Vice President of Sponsorships
by Indria Thijssen
You have to have a network…or be really good at networking.
Networking is a skill that most Communications majors work on and are good at. To put in perspective, the people in your network can offer a sponsorship in one way or another. Having a large network, or building a network, makes it easy to contact different people and open opportunities for you and them.
Be the traveling salesman.
You are selling your organization’s message and beliefs to potential buyers. You need to be the traveling salesman that is knowledgeable about the organization and ready to answer any questions potential sponsors will throw at you. Think of ways to “sell” the message to potential sponsors and get them to become sponsors. Know your audience and work with their likes and dislikes.
You’ll learn the value of rejection.
Also being a traveling salesman, embrace rejection. A lot of people you approach will tell you “no”, and you will quickly learn the value of rejection. With rejection, you learn how to mold your message to different people with each attempt. I’ve learned that with every ten people saying “no”, there will be at least one person interested. The people that said they are not interested before, might turn around. Persistence is key!
Being a people person and a nice, genuine person
You are talking to a person. Be genuinely be interested and invested in the happenings of your sponsors and potential sponsors. Be that friend that always texts first and is willing to catch up. People and businesses are more likely to help out, or sponsor, friends and nice people. People are not all bad.
The role of Vice President of Sponsorships isn’t for everyone.
Sponsorships is not a role for everyone. You can learn the different people skills needed for the job. If you are planning on pursuing nonprofit PR or opening your own firm, being Vice President of Sponsorships can help prepare you. It is a difficult job that does demand a lot from a person. If you’re interested in this position, I recommend having a committee to help you out, being organized down to a calendar, and having a personality that is willing to roll with the punches. It is a rewarding position and I appreciate the things that I have learned being the Vice President of Sponsorships.