We have all seen it — the poster, sign, or brochure that lists a dizzying array of an organization’s sponsors or donors.

Often, larger contributors will get the benefit of being at the top of the list thanks to the time-honoured Gold, Silver and Bronze designations. If an organization is successful enough and secures many supporters, these logo arrays can begin to resemble a word search puzzle. Being a sponsor listed as one of a myriad of contributors provides little value. When you are listed as one of many, it says there is nothing special about you except maybe that you gave more putting you at the top of the list. Fortunately, there is a way you can provide your supporters with more wholesome goodness than a serving of logo soup.

At the heart of your sponsorship efforts are properties — the programs, facilities and other aspects of your organization that are available for sponsorship. The first step in avoiding logo soup and providing more value to sponsors is to develop a properties map.  A properties map shows the levels of sponsorship opportunities available in your organization.  It should list anything that could be sponsored, not just those areas for which you are raising money.  Once you have a list of properties, the next step is to determine for each property the sponsorship fee you would charge and the corresponding benefits you would provide.

Example Sponsorship Properties for a Forest Centre

Example of a Sponsorship Property Map for a Forest Centre

To view an example of a detailed version of a property map for a large zoo click here.


Exclusive Opportunities

With a broad array of sponsorship properties, you can offer each sponsor an exclusive opportunity. You may have more than one sponsor on a project, but where possible, each sponsor should own a unique part of it. The performing arts provide  a good example.  At the top level, an arts organization might have a season sponsor.  

[pullquote3 align=”right”]You may have more than one sponsor on a project, but where possible, each sponsor should own a unique part of it.[/pullquote3]Under this they might offer several series such as a drama series, a comedy series and musical series.   The next level down could be productions such as a two-week run of Cats followed by a run of Chicago.  Each production would have a number of performances. Each performance, could have a program, an intermission and so on.  So, each performance could have multiple sponsors, but each sponsor owns something unique.

If you feel you do not have enough properties for this approach, there is a good chance you have not identified all of your opportunities.  With combined experience of many decades, Pitcher Group team members have never seen an organization with more sponsors than properties.

Sponsor Recognition

Using this approach, the way you recognize each sponsor becomes a fairly straightforward task. Wherever you mention the property the sponsor is supporting, you should mention their support.  For example, if you have a brochure with your projects listed, you might have an overall sponsor listed on the cover with sponsors of each project listed next to each corresponding project description.

While a comprehensive properties strategy is meant to reduce the occurrences of logo soup, you may find you cannot totally eliminate them. Sometimes a key sign or poster needs to list key or all sponsors. That said, your goal should be to make such listings your last resort, not your first. Identifying properties and connecting a specific sponsor to each can require more planning work upfront and more logistical work with communications.   However, reducing logo soup can make fundraising easier and help you secure more funds.  In the end, you will probably save time and effort because raising funds is often the hardest task of all.

The Pitcher Group specializes in building comprehensive systems of properties and mapping them to assist sponsorship sales and recognition.   We have provided such solutions both to sponsorship seeking organizations such as arts centres and tourist attractions as well as to charitable fundraising organizations such as national health organizations and educational institutions.