So far, I have only ever had to deal with foundations. Accordingly, the topic of sponsorship is still foreign to me. Can I win sponsors for my project, even if we have always been financed exclusively by foundations so far?
One does not exclude the other: Those who work with foundations have usually acquired the ability to search for information and develop documents/applications. What is important here is that the limits for the commercial use of projects and counterpart contributions are respected. In addition, it is necessary for successful cooperation to understand that foundations and sponsors have different expectations.
What are the differences?
The objectives and motivation in sponsorship activities are fundamentally different: a sponsoring foundation is completely free in its decisions as long as they remain 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 sponsoring 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 services in return that are tailored to his or her needs. These, in turn, are examined according to the price-performance criterion. Foundations, on the other hand, only want to be mentioned in communication, if at all. Accordingly, one must acquire specific know-how if one wants to work with sponsors.
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(www.elisabortoluzzidubach.com).
Could foundations even bail out if we gain 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 minimisation. It gets 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 would be a good match and looking for their sponsors according to these criteria.
If a company also runs a foundation (corporate foundation) - how do I decide whether I should rather try to win the foundation as a supporter or the company as a sponsor?
It is a matter of thoroughly weighing up a number of factors:
- Does the project fit into the company's sponsorship strategy or is it better placed in the strategy of the Corporate Foundation? Does the company as sponsor reach the intended goals and target groups with my project?
- Does the project have a sufficiently large rights potential that they can be exploited in return for the sponsor?
- How big is the amount I am looking for? It can happen that sponsoring departments have less financial leeway than foundations.
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 to gather all information before contacting a potential partner and then start where you see 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 Sponsorship - the guide for practice which can be viewed and studied here: