[Ep#342] Making Dreams a Reality Through Collaboration and Sponsorship

Making Dreams a Reality Through Collaboration and Sponsorship

Let's say you have come up with a fantastic project idea. The next step is to reach out to companies that can take your project to the next level. Making your dreams a reality is possible with the right sponsorships and collaborations. 

In this episode, Charmaine Hammond joins us to discuss how to secure the best possible sponsorships and collaborate with like-minded people. She talks about the importance of a win-win-win relationship between the entrepreneur, sponsor, and the audience. Charmaine also shares the common mistakes entrepreneurs make when looking for sponsors. 

Listen to the episode to learn how you can collaborate and co-create with others to get on with making your dreams a reality! 

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode: 

  1. Understand how sponsorships and collaborations can take your project to new heights. 
  2. Learn how to secure the best sponsorships for co-creating your project.
  3. Gain profound knowledge on building the foundation for relationships that will put you on the path to making your dreams a reality. 



WATCH NOW (and check out the Resources and Episode Highlights below):


Episode Highlights 

[02:47] Defining Sponsorship and Collaboration 

  • For Charmaine, collaboration entails people coming together to achieve outcomes they couldn't create alone. 
  • Sponsorship is a result of collaboration.  
  • From a marketing standpoint, sponsorship is best described as where a brand contributes marketing funds to an entrepreneur's project to meet its objectives. 

[04:22] Creating a Win-Win-Win Relationship 

  • Any project has three beneficiaries: you, the sponsor, and the audience or end-user. 
  • Getting to know a brand is vital in creating successful collaborations with them. 
  • By identifying your synergies, you can work with different brands and build genuine relationships. 
  • Win-win-win relationships can help with both seeking and securing sponsorships. 

[05:57] Entrepreneurs in Collaboration and Sponsorships 

  • Entrepreneurs are more successful in collaboration and sponsorships when they understand the importance of building relationships and having passion for a project. 
  • Entrepreneurs tend to struggle more when they are outcome-based and unable to identify ways to work together with a brand. 
  • Sponsorship opportunities exist because companies need to market. 

[07:23] Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make 

  • Disconnects in project timeframes are a common mistake that entrepreneurs make, leading to fewer or no sponsors in projects. 
  • Corporate projects have longer lead times and pre-production phases, including finding the right team members. On the other hand, entrepreneurs are used to launching projects more quickly. 
  • Entrepreneurs need to look at the end project and think and plan backwards to give their sponsors enough time. 

[09:32] Establishing Timeframes  

  • There are times when the timing of a project makes it difficult for sponsors to commit financially.  
  • Building a relationship with your sponsors opens up new avenues to support and engage each other through current and future projects. 

[12:29] Customising Proposals 

  • A common mistake entrepreneurs make is giving out generalised proposals instead of customised proposals. 
  • To build rapport, you need to create a custom and detailed proposal for every sponsor.  
  • Submit a proposal only when asked by a sponsor. There are also instances when a project is co-created alongside sponsors. 

[14:43] The 7-step Model in Looking for Sponsorships 

  • Charmaine recommends the Raise A Dream 7-step model when looking for sponsorships. 
  • First, identify and describe your audience. Sponsors gravitate toward projects relevant to their goals and possible shared audience. 
  • Identify and reach out to local brands and businesses. You can connect with regional, national, and global sponsors by starting close to home. 
  • Once you have identified your dream sponsors, you need to research and formulate questions that will allow you to build good relationships with them. 
  • Listen to the full episode to learn more about Raise A Dream's 7-step model! 

[17:13] Where to Look for Sponsorships 

  • LinkedIn is an excellent tool for business owners to connect and build relationships with brands and sponsors. 
  • There are a variety of job titles and descriptions in companies that are involved in sponsorships. Sponsorships can also be listed in individual portfolios. 
  • Marketing is often the place to look when you need sponsorships for events. 

[19:31] How to Reach Out to Sponsors 

  • Charmaine shares that her first step is connecting on LinkedIn and mentioning her preliminary research on a company, including shared connections. 
  • Connect with several people and build relationships from a place of curiosity. 
  • Don't message potential sponsors about your project immediately after connecting on LinkedIn. Follow up and set a short discovery call with them to build on the relationship later. 
  • Researching potential sponsors always helps. 
  • Asking the right questions in your first call, like talking about their company's initiatives and objectives, improves the likelihood of a successful collaboration. 

[22:27] Asking the Right Questions 

  • Ask open-ended questions to keep the flow going in your conversation. 
  • Think of your discovery call as a conversation that doesn't need to go perfectly. 
  • The best transition to talking about a project is when the sponsor invites the change, not the entrepreneur. This is best achieved through reciprocal relationship building. 
  • The goal of the first call is to determine if there's going to be a second call. 

[26:07] How to Get the Second Call 

  • There are times when the synergy in a call indicates that a second call will happen. However, there are also times when we need to guide a sponsor towards it. 
  • Sponsorship is like a puzzle where you and the sponsor have to work together to complete it. 
  • Synergy is vital in deciding whether or not to push through for a second call. 
  • Invite them for a second call that involves other people, such as marketing or communications, to continue the dialogue and better understand how you can work together. 

[28:32] Getting New People Updated  

  • It can be beneficial to send a summary of what happened during the first call. This includes details about your company and goals so that when you enter the second call with a new group of people, everyone is up to date. 
  • Send a document that summarises the conversation but is relevant to your sponsors.  
  • It's essential to make a good impression of working together after the first call. 

[31:37] Making Your Dreams a Reality with Sponsors 

  • Entrepreneurs undergo a lot of stress in creating the perfect project for their sponsors. 
  • Default to your sponsor and ask how they would see the project unfolding. 
  • By collaborating with your sponsors, you can achieve better and more exciting projects. 

[33:15] Examples of Sponsorships 

  • Charmaine's initial sponsors for her business were clothing, hairstyle, and makeup sponsors. Before she would go to the media, she would get her hair, makeup, and wardrobe done. 
  • She had a printing sponsor responsible for the marketing materials for her speaking engagements. 
  • During her tour, Charmaine received many in-kind sponsorships, such as hotel rooms for her staff, a motorhome, and telecommunications. 
  • Sponsors for production, marketing, and PR costs all helped bring the Back Home Again movie to life. 

[34:48] In-kind Sponsorships 

  • Never assume that in-kind sponsors only need exposure or brand recognition from collaborating with your project. 
  • Always ask your sponsor what they specifically need out of the collaboration.  

10 Powerful Quotes 

[3:10] “That's where collaboration is so rich — that you can create these outcomes that you could never achieve on your own…so that's collaboration really bringing about those results together with others.” 


[5:42] “Number one is don't go in with an ask without a relationship. That's critical.” 


[9:06] “You've got to leave sponsors time, which requires us as entrepreneurs to be really thinking forward and thinking backwards. Looking at your end project, and then what are all the steps moving back to now to allow the right time.” 


[12:48] “‘Don't give us [sponsors] generic proposals — customise a proposal.’ Sponsors want to know that what you're creating with them is addressing their objectives, that is custom and tailored to them.” 


[16:41] “What you want to do is start local and close to home. They'll often connect you with the regional or the global or national.” 


[16:54] “Once we've identified those dream sponsors, then we've got to research them. We have to go to that first discovery call, knowing a lot about them so that we can ask good questions to dive even deeper.” 


[23:40] “A lot of entrepreneurs put so much pressure on themselves to show up perfect and make a mistake. Just think of this as a conversation.” 


[25:48] “The goal of call number one is to determine if call number two could happen. That's always my goal because no sponsorship arrangement is ever going to be negotiated and solved in a 20-minute phone call, unless it's a friend or somebody that you're already working with.” 


[31:54] “Entrepreneurs create unnecessary stress by feeling like they have to have all the answers and have the way this could look. I love defaulting to the prospect or the sponsor.” 


[35:11] “The key is to ask them, never just assume that they only need exposure.” 



About Charmaine 

Charmaine Hammond is a content creator and expert in conflict resolution, resilience, sponsorship, and collaboration. She is a keynote speaker who works with teams in the public and private sectors to develop leadership and resilience skills. As co-founder of Raise A Dream, Charmaine and her team transform nonprofits into sustainable and successful organisations. She also worked as an executive producer for the film Back Home Again. 

You can connect with Charmaine through her website and LinkedIn. 


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