publication date: Jun 9, 2011
author/source: Lisa MacDonald
Last October, five Canadian charities received the Pay it Forward Bursary,
partnership program between The Sponsorship Report
Fundraising & Philanthropy
that allowed staff to attend Strategic Sponsorship Marketing: The Canadian Summit
Toronto. We followed up with the award winners to see the impact of the
conference experience on their work. Here are some of their comments.
Patti Murphy, Ottawa
There was no official sponsorship program at
the food bank.
An "aha!" moment:
When discussing branding at the conference,
the question was asked, "What's the personality of your organization?" I
realized that even though I'd been a donor for 20 years, I didn't have a clear
idea what OFB does in the community.
My background is in the
corporate sector. I've been struggling to see things from a nonprofit
perspective - I thought I needed to have all the answers before I walked through
On paying it forward:
We're "all about food," but the conference
allowed me to look at things (like the warehouse) in a different way. I'm
reaching out to other staff members to partner and look at the potential of the
Heather Simpson, Wellspring
Cancer Support Foundation
The difference in the
approach of grant writing (what your organization does) versus sponsorship (the
marketing value of your cause).
Since the conference:
We've spent time developing a sponsorship
strategy - we're very excited to be moving in a new direction.
conference with a lot of takeaways. I would recommend it to others.
Lynn Beavis, Richmond
I applied for the bursary at a time when BC
funding for the arts was being cut. We needed to augment our ability to secure
funds from other sources.
A huge amount! I had a
general idea but didn't understand how to make requests more appealing to
We've just finished grant season and are
moving into sponsorship. What we've done in the past was very passive. This
year will be different.
Wadhwani, with Athletes for Africa at the time
Athletes for Africa is events-based and we were not successful at
obtaining sponsorship. In attending the conference, I hoped for specific
pointers on improving our sponsorship program, a "how-to" toolkit.
Perhaps it was the sessions I was in, but they seemed to be speaking
more to the corporate audience as opposed to a small nonprofit looking to
engage in community partnerships. While there were take-aways from the
presentations, it wasn't what I needed for my organization.
On Pay It Forward:
glad I went. The bursary gave me an opportunity to learn and try something that
wouldn't normally have been in my budget.
As more companies start to take corporate
social responsibility (CSR) more seriously, it creates opportunities for nonprofits
but can also be limiting. It is possible that as companies focus more on CSR,
the more rigid their guidelines will become - in sponsorship, as with grants
and foundations, nonprofits will be pitching to a program rather than a
partnership. Although ... it may make it easier for some of us, trying to fit
our square selves into a round hole.
Hanan Chebib, Missing
Children Society of Canada
relationships during a time of significant organizational change.
The fact that there was a
mix of attendees, and that speakers were innovators in their own fields,
allowed me to extract information that was beneficial for my organization. I
liked that attendees were treated as capable human beings able to handle new
On paying it forward:
For me it means being an open book - and
sharing your expertise on something. At the conference, that's what I received.
Details of Pay It Forward 2011 are available here.
This article is excerpted from Winning Together, a 52-page handbook on
sponsorship from Hilborn. Download
it at no charge from the left-hand column of this page.