Testimonial Sponsorships

I work part-time from home, booking groups at hotels...a recent career switch to provide my family with maximum flexibility and hopefully, a somewhat steady income. Not to mention the travel benefits.

However my career has been spent in marketing, working and volunteering for corporate America (too soul-killing), government (too red tape-y), non-profits (loved it, but where's the money? On that note, read Dan Pallotta's book, "Uncharitable." http://www.uncharitable.net/. Great stuff.)

I love non-profits. They appeal to my idealistic/save the world side. Many of my clients for my hotel business are non-profits, for instance. And the list of causes and organizations I volunteer for and support is fairly lengthy. So why not start sharing some of the ideas that pop into my head at 5am with the non-profits of the world, who so desperately need help in order to achieve their mission?

So here's this morning's brainstorm. As a volunteer, I frequently find myself on the fundraising committee of various non-profit causes that I support. Sponsorship is a good fit for me, as I spent nine years in sales with International Events Group in Chicago, back in my marketing days. They are the gurus of any and all things sponsorship http://www.sponsorship.com/, in case you haven't heard of them.

Stop me if you've already heard of this concept. It wasn't on page one of my Google search at 5am this morning.

How about we create a new type of sponsorship? For discussion purposes, the Testimonial Sponsorship. Here's how it could work. You have a sponsor for your event, or one that you've targeted. Instead of the usual "we'll put your logo on our banner/t-shirt/brochure/signs," which is all well and good mind you, let's turn it UPSIDE DOWN and give them your voice saying "our event/organization uses ABC Bank.  They are trustworthy, they give us good service, they help us manage our money better." This quote is included on your event website, on your Facebook page, in your e-newsletter, etc. You get the picture.

Now if you're ABC Bank, this fresh approach will at least get your attention. If you can leverage it with 1,000 Facebook fans and a robust social media campaign, you've really got something different to talk about in your Power Point.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Happy selling!

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