive higher donations, create more value for your sponsors, and hopefully generate a larger follow-up sponsorship for next year’s event! Some of our favorite ways to drive engagement include:
- Contests – What’s better than a pair of free tickets? Have one of your sponsors provide a pair of free tickets in exchange for guests completing a task on social media (posting pictures of a past event, inviting others to join the event on Facebook, tagging friends) is a great way to go viral and draw attention to your sponsors!
- Giveaways – Do your sponsors offer any type of goods that would appeal to your guests? If they are willing to host a giveaway, this could act as another fun way to engage your guests and reward them for being loyal donors.
You don’t have to limit engaging tactics for your sponsors to social media – you can combine your messaging and efforts here to also include emails and posts on your event website.
At the Event: Physical
Once your fundraising event has arrived, you can continue to acknowledge your sponsors in ways that are valuable for both the sponsors and your guests. Some of the best ways to incorporate your sponsors into your event include:
Sponsor signage is one of the more traditional methods for acknowledging your event sponsors, and it’s still going strong! Effective signage displaying the different sponsors of your event adds a level of professionalism, and it will also show guests that your event is widely supported.
We suggest including signs around your event venue, including at the entrance of the event.
Does your event have a program listing out the sequence of events, speakers, and other information? If so, this is another great spot to include and thank your sponsors. Here, we would suggest incorporating both an image and a description. You can even offer your sponsors the option of creating their own listing to appear in the program.
Sponsor a Portion of the Event
Another great way to build your sponsors into your physical event is to apply their sponsorship toward a central element of the event. You can then say that each element is “sponsored by [insert sponsor name]” to drive increased awareness and exposure for the sponsor. A few examples include:
- Sponsor a bar
- Sponsor a table
- Entertainment sponsor (for a DJ or band)
Many fundraising events include step and repeat photos. The backdrop for these photos is the perfect place to include your sponsor logos. In addition, these photos are often shared by your guests on social media following the event, adding valuable digital and social impressions and awareness for your sponsors!
Our final suggestion is to make a live announcement at your event in which you call out your biggest sponsors. Having your MC name your sponsors in front of your entire guest list shows commitment and is a perfect way to display your appreciation for sponsor contributions.
When planning your next event, keep in mind that not all of these methods need to be used for the same event. Try out different options to find the combination that works best for you. If you have any additional suggestions, feel free to add them to the comments below!