State of the Map/Planning/Managing Sponsorship
When seeking sponsorship it is important to have a plan and to make sure that each team member knows their role. The general steps to follow are set out below. The State of the Map working group uses a combination of spreadsheets and GitHub to track progress and are happy to share our methods on request.
Create a list of potential sponsors
Develop a list of your potential sponsors, including the contact details for the individual in that organisation, if known. You should also record who in your team will be the main point of contact for each potential sponsor. This makes sure that each team member knows who to contact when you get to that step.
If your list is very long, you can rank each potential sponsors according to how interested you think they will be. For local or regional conferences try to work with local companies as much as possible.
Develop pack content/tiers
Potential sponsors will look for a number of benefits in return for their money. Develop between 3 and 5 packages with varying levels of benefits for them to pick from. This step should be done with the budget in mind - how many sponsors at each level do you need in order to meet your budget?
If you are stuck for ideas, please contact "team AT stateofthemap DOT org" so that we can help you.
Design pack PDF (artwork)
Once you have agreed you sponsorship levels, you should create a simple PDF that you can share with the potential sponsors. Keep this as short as possible. If you set out you sponsorship levels in a table then you aim for a finished PDF of no more than 6 pages.
With a finished PDF now is the time to contact the sponsors. If you have assigned a member of your team to each potential sponsor, then have them contact the relevant sponsors (possibly using a template email). This process may take some time and you will likely have to send reminder emails. It is therefore a good idea to track (e.g. in a spreadsheet) the date at which each potential sponsor was last contacted.
Congratulations - you have your first sponsor! At this stage you may want to hand over to someone to arrange the payment. Either way, make sure you have a way of recording whether a payment is complete or still outstanding. Update your budget accordingly.
To do : Add invoice template.
Follow up on benefits
For each successful sponsor you will also need a way to track that you make good on your offers. For example, if you offered them free tickets, make sure they get them! For the international State of the Map it is common to offer space in a conference guidebook and an exhibition stand. Collecting the required content for the guidebook and providing information about the exhibition stands both take time and planning. Ensure that someone in the team is responsible for this.
To do : Add exhibition booth template.