Corporate Sponsorships

Hi Kim,

I recently attended a workshop you presented in Toronto and wanted to thank you for finally giving boards, executive directors and staff a breath of fresh air. Your work is inspiring and completely makes sense.

My question to you is about how much should we give a corporate sponsor? We have a very generous company that has donated large amounts of dollars over the years. We have just signed another contract to have another annual commitment.

So far we have named our building after them, arranged for a lot of media coverage, put their logo on all our literature and hand out materials, included mentioning their name in our tours, on our website, and even more. They are requesting more recognition and we are at a loss as to how to give more.

Any suggestions?

Signed,

Stumped

Dear Stumped:

Enough already! May I suggest a word that rhymes with Stumped? Dumped! That’s what you should have threatened to do awhile ago to this corporation. About the only thing they haven’t asked for is that you rename your organization after them, or maybe all your staff and your children and grandchildren. As long as you keep agreeing, they will keep pushing. You have given them more than enough and you need to draw the line. I realize you do not want to give up the income, but you could replace them with other corporations who would not demand nearly as much or with individuals who would demand almost nothing.

Corporate sponsorship always involves a large element of helping the corporation, but most corporations are satisfied with being mentioned in several places, and getting some media attention. Corporate sponsorship is supposed to have an element of charitable giving-the corporation is acting as a good and caring citizen and counting on the fact that customers like that and will choose those corporate products over similar products because of that.

I believe that if you tell them you cannot give them more than you are giving them, and if they don’t like that, you will sorrowfully give up their funding, that they will back down. Keep in mind that if the rest of your donors, and if the customers of this corporation or the people in your community knew how this corporation was shaking you down, they would be outraged and that kind of publicity would not be good for this corporation. It may be hard to believe but you are more valuable to them than they are to you.

And, thanks for your kind words about my workshop.

~Kim Klein