When someone’s twitter name is @SponsorshipGuru expectations are going to be high. And Julian Moore certainly lived up to my expectations.
Truth be told, I’m not really a fan of the term guru but in this case it’s an accurate description, Julian truly is “Australia’s no.1 nonprofit sponsorship specialist”.
A few months ago I was fortunate enough to attend one of Julian’s sponsorship breakfasts (organised by Strategic Membership Solutions, the consulting services company Julian and Belinda Moore own and operate), where I was able to corner him for a few minutes and fire off questions in rapid succession (something I’m known for).
I was even able to sneak my sponsorship proposal into the conversation. Julian obliged by flicking though it and pointing out a number areas that needed work and some thoughtful tips.
A few days later I received an email. Attached were two successful sponsorship proposals Julian had written. One for the Adelaide Zoo’s Pandas and another for the Australian College of Midwives.
After reading the proposals I was reaching for my wallet to sponsor a cuddly Panda and support my comrades at the ACM. That’s how persuasive they were.
With that in mind, here are my notes from an enlightening interview with Julian Moore, a sponsorship guru.
Common mistakes sponsorship seekers make
- Too often sponsorship seekers think they are more valuable than they actually are. It’s not about what things cost but what value you can provide to a sponsor
- The proposal is not about the sponsor, it focuses on what the sponsorship seeker wants rather than what they can provide
- Sponsorship seekers don’t do enough investigation and research before putting a proposal together
- Sponsorship proposals are sent out using a scatter gun approach rather than focusing on well researched and qualified leads
- The money received as part of the sponsorship is not used well; to support the sponsor’s objectives and provide a return on investment
- Sponsorship seekers approach sponsors way too late. Large sponsorship deals can take 12 to 18 months to plan and formalise
5 elements of a compelling sponsorship proposal
- An engaging and attractive front cover – the sole purpose of the front cover is get your proposal picked up from amongst the stack and turned to the 1st page. That’s it. The job of the 1st page is to get the 2nd page read and so on
- Provide an executive summary – the who, what, where and why of the proposal, focusing on the value to the sponsor
- Don’t hide the investment details within the paragraph. Rather, be bold and have them on a single line so that your potential sponsor can see the pricing. Put in a minimum of pricing options. You can discuss any customisation during you face-to-face meeting
- Allocate most of the space to examining and articulating the value proposition – what’s in it for the sponsor, what return on investment they can expect and how you’ll make sure this happens
- Demographics are everything – demonstrate through facts, figures, stories and personas that your opportunity fits well with the sponsor’s target audience and ideal customer
Defining your unique selling proposition
- Ask questions of people from within your organisation – what we do, what we do well and what we do well that nobody else does
- Have a very clear picture of the who, what, where and why of your organisation and its members / target audience
- From these questions isolate your unique points that will have commercial value
- From your unique points determine which industries these will suit
- Using demographics and psychographics narrow down the number of likely sponsors to those with the best fit and will gain the most value from what you have to offer
So there you have it my sponsorship seeking amigos, a lot of valuable information from a [successful] expert in the sponsorship industry. Thanks to Julian Moore for taking the time to speak with me and share his thoughts.
Happy sponsorship seeking… Cheers, Kym.