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Five Questions Nonprofit Cause Marketers Need Answers to From Potential Sponsors

Smart Money magazine does a monthly feature called “10 Things X Won’t Tell You.” In May 2011 it was ‘10 Things Fund-Raisers Won’t Tell You.’ The point of the feature is that people and organizations have their own self interest that might not always coincide with yours.

For instance, in this article number three was “It’s scary what we know about you.”

It’s a great premise, but I won’t be as cynical. Instead, here’s five things that causes ought to ask of and about potential sponsors before they ink a deal.
  1. Do You Really Care About My Cause Or Is This Just a Business Deal? Causes naturally would prefer a sponsor’s money and heart, but they’re sophisticated enough to know that it might not always play out that way. So it’s better to know where the sponsor stands at the outset.
  2. What Do You Do That Could Embarrass Me? If you pollute the headwaters of the Yangtze or employ child labor, or bribe high government officials, as a cause I want to know that beforehand. It may mean that I’ll call the deal off. But at the very least I’ll listen to your side of it before deciding.
  3. What’s the Best Way to Interact With You? How do you want to hear from me and my cause? Phone? Email? Text? Twitter? Pigeon? This seems like a trifle among weightier questions, but this relationship ought to be based on trust and an open exchange of information. The cause has to know how best to do that right from the start.  
  4. What Are Your Metrics for Success From Our Partnership? What Are Your Boss’s? As a cause I want you my partner to look good. So I want to know how we can meet your expectations and the expectations of the people you report to.
  5. Where Do You See This Going? Is this a date? Are we living together waiting for something better? Is this a starter marriage? A golden anniversary in the making? Any of these answers are OK, so long as the cause feels much the same way
Tomorrow’s post: “Five Questions Sponsors Need Answers to From Potential Nonprofit Partners.”


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