Recession proof your Fundraising

As all of us are aware from personal and business perspectives, the economy presents challenges for fundraising.  You must be extra sensitive to industry climate and status of your present players and sponsors to make sure that you retain them for the next event.  Do your homework before re-engaging.  Being informed helps you assess what to ask for.

Here are some helpful tips to keep your sponsors and players involved with your event:
Retention

You must retain your present sponsors and players. It is more difficult to find new ones rather than keeping existing ones, especially in periods of economic stress.  You need to reassure donors of their value to your organization.  Many will be struggling with the economy.  Be flexible enough to offer choices of sponsorship that best fits their current situation.  Again, retaining the sponsors is preferable to finding new ones.  If you can retain them through these hard economic times, then you will have them in more prosperous times.

Donor Care

While asking for sponsor commitments in difficult times, it is more important than ever to do the simple things.  Reassure that your organization will make every penny count towards benefiting the charitable cause.  Treat these donors as individuals with complete control of their gift level.   A sincere, prompt and accurate thank you, are the cornerstones of donor care that help build loyalty.  Right now you need it more than ever.

Recruitment

Take a hard look at your current player demographics.  Try to determine the broad industries that the players are involved in.  For example, do you have multiple people in the financial area such as mortgage brokers and title companies?  Once you have identified these industries, then step back and ask yourself what companies would like to network with these people at your event.  Appraisers, home inspectors, realtors, home repair companies etc…would love the opportunity to get in front of your players and would become your target sponsor companies.

New and Unique Sponsorship Opportunities

It will be vital for the next year or two to offer potential sponsors new and unique opportunities to participate in your next event.  This will help your proposal standout more than others.  In many cases a company is approached by 50-100 tournaments to sponsor during the year.  The sponsor is looking at the opportunities you offer them for participating.  They are asking if your event is a good value for their investment.  Make sure you offer sponsorships that give the most “bang for their buck”, especially in these economic times.

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