SpeakerNet News Compilations

Getting a Sponsor

Nanette Miner

Page Sponsors
How to sponsor this page

Many thanks to all who responded to my recent query re: how to go about securing a sponsor for a publishing project. Following is a summary of the wonderful responses this group provides!

Look to the demographics of the audience, then scan your network to see who wants more visibility with those folks. Have different levels of sponsorships, including "title" sponsorships so that the event is named after the major sponsor.

Before approaching a sponsor be sure to think about "What's in it for them" to sponsor your program. Obviously, companies want visibility and, hopefully, future sales. You will usually have less than three minutes to make your presentation so be clear on the top one or two benefits to them. If they're not interested, ask them why and then move onto the next. I usually make sure that my sponsors get face-to-face with 80% of the audience in a live seminar. The way I get people to go up to the sponsor is to have them bring a small door prize.

There are some very basic rules for "Sponsor Success," like

  • focus all of your presentation on benefits to them
  • clearly identify every single exposure they will receive as a sponsor
  • get them excited about the "perks" of sponsorship and a lot more

Schools always plead poverty. So when I seek sponsors for my school-based programs, I go to the individual local school boards and find out from them which companies are pitching them. We talk about the possibility of THEIR (the school districts) approaching a preferred supplier and negotiating the sponsorship of my program in their schools as part of the deal they have to make to get their products in the schools.

If you decide to approach corporations directly, you need to talk with the person who is responsible for sponsorships within the Marketing and/or Public Relations Division.

You can make a deal with them where they can produce X number of extra books to sell (at the same price you sell them for) OR for them to give away as PR to whomever they choose. They like that!

Package inclusion in an email newsletter, personal appearances, and promotional announcements with the sponsorship. This is especially valuable if the project is new and unproven.

Do you have to show them an accounting of what you'll use 'their' money for? No, that is unnecessary. Is there a contract? Yes, you do have a contract, and you do not accept monthly payments. Get the $$ up front in exchange for X months of sponsorship. It's like advertising.


  • Nancy Frede, MarketSense, 508-872-6830 -- referred by Kathleen Hassan. Be sure to use Kathleen's name.
  • "I have done a lot of speaking and writing on sponsorship. I could provide some editorial on this topic if that helps." -- Ed Bernacki, edbernacki@hotmail.com
  • "As a champion triathlete, I have been sponsored by dozens of companies for my racing and speaking." -- Tony Schiller, Trispeak@aol.com
  • "Mark McCormack is the world expert on this. His company books the Masters and Wimbledon. His book, What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School, has some useful stories of their approach. (Order the book on amazon.com)

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