Uncategorized Jul 04, 2022

“I don’t want more untied money” said no-one working within a non-profit, ever.

Untied money into a non-profit is gold, is it not? You can spend it on whatever is a priority, and often it’s the ‘not very sexy’ things like staff training & salaries, rent, IT improvements, infrastructure etc. So why then do so many non-profits go chasing after TIED MONEY!?

A philanthropic grant – whether from government or a company foundation - is tied money.  It’s tied to the program or service that you request the money for. And generally, the reporting requires very detailed accounts of how every dollar has been spent and the impact of the investment – what difference has it made? All very time-consuming. And if all the money from the grant goes to the program or service, who’s paying you to manage the relationship and write that detailed report? Aha! Unless the grant has an allowance for that, then you must dip into another pot of money to fund YOU.

A sponsorship is tied money. It’s tied to the program, event or campaign that you are requesting the sponsorship money for. Generally, non-profits work out how much it costs to run the program, event or campaign and then ask for that amount, or sometimes less! Once again, all that money goes to the people or department running the event, program or campaign, so what’s left over for YOU to manage the sponsor and ensure everything promised, is delivered? Aha! Unless you build in some extra on top of the sponsorship then again you have to dip into another pot of money to fund YOU.

That other pot of money, unless you have untied money from a corporate partner, is donor money. Money that your supporters have given you to assist the people you help. Is this the best use of your donor’s money? I’m sure they would say no!

So HOW do you get untied money?  There are several ways, and it requires non-profits to start thinking about embracing the partnership mindset, when it comes to corporates. As part of our® program, our students tackle two extremely vital exercises that calculate the value of their major Assets.  One is the valuation of their most valuable Asset – the brand, and the other is the valuation of their tangible Assets, things like donor mailings, website, EDMs, programs, events etc.

Once you know the value of these items, they can be packaged up as part of a partnership offer, and because the offer relates to the value not the cost, there is a good amount of ‘profit’ to be made.  The tangible Assets can also be packaged up as part of a Sponsorship offer for a specific program or event, and again, because its based on value not cost, there is profit to be made in Sponsorship too.

At the end of the day, corporates are not interested in what it costs you to deliver a benefit to them. They want to know the market value of the benefit, so they can make a commercial decision about whether it’s a good investment. It’s important to view things from the corporate perspective, always.

Of course, this isn’t an easy exercise, it requires deep thinking, adoption of an abundance mindset and some careful calculation. If you would like to learn how to calculate the value of your most valuable Asset – your brand – add your  name to the waitlist for our November Brand Valuation workshop here


Hailey Cavill-Jaspers


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