[PODCAST]Moving Corporate Giving from Sponsorship to Straight Support

An interesting corporate giving trend emerges post-COVID…

Although corporate giving remains a small slice of the philanthropic pie in the U.S., it still represents an alluring opportunity for most nonprofits. Corporate gifts often lead to individual support and they also bring legitimacy and earned media attention. In this interview, Stephanie Brown, CFRE shares an emerging trend following the COVID-19 pandemic: the move of corporate giving from sponsorship to straight support. Listen to hear the pros, cons, and possibilities of this philanthropic trend.

What is the difference between straight support and sponsorship?

Corporate gifts, grants, and sponsorships are all slightly different ways for-profit entities can further the work of the causes they care about. So, which is better: a straight grant, gift, or sponsorship? Neither is expressly superior, but sponsorships typically involve exchanging promotion, acknowledgment, or other consideration. Realistically, a gift with no expectations should result in less work for the nonprofit and more freedom in how the funds are used. (So long as the gift isn’t designated to a specific program or need). 

Why the move from sponsorship to straight support?

Stephanie’s theory is that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on events and gatherings forced corporations to explore other forms of support. Many businesses budgeted to sponsor a gala, golf outing, or another fundraiser that wasn’t able to happen for a couple of years. Although the country is slowly emerging from the pandemic and events are happening, many corporations (and nonprofits) now realize that a straight gift can be a more meaningful, flexible, and helpful way to support a cause.

Meet Stephanie Brown, CFRE

As a law-school dropout (Sorry, Mum!), I found myself on a new path after working part-time at Ronald McDonald House. My childhood was sheltered, and when I realized the many challenges (and flat-out injustices) in the world today, I was just buzzing to do something about it! I used my administrative skills to get into databases, which led to fundraising and events, ultimately leading to nonprofit management. My journey took another twist when I was offered the chance to work alongside a software development team at Kambeo. In this role, I was able to help their mission to build tools nonprofits could use to further their missions. This is my first corporate job, and seeing the nonprofit sector through their eyes has inspired me to strengthen the bond between the two sectors.

Shout out to our friends at AB Charities for making today’s episode possible! 

Stephanie Brown, CFRE

Katie Appold

Katie’s nonprofit career includes a variety of leadership roles for human service, foundation, and publishing-related nonprofits as well as many volunteer roles. Under Katie’s leadership, nonprofit organizations have developed new programs related to free healthcare, affordable and accessible housing and literacy programs for K-12 students. In her first Executive Director role, Katie increased the annual revenue of the organization she led by 300% and received the top grant prize in the nation for affordable housing through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis. Today, she leads Nonprofit Hub and Cause Camp, which collectively serve more than 50,000 nonprofits throughout North America. Her educational background includes an undergraduate degree in business administration and a masters degree in nonprofit leadership. Katie serves as the board president of Gracious Grounds, a housing organization serving individuals with disabilities. She is an active member of the Grand Rapids Young Nonprofit Professionals, the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, Cause Network, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

September 8, 2022

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