Community Sponsorship Done Well – TMD Properties Sponsors St Michael’s School Association 17th July, 2013

I recently came across the following sign in Highgate the other day.  It was pretty impressive upon first glance; however, after more research, I was so impressed by TMD’s sponsorship that I’ve dedicated a whole blog to it.

Community sponsorship is often overlooked, assumed by companies that it is merely a fundraising portion of their CSR.  However, if managed and promoted well, sponsorship of the community you work in can provide significant value for very little cost.  In the case of TMD Properties, they were able to generate enormous goodwill amongst their audience – young families looking to rent or purchase properties in Highgate.  Sponsoring St Michael’s School Association not only got them directly in front of their target audience, but also enabled them to showcase their support to the wider community on all the sales and letting boards throughout the borough.  Although their boards would have been up anyways – sponsorship has made them stand out from the crowd, cleverly using contrasting colours to ensure that the signs resonate.

The sponsorship has even gone further to include social media and press releases.  TMD include all their involvement with St Michael’s School Association within their Facebook page and Twitter feed – ensuring their involvement is recognised by communities further afield.

Following TMD Properties’ great example, I have put together my top 5 tips for brands looking to get involved with community sponsorship:

  1. Think of your audience: Although sponsorship of your community generates goodwill, it is important to remember who your customers are.  Although it probably would have been a great thing to sponsor the old folks home in Highgate, it would unlikely generate a return on their investment.
  2. Utilise your channels: Small sponsorship can make a big impact if you ensure that your sponsorship is integrated within all your marketing and communication.  Social media is an easy win because it is free; however, think one step beyond this and integrate your involvement internally as well in order to create staff affinity for your company.
  3. Get involved: Don’t just give money and expect an immediate return.  TMD Properties actively got involved and attended the events that St Michael’s School Association put on – highlighting that their sponsorship wasn’t purely whitewash.
  4. Think beyond money: Financial investment is typical the request from community sponsorships; however, what they likely don’t realise is how you might be able to help them further in ways that don’t cost you anything.  For example, the local craft fair may need a venue on Saturday to work on projects that they are selling on Sunday – if your office is available (and doesn’t mind a bit of glitter), this could be a great partnership and a huge benefit to them.
  5. Have fun: Community sponsorship is all about your community – so get out there, have fun, and create relationships that last!