Philanthropy, Professional Athletes, Tips and Advice

Why Should Nonprofits Partner with Athletes?

Nonprofit professionals are working hard every day to support their organization’s mission. Their development teams are working to find supporters and donors to raise money for their initiatives. Their marketing teams are attracting followers and fans through telling stories of how they are making the world a better place. Their programming teams are working to create efficient programs and services to put into the community and make them better.

Sound like your organization? 

There are more than 1.5 million nonprofits in the United States alone that are all asking for people’s attention, time and money. The causes are important, but sometimes there just isn’t enough support, funding and awareness to go around. Because of this, nonprofits need to be creative and find ways to stand out among their fellow organizations. But how? 

One word: Partnerships. More than one word: Partnerships with athletes. 

Working with athletes is a great way to creatively promote your organization. Why? Athletes can reach people that your organization can’t. It’s that simple. People want to be in the room with athletes. They’ll take meetings with athletes. People will support a cause or become a fan of a certain product or team for sometimes no other reason than the fact that their favorite athlete is involved. 

Unique Audience on Social Media

Athletes have been stars and followed by friends, family members and fans alike since their high school years. Many athletes have both a local and a national audience, which is great for both small and large nonprofit organizations. 

Athletes have been gaining fans organically through their success in sport, doing media interviews, and signing endorsement deals. They have an audience of fans that are following and listening to what they have to say.

Front Office Sports took a look at just how powerful athletes are in today’s digital media landscape. They found that athletes have a combined 1.7 BILLION followers on social media. They have an engagement rate of 3.36%, more than triple any publishers or properties. 

What does this mean? People are already consuming the content that athletes are sharing- and not just looking at it, but clicking links, sharing with friends and commenting. Take advantage of this audience for your next fundraising campaign. 

Desire and Expectations of Community Impact

Many athletes are already giving back to their communities or are eager to start. They are in an industry that makes a lot of money, and fans expect to see athletes being role models and mentors in their communities. 

Some athletes start their own nonprofits, but struggle to maintain and create long term, sustainable impact. Why not get these athletes instead involved in a big way with the work you are already doing? 

Take that athlete’s intention and motivation to do good and find a way to implement it into your marketing and fundraising plans. Is there a PSA that they can record? A fundraising campaign they can support and share? Can they create organic relationships with corporate partners and sponsors? Find out what your organization needs to reach the next level, and brainstorm how an athlete partner could help you reach your goal. 

Athletes can be Allies for the Work You Do

You may not realize how powerful an athlete’s voice is until you see who is listening. It’s not just donors, fans and followers on social media. Athletes have the power to speak out for the voiceless and stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. They have a platform that gives them an opportunity to speak to a large audience. 

Athletes are also role models. If your organization works with young people, what better way to encourage them than to bring in someone they already listen and look up to? 

An athlete can be a powerful ally for the work you are doing in the community, and further empower and inspire the people you serve as well as the people who support you. 

So, next time you are looking for creative ways to gain support, consider looking for an athlete who wants to help. 

Where do you start? Have no fear. We offer workshops that can help your team master the process of brainstorming, designing and implementing sustainable partnerships with athletes that are mutually beneficial to both your organization and the athlete’s brand. 

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to stand out among the crowd! Contact us today to learn more and get an edge on the competition. 

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