Why Listening to Your Sponsors Matters
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Ball planners worked with potential sponsors to find the right channel for their support.
The 28th Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Ball on Saturday saw an increase in its sponsor support this year. Going into the event, sponsorships had brought in $200,000 more than in past years. Executive director Beth Gorman credits the change to the organization’s dedication to creating sponsorships that fit the needs of the sponsor, rather than the other way around.
“It’s really about listening to our sponsors to see what they are looking for and what’s important to them, then offering them options of what we can do that’s creative and different,” Gorman said.
Pharmaceutical company Amgen approached the nonprofit about its desire to sponsor the event and how to tie the company’s focus on research together with that of the society's mission to provide research and better treatments for blood cancers. The result: the inaugural sponsorship of the James L. Eichberg Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented to the McLaughlin family for its support of the organization and dedication to research and awareness in the community. This marked the first time a family received the award, which has been traditionally presented to a single person.
Presenting sponsor PhRMA, returning at this level for the second year, also approached the society about doing a different activation this year with its sponsorship. The organization sought to showcase its recent findings on medicines currently in development for blood cancers through signage throughout the reception space at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
“There’s been a shift,” Gorman said. “Sponsors want their logo out there, but they want people to see them as a strong corporate citizen and highlight how they are supporting the community.”
Another factor contributing to the uptick in sponsor dollars included the return of the $50,000 level, which had previously been passed over by companies. Past sponsors looking to upgrade from the $35,000 level, without the budget to reach the $75,000, requested to have the intermediate level back in order to gain more visibility with their support. The additional perks attracting top-level sponsors included more tables in the ballroom and speaking or video presentation opportunities.
Overall planners said the event raised $3.13 million, exceeding the goal of $3.1 million.
- Featured Venues/Suppliers: