Corporate Donations: Alternatives to Sponsorships

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Do you want corporate donations but don’t want to host another peer-to-peer fundraising event? There are other ways to engage corporations and get them involved and giving to your nonprofit. We put together several alternatives to sponsorships that you can use to raise more funds from corporate donations. 

Matching gifts drive

A great alternative to sponsorships is a matching gift drive. There are two different ways to ask for a corporate matching gift. First, the company can choose to pledge a certain amount to match donations to. Or second, the company can match employee gifts to your nonprofit organization (all without the need of a fundraising event!). The first option opens up matching gifts to your community of donors. When they give, the company gives until they reach their maximum donation amount. The second option empowers the employees of the company to donate and those donations are matched by the company. This is a great way to get employees to give and double their impact.  

To make matching gifts easy for employees and their employer, Qgiv integrates with three matching gift search tools: Cybergrants, Double the Donation, and HEPdata

Volunteer grants

Another great alternative to corporate sponsorships is a volunteer grant. A volunteer grant is a type of corporate philanthropy that rewards nonprofits based on how many of a company’s employees volunteer with your nonprofit organization. The more hours volunteers from the company work, the larger the grant stipend paid to the nonprofit organization. The rate at which stipends are earned is up to the nonprofit organization, but one thing that’s standard for most volunteer grants is that the volunteer should be volunteering regularly at your nonprofit.  

Typically, the more volunteers you have from the organization, the more you can earn in volunteer grants. Be sure to put a call out for volunteers with the company that offers volunteer grants. Also, be sure to have volunteers logging their hours and completing their paperwork for the volunteer grant so that your nonprofit makes the most it can from the stipends you receive while also saving on paid work hours thanks to a team of willing volunteers. 

Corporate partnerships

A corporate partnership can have benefits extending beyond just a monetary donation. These are long-lasting relationships you make with a corporation in order to work together toward the common good. These relationships should be with businesses that are related to the industry you work in. For instance, an animal shelter could partner with a pet food manufacturer. The key here is that your organization benefits from the partnership and the company benefits as well. Think about what you can offer a corporate partner and then pitch the idea to the company. In exchange for partnership, be sure to ask for a donation of a decent size to make the benefits you offer worth it to your nonprofit and make the partnership renewable each year. 

Benefits you can offer:

  • Name the partner a sponsor at your events 
  • Add the partner to your website with an explanation that they’re a corporate partner 
  • Mention corporate partners in brochures and flyers when appropriate 
  • Give them referral priority when services provided by the corporate partner are needed 
  • Offer free tickets to performances and events 

Corporate grants

Another option for receiving donations from corporations is by applying for corporate grants. Corporate grants are given for a variety of reasons including providing necessary services to the community that the corporation serves. To earn a corporate grant you must first research the companies in your area that offer them. Then, you’ll need to learn how to apply for a grant from each company. The application process is likely to be unique to each organization you apply for. Finally, apply for the corporate grant and wait for the response. Hopefully you receive the grant and can put it to good use.     

Corporate donations

If you’re not close enough to a business to ask for them to become a partner, start the relationship-building process slowly by first asking for a corporate donation. Make a connection with someone from the company and then prepare a corporate donation proposal. Set up a meeting with your contact and present all the reasons why they should consider donation to your organization. Be sure to offer them incentives for support, such as a mention on your website or free tickets to an event. A donation with no strings attached can be a great first step toward a partnership with a corporation. Be sure to wow them with your thanks and post-gift follow-up to keep them giving to your nonprofit. 

Final thoughts

These five alternatives to traditional event sponsorship make it possible for you to raise funds from corporations without a peer-to-peer fundraising event. To make these alternative methods work for you, it helps to have an established relationship with the corporation before making the ask. Once you’ve got a relationship, it’s much easier to get matching gift drives, partnerships, and other requests for funding approved.   

Want advice on how to secure corporate sponsorships at your event? Check out this blog post

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