How to Get Sponsors – The 9 Biggest Mistakes Entrepreneurs & Nonprofits Make When Getting Sponsored (Part 3)

In my last two blog posts I’ve shared 6 of the 9 biggest mistakes Entrepreneurs & Nonprofits make when learning how to get sponsored. Today, I’ll share the last three of these sponsorship mistakes.

In case you missed the first six mistakes, here they are:

1. A “show me the money” mentality
2. Not knowing how to price the sponsorship
3. Thinking one call or email is all it takes
4. We’ll use your logo
5. Skipping the fine print
6. Calling the CEO

You can read the full blog posts for Mistakes 1-3 here  and Mistakes 4-6 here if you missed them!

How to Get Sponsors – The 9 Biggest Mistakes Entrepreneurs & Nonprofits Make When Getting Sponsored (Part 3)

Mistake #7 – The Ultimatum Game

Boundaries are good in any situation, but they are not the same as ultimatums. Have you ever had a sales representative of any company give you an ultimatum? If so, how’d it go?

Phrases with ultimatums won’t get you too far in building a relationship with your potential sponsor. Well, they might get you a “no”! Consider not using these or similar phrases in your sponsorship conversations…

“If you won’t sign today…”


“I have another buyer, but I think you’re a better fit and…”


“We need you to commit today or I’ll have to sell to…”

Remember, Relationships Raise Money.

Instead of giving ultimatums, clearly present your timeline to the prospective sponsor and also ask about their process.

How to get sponsors Mistake #8 – A Sponsorship “Sale”

Mistake #8 – A Sponsorship “Sale”

Putting your sponsorship inventory on “sale” is a scary thing. In fact, it’s one of the biggest mistakes I see being made because it makes the assumption that was your initial pricing was not fair to begin with.

Instead of offering a blanket “sale” or “Black Friday” type event on your sponsorships, consider finding a win/win pricing and benefits package through the negotiation process.

For more on negotiation, consider the book Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In. 

How to get sponsors Mistake #9 – Not thinking long-term

Mistake #9 – Not thinking long-term

Mistake # 9 is one that I made several times, and I share it last because it’s the one that cost me the most time and money in sponsorship.

Most sponsors are looking for long-term or multi-year sponsorships, and not a quick one-time deal. The mistake I used to make is only offering sponsorships for one event, one webinar, or one product. While there were great sponsorship opportunities associated with those properties and the sponsors got great value… I missed the mark by not thinking long-term.

Instead of offering one-time or event specific sponsorships, consider multi-year deals with your sponsors. These are often better for you and your sponsor as you both get to build the relationship and are both able to maximize the sponsorship from year to year.

Looking for More Sponsorship Help?

You may want to get a copy of Relationships Raise Money: A Guide to Corporate Sponsorship

If you’re looking for more customized and personal support, I provide group coaching, sponsorship coaching, sponsorship consulting, and strategy sessions.


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