Getting started with SponsorLane

By SponsorLane, 08/09/2017

STEP 1: What makes you stand out?

MOST sponsors care about the marketing return. Before you start applying, figure out what makes your pitch stand out and who will love your pitch:

Who is your audience? Sponsors want to reach the people who will purchase their products. If you’re a female empowerment nonprofit and your donors are mostly executive women, then focus on selling that to beauty brands, women-focused food brands, etc. If you’re an ethnic based nonprofit, then companies with products with ethnic-based designs, like Roots Studio, might be a great fit!

What is your social media reach? Companies want social media advertising. If you have a great following, showcase it, link to it, and offer to give them shoutouts! If you don’t have a great following, highlight your other strengths.

What marketing opportunities can you offer? If your pitch is not compelling in other dimensions, consider offering these marketing opportunities, which are more rare to come by for sponsors: booths and tabling, selling opportunities at events, speaking opportunities, access to event attendees’ email addresses, and opportunity to pass out coupon codes.

Not every nonprofit will have a compelling marketing pitch. If that’s you, make sure you figure out which companies are more philanthropic focused and don’t waste your time pitching to the sponsors driven by marketing. Philanthropic-driven sponsorships tend to come from companies with established donation budgets, like Chipotle, Philz Coffee, and Target.

Step 2: Filter for the right sponsors

SponsorLane has a set of filters to help you drill down to the perfect match. These are the most important ones:

1. Decide your sponsorship type: in-kind or monetary. In-kind sponsorships are generally product donations from the company. Monetary are cash sponsorships. Most of our sponsors today are in-kind.

2. Decide which item you’re looking for: food, beverage, raffle items, or space.

3. Use the location filter to restrict your search to a specific region in the Bay Area. The location filter is based on each store’s address. Chain stores will automatically show up in all regions. For chain stores, you’ll need to check on the company’s site to see if there’s a location near you. If you’re outside of the Bay Area, click on “other location”, “chain store”, and “ships items within the US” to surface companies with presence outside of the Bay Area.

4. If your work belongs to one of the causes we’ve listed, use the causes filter to find companies who focus their giving in that vertical.

5. Submit form online helps you quickly find companies that have online submissions. We know that many of you do NOT prefer to cold call and cold visit.

6. Nonprofit tax ID NOT required are for those of you who are not a registered nonprofit. We did our best to flag this, but this information is oftentimes not listed. Make sure to double check with the company.

7. SponsorLane Partners are companies who use SponsorLane to receive sponsorship requests. They are tagged with an orange “SL” in the listing. Our biggest partners include Philz Coffee, Fort Point Beer, Vita Coco, Hubert’s Lemonade, and Box.

Step 3: Favorite the sponsors you want to contact

Favorite the sponsors you’d like to target, and they’ll show up in your profile’s favorites list.

Step 4: Apply to SponsorLane partners with one form

SponsorLane partners use the same application to receive requests. When you apply to a partner, you can auto populate fields with forms you’ve filled out in the past. The auto populate option is at the top of each sponsor's request form.

Step 5: Check Profile for updates

When SponsorLane sponsors take action on your requests, your application status will also be updated under Profile > Applications.

Step 6: Take photos and give shout outs at the event

Don’t forget to thank your sponsors with awesome photos, testimonials, and shoutouts.

Step 7: Submit event report form

After the event, SponsorLane collects photos and testimonials for the sponsors. Build great relationships with your sponsors by filling out the event reports we send you. You never know when you might need another sponsorship from them!

If you find these tips useful, sign up at SponsorLane to receive our newsletters.