As the Covid situation continues to worsen, it has become harder for sponsorships and fundraising efforts to succeed. With lockdown and stay at home measures taking place in different parts of the world, this would be a great opportunity to step back, restrategise and adapt to ensure that our income streams for important projects are not affected.
Many of my clients are taking a pause during this period, as they should. However, stopping all sponsorships and fundraising efforts completely in the coming months will have a dire impact in the long-run.
To cushion the impact on your company's finances, here are some strategies you can use during this crisis.
1. Target industries that are thriving
While there are so many industries that are hit hard during this crisis, there are also other businesses that are thriving. A quick look at the services and products that have increased in demand during Covid may give you an idea - sanitation products, cleaning companies and pharmaceutical industries, for instance, have definitely increased their profits. It is worth looking deeper into the products and services in your region that are sustaining or increasing in profitability, and ask them for sponsorships or donations.
Refer to the smiley faces on this 9gag meme for clues on thriving industries (:
2. Double your target amount
If your target is to raise a certain amount during a particular timeframe or for a specific project, I recommend that you double it. The main reason would be that the strategies to raise $100K and $200K may look vastly different as the time, manpower and resources to execute sponsorships and fundraising projects will change. If you require a specific amount to fund a certain project, it's best to aim higher to account for efforts that may take longer to pay off.
3. Invest in manpower, projects or resources that raise your income
There are staff in your company who do important things such as administrative duties, customer service and product creation. There are also staff who directly affect your income such as a sponsorships manager, a business manager and a fundraising consultant. Basically, anyone in your company who has sales targets will have a direct impact on your company's profits and income. This is the best time to hire someone who can effectively grow your business lifeline amidst the Covid pandemic.
4. Have multiple income streams
A few days ago, I read a question posted on a non-profit thread on Reddit - if he should hire a fundraising consultant or a grants writer to help increase the income for his non-profit organisation. I replied and recommended a fundraising consultant simply because this role requires expertise in bringing in funds from various fundraising platforms compared to a grants writer whose niche is one platform - grants application.
If you are a non-profit, it's best to spread your fundraising strategies on multiple platforms and types of audience so that you will have donations coming in both online and offline. If you only receive donations through government grants, maybe it's time to step into the world of online fundraising. If you previously have relied heavily on public and individual donations, maybe it's time to widen your asks to corporate.
For sponsorships efforts, I recommend lowering your prices and introduce new tiers and packages while offering more value. While it's typical for sponsorships proposal to include 3 to 5 tiers, this is the best time to have more tiers at low, medium and high price points. If you haven't, its best to approach monetary sponsorships, in-kind sponsorships and media partners simultaneously for your event or project.
I know that live events are taking a HUGE hit with major events being cancelled or postponed so more event organisers are turning to virtual events. This means that previous sponsorships perks such as vendor booths where physical presence are required are neither attractive nor viable. Instead, I highly recommend to approach sponsors that are new, or want to have marketing traction in the online space so you can offer suitable perks aligned to that purpose. If your event is meant to be free for attendees, you may consider charging a nominal fee for access to your event as a second income stream.
If you find this article useful or have any other suggestions to add, feel free to drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you!
In the meantime, stay safe and wishing you and your loved ones great health.