One call was from an organization that rapidly needs to change its business model. The advice they got, complete with financial projections, was to create gold, silver, and bronze sponsorship levels.Lots of stress when I shared why that wouldn't be the best approach.
Another has a business model based on sponsorship but not a lot of "there" there. "Everyone" has given the organization feedback that it will work.
But the one that killed me? The 15-year-old entrepreneur who was told that corporations have lots of money to give away. He's developed a popular online destination and had high hopes about his sponsorship earning potential because he wants to buy a car.
Tips on finding the right advisorWhen you seek advice about corporate sponsorship, here are a couple questions you may want to ask the advisor you're considering:
- What is your experience buying and selling sponsorship?
- What are your key philosophies about sponsorship?
- What is the range of your services?
- What results can I expect from your approaches?
- For whom have you gotten these kinds of results?
Make sure that the person has a long track record buying and selling sponsorship. Make sure the person has pretty limber marketing muscles and can help you stretch in new ways. If this individual only has experience in one industry or only in nonprofit development, they may not have the marketing range to advise you on your potential.
Make sure that the individual has actually helped clients get results and can work with you through all phases, if necessary — conceptualizing, strategizing, to implementation.
Before you spend your future sponsorship earnings, make sure your ideas and plans are based in reality and that the advisor you need has the experience to go with it.