COVID has certainly thrown a wrench into everything in our lives including our organizations’ ability to host live events and raise money. Virtual fundraisers have been picking up and luckily, nonprofits have been able to pivot and still hold their events online. However, one large challenge of transitioning to online events is how to handle getting sponsors for your virtual fundraisers. With a lack of physical space in which to advertise their brand, like at kiosks, on programs, and via swag giveaways, what other options do corporate sponsors have at a virtual event?
Thankfully, there are still ways to interact with your sponsors at virtual fundraisers and provide them valuable access to your members.
Plan a Sponsored Ice Breaker
Virtual events make it difficult to interact and network with other participants. However, all is not lost. Ask sponsors to lead icebreaker activities or games in breakout sessions. They can connect activities to their brand and at the same time get to know your participants.
Use the Mail
Mail out promotional items ahead of the event. Sponsors can add to swag bags or even pay for postage. Make sure to send items that are of value to your members and not just trinkets that will go in the trash.
Have Your Sponsors Provide Branded Prizes
If you host a contest during your virtual fundraiser, sponsors can contribute branded prizes or can sponsor the giveaway. This helps your sponsor get maximum exposure at the event and ensures participants are paying attention to the sponsors.
Thank Your Organization’s Sponsors Via Video Ads
Instead of dead-air between speakers at your virtual event, play an ad or video from your sponsor. Or, put up a special background to remind members of sponsors’ involvement. You can also put up a full screen ad thanking your sponsors for participating.
Let Your Sponsors Speak For Themselves with Air Time
Give sponsors a segment of the event to demonstrate a product or service.
Sponsors can provide items for your virtual event such as gift cards to restaurants for a dinner event. You could also have them send supplies to your members for a project you’ll complete during the event.
Interview a Sponsor
Broadcast an interview with a sponsor. This helps your members get to know them and the services they provide your community.
Promote Sponsors on Social Media
Include sponsors in your digital marketing strategy. Give them regular shout-outs on social media. Encourage sponsors to use a hashtag you create for the event. This allows them to interact with your members ahead of the event.
Invite Your Sponsors to be Guest Posters
If you are blogging as a way to promote your event, invite your sponsors to guest post. Or, you can write an article featuring the sponsor or an interview with them.
Include Sponsors in Follow Ups
Put the contents of your online events into a PDF to email out. Include your sponsors’ logos placed according to level.
Use Your Website
Have a THANK YOU page showing your appreciation for your sponsors’ participation. Highlight their business and use a clickable logo that will take members to their site.
Virtual events may not offer all the traditional opportunities for sponsorships but there are still plenty of ways to take advantage of the virtual platform. You may end up finding new and creative ways to connect sponsors and attendees, and gather valuable analytics in the process.
Still haven’t jumped into Corporate Sponsorship? Check out our guide of step-by-step instructions to launch a Corporate Sponsorship Program.