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So you are about to plan an event for your organization or already own a television and radio network or club, and thinking I need money to fund my event, show, project or what ever type of event you are thinking of or working on.

The second thought that comes to your mind is, I need sponsors and I need them now!  

You think your first thought because you see a problem in the world and your event will serve as a solution, you want to celebrate a special occasion, or simply get a project off the ground.  Keep in mind that I continue to say, any event can be sponsored.

The second thought comes to mind either because you need money to implement your event or looking to save your own money.  Very rarely will someone say that they want to plan an event just to partner with a sponsor. 

After you become aware of your thoughts the next step is to take action.  How do you take action?

Do you know what to say to a sponsor when you call? Do you know what information is needed in your sponsorship proposal?  Do you know who can become a sponsor? Do you know how much funding to ask for?  These are just a few questions you need to answer before researching and contacting a sponsor.

To secure sponsors, you need to understand the language and the process.  Too often I've heard and seen in sponsorship proposals event organizers referring to sponsorship as a donation.  This is a red flag to a sponsorship professional that the person (sponsorship seeker, property..) does not understand sponsorship and might waste their valuable time. Remember sponsors receive numerous requests per day.  Sponsorship professionals do not wait by the phone, maybe one day they will, and if some of them do, then you should know what to say when you get them on the phone. 

If you've had any of those thoughts mentioned in the beginning of this post and would like to save yourself from making embarrassing and common mistakes and would like to communicate with sponsors more successfully read 'How To Secure Sponsors Successfully' or attend a Sponsorship Training Seminar.  

For those of you who are already securing sponsors and need guidance through a sponsorship challenge or help with fixing a sponsorship problem, try ourcoaching or consulting service. 

About Author & Consultant

Roberta Vigilance is self-taught.  After establishing an event planning company and looking for money to implement her events, she entered the world of sponsorship.  Coming from a background in sales, she learned the language and steps that are needed to secure sponsors and have secured corporate, local, monetary and in-kind sponsors saving herself and business hundreds of thousands of dollars, simultaneously got to implement events she's passionate about. She shares her experience and knowledge with other event organizers and nonprofits throughout the world. 


Emily Goldberg and I are in 'Sponsorship Insights Group' on LinkedIn.  She posted a good question which is: What are the biggest mistakes that people make when approaching sponsors for sponsorship? For answers from sponsorship professionals, click here.



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Radio programs, etc will have to start focusing on their target audience and place brands that is a perfect fit. No more mass targeting, it's a waste of money and time. Sponsorship is the way to go because it's more direct and effective. The greatest thing (value) about Radio Shows that have smaller audiences is that they have more of a personal connection and influence with their audience. Roberta Vigilance, Event Sponsorship Author & Consultant


Roberta is the author of How To Secure Sponsors Successfully, 2nd Edition and teaches sponsorship seekers world-wide what to do and say to secure sponsors. She has a vision of where sponsorship is heading and has corrected giants in the sponsorship industry causing them to either contradict their forecast or take her knowledge and tweak it into their own words.  Roberta once said her e-book (currently in print due to demand) is the sponsorship bible because it is the roadmap to securing sponsors (more) successfully.


You probably seen or have heard what happened to a potential sponsor: United Airlines. If you haven't; the news reported and showed video of a man literally being dragged off United Airlines plane because the airline's staff needed to get on the overbooked flight. You can watch the video here.

Question: As a property, would you approach this company to become a sponsor of your event? Why or Why Not?"


I usually speak and share information with event organizers. Very seldom do I speak with sponsors unless it's on my client's' behalf, I'm selling my event to sponsors, or there is something sponsors should absolutely know as in this case.  In this post, I'm speaking to sponsors. Event organizers (properties), specifically those new to sponsorship, need to also consider this piece of advice.

You've heard me say that any event can be sponsored.  The same is true for sponsors, any company; it doesn't matter the size, can be become a sponsor of an event.

Maybe you (sponsor) don't have a marketing budget set aside, but can incorporate your product, service, image, or time into an event.  It's kind of like having liquid cash, as defined here.. Quite naturally cash is needed to pay for some of the things that events do need.  However, as an in-kind sponsor, you can provide event organizers with your resources to meet their event's needs and to make the event possible and more successful.

Let's use the Olympics for example-  Light or a certain type of light bulb is needed to showcase the athletes in the best light possible for the world to see. Well, if you're a small light bulb company or green energy supplier, your product or service has monetary value (not to mention your blood, tears and sweat it probably cost you to get your business up and running to produce the product) that you can provide to properties.  

If you've been with me in around 2009, you'll remember I posted that Donald Trump - now the US President-elect Donald Trump- agrees with a section 'It's Not Always About Moneyin my e-book.  Of course I don't believe that he's read my book but hope that he will, most importantly I hope that you will so that you'll know what we know and how to apply that information to offset the cost of your events.  In sponsorship it's not always about money,  you can secure in-kind sponsors which is worth as much or even more than gold.  In-kind sponsorship allows you, or the sponsor, or both to gain access to resources and establish exclusive relationships that money just can't buy.  

The next time an experienced or knowledgeable property approaches you to become a sponsor of their event, don't tell them how small you are. Instead, tell them that you would consider becoming an in-kind sponsor and how valuable your resource (service, product, image/spokesperson) is.  The property should already have an idea of how valuable your resource is and will offer you benefits that match or increase the value.  If you're not sure how in-kind sponsorship works or how you can benefit from it, read  How To Secure Sponsors Successfully 2nd Edition or Contact Us!


Getting a major event sponsor takes time. Plan ahead. Way ahead!

Here are 10 tips for securing sponsors for your events, including book launches, blog tours,  virtual book tours, website promotions, seminars, webinars, conferences, and more!

1. Understand Your Event.

That’s how it all started for me. I knew my event had value and learned companies and individuals were willing to pay me to receive tangible and intangible benefits that my event had to offer, all through the process of event sponsorship.


2. Understand Event Sponsorship.

Becoming educated on what event sponsorship is and how it works is the most essential step for securing sponsors. Without this knowledge you’ll face a lot of rejections and waste valuable time.


3. Know Your Event Audience.

Knowing your event audience will help you target and secure the right sponsors for your event whether you’re offering tangible or intangible benefits.


4. Know Your Event Budget.

Envision your event location, decoration, the number of staff members needed, promotional items, and whatever else is needed to meet your event expected outcome. Make a list of what you envisioned and research the cost associated with each cost.


5. Have a Pitch. (Get 15 second pitch in How To Secure Sponsors Successfully, 2nd Edition)

You should already know what you will say to prospective sponsors once you get them on the phone. Your pitch should be less than 20 seconds, no more than thirty seconds. Most people attention span is short, plus be mindful that they have work to do. If you don’t have a pitch ready, you can start rambling and quickly lose the interest of the person on the other line.


6. Be Passionate About Your Event.

If you don’t care about your event, better yet if you don’t have a passion for your event, you will give up easily. Why? Because you don’t have that fire which allows you to act on planning your sponsored event. If you’ve seen my video 9 Steps How To Secure Sponsors Successfully (see below), you’ll know that real life events can also be sponsored.


7. Target the Right Sponsors.

Research, contact, and send your sponsorship proposal to companies and individuals you believe can benefit from your event.

Can the sponsor benefit from your event?

Does the sponsor already have a relationship with your event’s audience or attendees?

Do you believe your event can help the sponsor achieve their goal?

Can your event enforce, re-establish, or start new relationships with the sponsor?

Is your event about a cause that the sponsor has a cure for?

Is your event a solution to the sponsor’s problem?

If you answered yes to any one of the questions, then you are targeting the right sponsors.


8. Get the Timing Right.

Don’t wait until the last minute to start seeking sponsors. It usually takes 6 months to a year or more to develop positive relationships with sponsors. It isn’t impossible however to secure sponsors in less than three months; you’ll have to work relentlessly around the clock, especially if you’re targeting sponsors in other parts of the world. Equally, you’ll need to know and have a clear understanding of the other tips for securing sponsors that are listed here.


9. Have Your Sponsorship Proposal Ready.

Before contacting sponsors you should have two things ready, your sponsorship proposal and your pitch. It’s easier and faster to tweak your proposal than to write one from scratch. Make it concise and direct.


10. Use the Right Sponsorship Terms.

Event organizers often use the word donation and minimize sponsorship to only mean advertisement. Although advertisement is a benefit you can offer sponsors, it does not mean the same as sponsorship. Some sponsorship professionals may take the misuse of language lightly, while others may not.

Book Marketing Bestsellers



Securing sponsors for events can save event planners, authors, and others thousands of dollars.

Securing sponsors for events can save event planners, promoters, authors, and other professionals tens of thousands of dollars and more. 90% of securing sponsors is being passionate about the event you are planning. The other 10% is knowing what language to use, how to approach the sponsors, how to write the event sponsorship proposal, and how to build value for the brand sponsors.

Events take place every day — from seminars, fashion shows, book launches, talent shows, contests, award ceremonies, tours, birthday parties to fundraisers for causes such as hunger, breast cancer, education, homeless pets, and more.

Events can cost anywhere from three thousand dollars up to one million dollars and more.

People have learned over the years that securing sponsors is a smart and strategic way to implement events they are passionate about simultaneously save money, and with a little guidance you can too.

Securing sponsors is a give and take relationship bartering; trading value for value.

Connect Brands to Your Event

The sponsor is giving you money, products, services, or images (celebrities) to either cover or cut your event’s cost. In return for taking the sponsor money, products, services or images, you will give the sponsor specific benefits. The main benefit, however, is connecting their brand with your event’s audience. By doing so, you are allowing your sponsors to come up close and personal with your event audience either through placing banners at your event, developing an email list of your event audience, or providing other benefits the sponsors may need and desire.


Place Their Brand in Front of a Target Audience

This may sound as though you are allowing your sponsors to advertise in front of your event audience, but really what you are doing, and the sponsors know this, is placing their brand in front of a pure target audience. Because of you, your sponsors are fully aware of who they are placing their brand in front of.


Be Passionate

Remember the first thing to securing sponsors is to be passionate your event, this will give you the encouragement to close the deal and to keep moving forward when one door closes.


Know Your Audience

Some other key aspects of securing sponsors for events is to know your event audience, who are you planning the event for; is it for children? Who will be attending your event; is it their parents? What products or service do you believe they need and can afford?


Help Sponsors Achieve Their Goals

These are some questions you need to know the answers to before contacting any company for a sponsorship. You also need to know how your event will help the sponsors achieve their goals. What are you offering your sponsors in exchange for what they are giving you; a meet and greet with every individual at your event or introduction to a new market.

Think about your audience needs, what makes them happy, or live longer and healthier. Your answers will help you approach the right sponsors.


Be Honest

Do not make promises to your sponsors you know you cannot keep. Be honest. If something unforeseeable happens contact your sponsors asap. Ever heard of the saying, treat others like you would like to be treated; this goes for sponsors also.


Respect Sponsor Time

Another very important aspect of securing sponsors for your event is to respect the prospective sponsor time. After you’ve researched what companies you want to contact for sponsorship, have your speech ready. Briefly introduce yourself and the reason you are calling. Best wishes with planning your sponsored event and securing sponsors!



Securing sponsors is the action or verb. Event Sponsorship is the noun or the name for securing events' sponsors.


  • Doctor: noun
  • Healthcare delivery: verb

To all English majors, I might be wrong about noun/verb it may be noun/adjective :-). In reality, we know one describes and the other is the noun.

Image result for rules

Three rules that will put you ahead of other sponsorship seekers when you're ready to secure sponsors are:

1. Know what sponsorship is. Understanding the true meaning of sponsorship is important. Sponsorship is too often confuse with donation, free money, grants, banners, etc.

2. Know what you have to offer- be honest. Don't say 50,000 will show up or see the sponsor's brand when you know it will be 5,000.

3. Know sponsor wants, needs, or desires- this will help you target the right sponsors. Sponsors can be solutions of problems or it can be the other way around. The sponsor has a problem and your event is the solution. A little online research, Q&A with sponsorship representative, news media, or a stroll in your neighborhood, can help you choose the right sponsors for your event.



Now that the Clippers has lost so many sponsors, does this mean that the sponsors are looking for a new basketball or sporting team? This is an opportunity for sponsorship seekers. These sponsors budgets and minds are open to creating new sponsorship deals. Keep in mind that they are coming out of a dreadful relationship with the Clippers so it shouldn't be all about you. Remember sponsorship is a partnership. If you decide to contact any of the sponsors that pulled their sponsorships from the Clippers, before approaching these sponsors or any sponsors, make sure you understand sponsorship, how it works, and how to communicate your message to secure sponsors. If you need any assistance with this, there is an event sponsorship guide (receive within 24 hours) and upcoming seminar on May 20th, 2014 that are available.  

When you read the article below, look to see benefits some sponsors look for. 

Corporate Sponsors End Ties to the Clippers


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1. Planning Ahead


It takes 6 months to a year or more to establish positive relationships with sponsors.  Don't wait until 3 weeks or months to start planning your event and looking for sponsors, unless you enjoy working under extreme pressure :).




2. Expecting "Nos"


It's not the end of the world if a sponsor tells you no.  Know this, no can either mean that the sponsor did not understand your message, they don't have an interest in your audience or event's purpose, not the right time, or the sponsor cannot afford the sponsorship.




3. Overcoming "Nos"


The quickest way to overcome nos is to understand why the sponsor said no.  For example; a sponsor says no because they are targeting young women in Australia and your event targets young women in America. If you can't provide a solution to the reason the sponsor is saying no, then move on to the next sponsor.  




4. Understanding Sponsorship

*2nd Edition is now available!

Often mistaken for advertisement or free money or donation among others incorrect terms used, understanding sponsorship will allow you to communicate with sponsors more effectively. Read *How To Secure Sponsors Successfully which gives a clear and concise understanding of sponsorship and  how it works, plus what to do and say to secure sponsors!

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