Before BLM, some companies and brands had started to fund events that benefited black people.
Roberta Vigilance, author of ‘How To Secure Sponsors Successfully’ launched an event planning company in 1999 to help up and coming talents gain knowledge and exposure from leaders in the entertainment industry. During that time the word sponsorship came into her realm but not the process. Roberta is self-taught in securing sponsors and has secured sponsors for all of her events.
When she started, Roberta remembers getting shown the exist sign before she can complete her pitch to gatekeepers. She recognized that it wasn’t her skin color that caused consecutive rejections, but it was that she was using the wrong word.
“There is no doubt in my mind that racism exists”, says Ms. Vigilance. “The antiquated actions that corporate decision makers uphold or make damaged communities and eventually their brands. I’m glad that I got the opportunity to work with so many brands including Tommy Hilfiger, Adidas, Coca-Cola, and Rite Aid before BLM because it shows that these brands were not forced into supporting communities which also supported them.
Charitable giving is short-term and not a solution to problems that have been going on for centuries. For profit businesses cannot receive donations, so it’s not for everyone. Sponsorship on the other hand is for everyone and it establishes strong evergreen communities when consisting of events and sponsors; it is the long-term solution when done right.
Grassroots events are springing up everywhere throughout the world. Funding is needed, in some cases, to reach more people, offer more services, and to achieve other expected outcomes. Sponsors (brands, companies, etc.) fund events that will help professionals achieve their goals and objectives. It’s a win-win for the event organizer getting funding for events that help their communities thrive and for the sponsor getting support from the thriving communities.
A sponsor can provide hard cash, credit, and in-kind resources, such as audiovisual services or catering. But, naturally, you have to offer them something in return.
“If brands continue to take money and resources out of communities and don’t put anything back, how will communities survive. They won’t.” says Ms. Vigilance. She doesn’t believe communities should have a feeling of entitlement from sponsors, instead they should learn how to establish win-win partnerships.
Contact: Roberta Vigilance / 516.512.9716 / email@example.com
Roberta Vigilance is the author of How To Secure Sponsors Successfully and helps clients find solutions to their sponsorship problem. In 1999, Roberta established her event planning company called Vigilance Style & Grace. After needing funding to cover the cost of her events, Roberta is self-taught in securing sponsors and secured sponsors for all of her events.