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Made Possible By: Succeeding with Sponsorship

by Patricia Martin

(Eek: author’s last name corrected. Pretty bad when the book is sitting next to me on my desk!) When I asked Steve Coffman his advice about new revenue streams for My Place Of Work, without hesitation he said “Buy Patricia Martin’s book about sponsorships, ‘Made Possible By.'” He insisted on it!

What a great piece of advice. This book about developing sponsorships for nonprofits bills itself as “part tool-kit, part propaganda,” and it succeeds beautifully on both counts. I usually approach management and finance how-to books with my loin girded against mind-numbing language or pointless advice, yet “Made Possible By”…

* Is readable in under two hours, and the writing is pleasing, clear, and direct (“sponsorship is a business deal, not a donation”)
* Offers real-world advice (walks you through a sponsorship policy, for example, and explains the elements you’d want to consider for it)
* Starts from the assumption that nonprofit sponsorships are different than commercial advertising–but is clear that nonprofits have competition and that identifying this competition is crucial to sponsorship success
* Is pragmatic and focused (a key theme: it’s not about your need–it’s about your value)
* Includes gobs of sample letters, timelines, sponsorship agreements, and charts
* Includes a really good glossary featuring dozens of useful terms I was unfamiliar with, such as “open rate” (“The highest rate charged for magazine or newspaper space”)

As a bonus, it’s clear Martin likes librarians (“Your public librarian can be of enormous help in researching the competition. The information age has made them master navigators. …”).

This is a bookshelf classic that belongs in both the professional and public collection of any library that has dreams surpassing its income–which would be all of us. And it was fun to read, to boot!

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