What Will Nonprofit Sponsorships Look Like in 2021?

November 13, 2020

Nonprofits have been on the front lines of the pandemic. They assist families across the country facing the grim reality of medical bills, lack of healthcare, piling debt, and other hardships. At the same time, they’re losing funding as donors large and small pause contributions in the face of their own economic uncertainty.

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No one knows how to manage tight budgets, rejection, and uncertainty quite like the nonprofit industry. However, the stress of helping others, while requiring help themselves, left nonprofits in need of increased sponsorship investments, in a year where almost every industry took a hit.
First, find companies ready, willing, and able to partner with your nonprofit. A simple way to gauge the financial health of a company, especially those privately held, is to monitor their hiring practices. New roles mean that a brand has money to spend and is scaling upward.
WinmoEdge delivers daily news like this straight to your inbox. Or follow Andrew Seaman on LinkedIn, the Senior Editor for Job Search & Careers at LinkedIn News, who shares a weekly list of companies currently hiring. Next, focus on planning what a realistic and mutually beneficial sponsor partnership could look like in 2021.
Here are nonprofit trends gaining traction and tips on how to build sponsorship opportunities in what is likely to be one of the most important “rebuilding years” of this century:

1)  Nonprofit events are all virtual.

We don’t know when in-person fundraising will be safe again and, if 2020 taught us anything, it’s that pivoting to virtual is safer than continuing to postpone IRL events. Luckily, there are actually sponsorship benefits to going virtual:

  • Sponsors aren’t limited to a specific city.
  • Investments go further without the added costs of flights, hotels, and venues.
  • Adjustments can be made quickly, without attendees ever noticing.

2)  Gen Z leads the revolution.

Consumers born after 1996 are already extremely knowledgeable of charitable giving and align themselves with brands who put nonprofit work front and center. In fact, social scientists define Gen Z as the most socially conscious generation.

Find brands targeting Gen Z as their ideal consumer (again, WinmoEdge can help), then create content that’s accessible to them. Social media, especially TikTok, is an invaluable resource to go after those 25 and younger. When vetting sponsorship partners, be sure they’re well-versed in social media strategy for branding.

3.  Video is a necessity.

According to Cisco, video will make up 82% of all online traffic next year. This is a great sponsorship opportunity because brand marketing is all about establishing connection with emotional and personal appeal. Sponsors can share a peek behind the curtain of their charitable collaborations, powerfully showcasing their impact.

Don’t underestimate the power of live-streaming either.

4.  Sponsorships grows stronger.

Many brands stepped up during the early days of COVID:

  • Fast-casual salad chain, Sweetgreen, teamed up with World Central Kitchen to launch the Sweetgreen Impact Outpost Fund, feeding front-line medical personnel working in hospitals, schools, senior centers, and vulnerable and high-risk communities.
  • Allbirds’ “Better Together” campaign, allowed consumers who bought a pair of their shoes to donate a pair to a healthcare worker, too.
  • DoorDash donated $500,000 toward the Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response and partnered with (RED) to raise awareness and money for coronavirus relief efforts with limited edition merchandise and special events.

Today, consumers demand that businesses put their money where their mouth is and support socially responsible causes and movements. Not only does this create more, and meaningful, partnerships across nonprofit and for-profit organizations, but supports conscious capitalism.

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If you liked this blog post, check out:

  1. How to Craft & Pitch a Sponsorship Proposal
  2. It’s the Final Countdown: 100+ Brands Planning in Q4
  3. Why Are There So Many CMO Shifts Right Now?

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