Corporate sponsorship- the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!
Cap in hand asking for money can take quite a bit of trial and error, a marketing and strategic plan and an eye catching proposal included-so it will be the topic of this blog for the next while.
The corporates seemingly have loads of cash, have responsibility initiatives, and are continuously looking for ways to create brand awareness. They are open to accepting all sorts of proposals if it falls in with their company profile.
The first thing to do is to seek out companies that could be in any way related to your book, be it the subject of your book, the target market of your book, and even the story behind the story of your book, anything that they can align themselves with from a marketing perspective. Even though the corporates preach that they’re funding as part of a responsibility initiative they still want something in return-understandably so.
Corporates receive many proposals from all walks of life requesting funding in all forms, so a lot of legwork is needed to find the right company, the correct department and, the go to person who is able to have the final say. The decision making wheels in a corporation can turn ever so slowly- so being patient is definitely a plus.
Some companies will only sponsor NPO’s and want all the relevant documentation to prove it.
The first thing you have to ask yourself is what are you wanting sponsorship for? Is it for the production of the book or is it to fund donated copies of your books to a particular organisation etc.
It’s a good idea to create a spread sheet with the company name, contact person and details and all information related to your conversations with the people including when you e mailed the proposal etc. beside having all info at your fingertips it also helps create a data base of potential customers.
A friend of mine, Robert Zipplies was the principle author and editor of Bending the Curve– a guide to tackling climate change in South Africa. Africa Geographic were the publishers who agreed to pay for the design, printing and production costs, but funding was needed to pay all of the contributing writers.
As the book is about climate change- a very topical issue- you would think that most companies would jump at the chance of jumping on this initiative. It took Robert 20 months to raise the money in sponsorships…the wheels can grind slowly. Not only did he raise the cash but some of the sponsors and the government bought 1000 copies of the books, half of the original 2000 print run. The sponsoring companies logos are displayed on the back cover of the book and have a “message from the sponsors” page right near the front of the book.
Not all companies will donate funds. From personal experience I know that an airline company might sponsor tickets for a national launch and food and wine companies might only sponsor their product. But, it all does ad up though when it comes to saving costs.