The co-author of the book Sponsoring - The guide for practice In the following, Dr. Dr. Elisa Bortoluzzi Dubach answers some questions on the topic of "sponsoring", which were posed by in a written interview. These questions were submitted by users of the platform.

So far, I have only ever had to deal with foundations. Accordingly, the topic of sponsorship is still foreign to me. Can I attract sponsors for my project, even though we have always been funded exclusively by foundations up to now?
One does not exclude the other: Those who work with foundations have usually acquired the ability to search for information and develop documents/requests. It is important to respect the limits for the commercial use of projects and counterpart contributions. In addition, it is necessary for successful collaboration to understand that foundations and sponsors have different expectations.

What are the differences?
The objectives and motivation in sponsorship activities are fundamentally different: A grant-making foundation is completely free in its decisions as long as it remains within the foundation's purpose. Companies, on the other hand, decide within the framework of their sponsorship activities where the achievement of corporate goals in terms of image and name recognition - or in terms of sales, turnover and profit - are decisive. For Grant-making foundations , the applicants are initially the most important target group of all, because the foundation's purpose can usually only be implemented in cooperation.

For sponsors, on the other hand, applicants are one target group among many. A sponsor therefore expects clear quid pro quos that are tailored to his or her needs. These, in turn, are reviewed according to the price-performance criterion. Foundations, on the other hand, only want to be mentioned in communications, if at all. Accordingly, you have to acquire specific know-how if you want to work with sponsors.

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Dr. Dr. Elisa Bortoluzzi Dubach is a consultant for patrons, foundations, sponsors and sponsorship recipients in Zug/Switzerland, lecturer on sponsorship and foundations at various universities and universities of applied sciences in Germany, Italy and Switzerland, author of Stiftungen - der Leitfaden für Gesuchsteller, co-author of Sponsoring-der Leitfaden für die Praxis and Mäzeninnen-Denken-Handeln-Bewegen(

Could foundations even bail out if we attract sponsors, or is it common today to be "two-track"?
It is absolutely common today to approach both foundations and sponsors for a project. This means a broader and better financing of projects, which both partners appreciate in terms of risk minimization. Things get tricky when sponsors enjoy a "suboptimal" reputation or appear too commercial in the context of a project.

How do these two worlds reconcile?
By considering very carefully and thoroughly, within the framework of a financing plan, who is a good match and looking for his sponsors according to these criteria.

If a company also runs a foundation (corporate foundation) - how do I decide whether I should rather try to attract the foundation as a supporter or the company as a sponsor?
It's a matter of thoroughly weighing a number of factors:
  • Does the project fit into the company's sponsorship strategy or is it better placed in the corporate foundation's strategy? Does the company as sponsor reach the intended goals and target groups with my project?
  • Does the project have a large enough rights potential that they can be exploited in return for the sponsor?
  • How large is the amount I am looking for? It can happen that sponsoring departments have less financial leeway than foundations.
If I write to companies for financial support as part of a local project, does this always have to be done as part of a sponsorship or are there other ways of attracting companies as donors (donations, charitable involvement for no consideration, etc.)?
Not necessarily, often companies have a budget for donations with a corresponding donation policy, a corporate social responsibility strategy or their own foundations. The "golden rule" has proven to be that all information should be obtained before contacting a potential partner and then starting where one sees the best chances. It can be very useful to build and maintain a good network.
The Haupt Publishing House Ltd. has some valuable excerpts of checklists from Sponsoring - The guide for practice which can be viewed and studied here:

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Posted in Interview, Sponsoring

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