PINs workshop: Effective Sponsorship and Fundraising

November 9, 2013 – Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office Employment Services

“Thank you for sharing wonderful; useful informative ideas, knowledge, name it, it’s overall beneficial for my organization.”  – Participant

Building relationships with employers and sponsors can be helpful for every association’s revenue generation. Integral to that relationship-building is knowing how to approach sponsors, where to find funding opportunities (from foundations, charities, or elsewhere), and how to maintain these contacts. This interactive workshop helped participants get the skills and knowledge to connect and build relations for effective fundraising and sponsorship.

On November 9th at Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office Employment Services, the PINs team welcomed David Lovelock of DL & Associates, who spoke to the group about fundraising and sponsorship.

Guest speaker:

David Lovelock –DL & Associates


David began the workshop by discussing the foundation to fundraising and sponsorship: good relationships. While they take time to develop and maintain, they’re also essential when it comes to asking for support.  His presentation, filled with helpful lists and personal anecdotes, covered tips and tricks for cultivating and making the most of those relationships.

David suggested reframing how we tend to think about corporate donations: employers do not  give to your organization; they give through your organization. So take the time to understand their business and philanthropic strategies. How would supporting your organization align with their corporate identity and contribute towards their goals?
David also covered corporate sponsorship, beginning with how to articulate a case for support. He recommended creating a statement of need, no longer than two pages, that covers who you are, what you do, and what you need. Consider you brand’s “sweet spot”—the intersection of what is important to your audience, what your organization is good at, and what no one else is doing—and use it in your pitch. David guided the group through how to plan for a corporate ask, from the initial contact to the Big Ask itself; how to prepare for common objections; and how to get value out of being turned down.

Let’s not forget the importance of events to fundraising and sponsorship! David highlighted the reasons to hold events, their common pitfalls and how to avoid them, must-do preparations for success, and what asks you can bring to potential sponsors in the lead-up.
Many thanks to our participants; to our presenter, David Lovelock ; and to our venue sponsor, Association of Professionals in Thorncliffe (APT).


  • Remember that storytelling is at the root of authentic engagement. Know the stories about your organization that will engage the employer you’re approaching.
  • Make specific, firm requests of current and potential sponsors.
  • Don’t forget to think about the timing of your asks! Knowing your prospects well means knowing what times of year they are open to considering requests for donations and sponsorship.
  • Effective employer engagement relies on Three P’s: a plan, a process, and pleasant persistence. Don’t abandon a new relationship because they did not immediately offer support; be in touch whenever you have an opportunity to add new value to that relationship.