Reader's Opinions

Corporate sponsorship in SVG [OPINION]

By Cartwright Franklyn

The latest GSS [Georgetown Secondary School] boat ride is gone and it was fairly profitable, but it amazes me that a very large cooperation refused to pittance us anything. Certainly not for lack of resources, certainly the cause was noble education; I can also add that they knew we would not sell alcohol knowing that the bar alone could have covered most expenses.

Large-scale events readily obtain sponsorship as the sponsors receive significant promotion boosting brand equity. Only when similar reciprocal benefits can are assured do these giants sponsor small sale events, positive press coverage leading to good public relations (PR) for instance.

In my analysis, our lack of sponsorship was due to the perceived lack of national publicized PR associated with our fairly regional event.

These companies also never respond to neither official nor informal communication, at least man up and say no so that contingencies could be planned ahead of time.

One major company, for example, with a baseline cash flow of at least tens of thousands per day (likely significantly more), declined to donate EC$200- EC$300 worth of a particular product (and it was clearly pointed out that any amount, lets even say EC$$150 would have been welcomed) to be used as prizes (2nd-4th) for a small dance contest on board.

Still though, I thank Hairoun Brewery for sponsoring two cases of malt for invited dance groups on board and effective student ticket sellers. Coreas and Country Grocery supermarket for displaying a poster, and the Garifuna FM Djs for periodic shout outs of the event. This was our strategy regarding sponsorship, soliciting an extremely modest donation, two cases of malt in the case of Hairoun.

Next year, we will tap the same sponsors excluding those who contributed. This time, not only with letter and calls for feedback, but members of the PTA will make routine visits to the organizations.

If they still say no, or worse, refuse to respond, either a letter will be written to a major newspaper or better, the paper will be given this tagline “Two years in a row _________ says no to sponsoring school”.

After all what is the point of being a responsible corporate citizen if there is a reciprocity requirement for the least donation?

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8 thoughts on “Corporate sponsorship in SVG [OPINION]

  1. Cartwright, I believe that you, whether you are aware of it or not, and I are related – – – on both the Franklyn and “D” side. I am elated to see you in blogging, and enthused about this adventurous “outing” and such like broadening projects by my still-beloved GSS. See hello to the folks for me, please.

    But, I just cannot get your line of reasoning. I would suggest that you present your need to the BUSINESS CLASS, and let them come up with a suitable project activity, and the related sponsorship matters.

    You seem to be completely lacking in understanding of the authentic functions and ends-in-view of commercial/charitable sponsorship.

    You have simply got to be kidding about that apparent threat to potential sponsor(s). That’s just NOT the way it is done. Better to strategically select your preferred sponsors, and develop “pull” factors in favourably incentivizing them. Be a bit more creative, in fact a whole lot more. Its not unlike winning a girl – — – make yourself [or your class/school project/activity] IRRESISTIBLY ATTRACTIVE to any and all likely sponsors.

    Do not approach alcoholic beverage sponsors, if you or your group hold strong objections to imbibing such beverages. Then, again, a former A.G. left us with an uncertain, nebulous, even double-standard, policy position on THE USE OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES IN SCHOOLS OR AT SCHOOL FUNCTIONS. Whenever we sought advice, the powers that be, flirting with this hugely opague position, use to ‘privately’ counsel us to USE THE ALCOHOL, but don’t openly advertise it. For me, it was either it was “legal”, or, “illegal”. No pussy-footing about the matter. If ‘we’ were ever “caught”, then the shifty politicians would have completely washed their double-minded hands of the whole sordid matter. So, I would personally advise, from my small experience voluntarily organizing school functions security for several years, that ALCOHOL merchants should NOT be canvassed for sponsorship of school projects, activities, or functions.

    SORRY to disabuse you. But, THAT IS THE VERY RAISON D’ETRE for the concept of SPONSORSHIP. The businesses are in the business to achieve a break-even point, and go even beyond that to make a decent profit for their laudable efforts. They are NOT in the business in order to GIVE US A HAND-OUT. Their monetary and other resources belong to them, NOT to us. It is completely and absolutely THEIR PREROGATIVES to DECIDE HOW BEST TO UTILIZE THEIR FINANCES AND RESOURCES – – – including occassional or more regular sponsorships. There are certain logical and common-sense questions which they would normally ask themselves, prior to any such committment of resources. Those would closely guard THEIR own BUSINESS INTERESTS. Not ours. At least, not solely.

    Oh, some businesses are fairly or majorly magnanimous and charitable, but by no means all – – – not even most. They would be economically “stupid” to do otherwise. They would choose to sponsor events or groups – – – IN THEIR OWN INTERESTS. They do not owe us a living.

    Objectively, too, you would discover, if you haven’t yet done so, that private businesses are generally hesitant about sponsoring Government departments or institutions. Certainly, they usually put their proverbial foot down, when asked to help develop PUBLIC, i.e., Government land, real estate, buildings or other such property. We can see where they are coming from, especially LEGALLY.

    Please re-think your current strategy. Re-draw a new PLAN OF ACTION. Exercise some additional care in choosing or selecting your TARGETED businesses. Avoid alcoholic-interest businesses, for these school activities. Broaden your list of companies, variety wise. Do NOT choose MORE THAN ONE company/firm/proprietor IN THE SAME TYPE or LINE OF BUSINESS. You may use the tactic of garnering a few main businesses, maybe about FOUR – – – or, you may rather a wider collection of several smaller businesses, and, or, individuals. Yes, don’t forget to target highly likely, and able, INDIVIDUALS ALSO – – – not necessarily part of a business.

    Given your seeming mind-set, GET READY TO BE SOMETIMES SORELY DISAPPOINTED. You seem to think that some businesses [or one in particular] are hard on you or your group. Try targeting individuals! You will soon find that the most able, financially (yes, the ‘RICH’) are invariably the most “stingy” and “cravenous” skin-flints. THAT’S THE VERY REASON WHY THEY ARE CONSIDERED RICH. That the way or method by which they became rich. Often less financially blessed persons might be found to be quite generous and charitable.

    TO brow-beat, intimidate, coerce, black-mail, or otherwise threaten potential investors or sponsors would lead to the opposite of the desired effect – – – if it cannot also be found to be a tort, or a felonious act.

    Develop YOUR PRODUCT. What do YOU offer the sponsor. Do you have a school magazine or GSS newspaper, where they can get some favourable mention, appreciation, or acknowledgement? Do you list, thank, or note YOUR SPONSORS at your Staff Meetings, Student Assemblies, PTA Conferences, Annual Speech Day or Graduation Ceremonies? Do you, your GSS students, fellow Staff members, or Parents/Friends of GSS fraternize this business? Would your activity have mostly or all positive benefits to the students, School, or Community? Does the function/project pose any negative or deleterious effects or risks, which might also cause the sponsor business to be seen in a bad light? Do you regularly, promptly, positively, and most professionally otherwise PUBLISH your thanks or appreciation, and that of your Staff and Students to the generous sponsor?

    These should hopefully give you some ideas on developing a positive, wholesome, constructive, up-building, laudable, and attractive SPONSORHIP DEVELOPMENT PLAN. Make your planned function, activity, or project is exhaustively, comprehensively, and professionally conceived, planned, and executed/implemented. Remember FOLLOW-UP. Always remember your sponsors, and to profusely, repeatedly, sincerely, genuinely SAY THANKS. Be TOTALLY APPRECIATIVE 24-7. This thing of sponsorship is HARD WORK. It take careful CULTIVATION. From my sport coaching, I seem to like the culture of : WORK HARD, SMART, AND FAIR in CULTIVATING AND FOLLOWING GOOD PUBLIC RELATIONS, AND A GREAT SPONSORSHIP BASE.

    Do not negatively target, berate, or “bad-mouth” any business or other potential sponsor. You would NOT gain them. It would be most probable that you may actually LOSE ONE, SOME, SEVERAL, MOST, or ALL of your PRESENT SPONSORS as a direct result. You need to appreciate the broader BUSINESS CULTURE.

    An ethical, positive, and friendly approach to eligible sponsors would work much more effectively. Of course, you may win some, and you may lose some. Always remain unflappable. Don’t be a Sesame Street grouch. ELIMINATE THE NEGATIVE, ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE, AND DON’T MESS WITH MR. IN-BETWEEN.

    Amazingly, the very best public relations tips that I have ever had, are to be found in the reputed SERMON ON THE MOUNT, circa Matthew, chapter 5.

    “Do unto others . . . ”

    Here’s to many GREAT, FUTURE, PRODUCTIONS BY YOU and GEORGETOWN SECONDARY SCHOOL. I challenge you to use tolerance, modesty, balance, temperance, and decorum in your approaches to all business operators, especially prospective business sponsors.

    Say hello to all home for me. Soon.

    Of course, I could not help being provocative. So, you don’t need to respond here, below.

    Don’t believe the false communist propaganda that flatter us with the poisonous concept that business or free enterprise is evil, or, that the world owes us a living. Businesses or rich people do not owe us anything, when you come to think of it. The Almighty does NOT hate the RICH. Look at the fabulous wealth and riches of the Patriarchs ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND JACOB, beside JOSEPH. Witness the spectacular splendour of the famous KING DAVID, and his son, SOLOMON, our ancestor via the QUEEN OF SHEBA and MENELUK?

    It was Abraham LINCOLN who said the GOD MUST CERTAINLY LOVE THE POOR, BECAUSE HE MADE SO MANY OF THEM. But, he never opined that He in any way hated their opposites – – – the RICH.

    It is only the west indian COPYCAT communists who would attempt to falsely, lyingly, INDOCTRINATE YOU OTHERWISE. Down with ‘socialist orientation’. UP with Business. Up FROM Poverty. Strive toward prosperity, health, and happiness. Continue with your worthwhile work and extra-curricula, or, CO-CURRICULA, projects.

    Posted by STEVE_HUGGINS | June 7, 2012, 03:18
  2. Mr Chance, the author maybe frustrated but does he really think that his approach (which seems to me to almost amount to blackmail) is the correct one? Is this what we are teaching our children in school? if we dont get what we want, then we should threaten and attempt to intimidate businesses? Corporations are in business to make money!! It is the role of government to regulate their activites and to impose such taxes as they see fit. Does the author think that businesses have unlimited resources? Does he have any idea of the number of sponsorship requests that businesses get on a daily basis? Does it occur to him that if businesses replied positively to every sponsor request, then many of them would not be profitable. This would mean shutting down the business with resultant job losses. Can we see a little more responsibility please from those who are educating or are involved in the the edcation of our kids (as I assume Mr Franklyn is)? in addition, the word is Corporation and not cooperation as stated in the opening sentence above.

    Posted by Stephen Joachim | June 7, 2012, 08:19
  3. FRANKLYN, you are a very bad influence on the children of SVG. What you are suggesting is the use of blackmail to obtain your ends. The method you suggest is a criminal act.

    All companies and firms in SVG are in financial difficulty, they are suffering reduced revenues and fighting to save the jobs of their workers.
    Many are owed enormous amounts of money by the government, who pay no one because they are broke.

    If firms and companies hand out money it must generate further revenue, the old days of just giving money with no return have been destroyed by the ULP government.

    Why not just ask Donkey Dung Gonsalves or Francis the Philistine to subscribe from the huge amounts of US cash that they give away to family and friends. Ask them because Gonsalves once told us the Francis has more money than SVG.


    Posted by Peter | June 7, 2012, 08:41
  4. When i read Franklyn’s letter I became absolutely appalled at his attempt and threat to belittle business houses from whom GSS did not receive a sponsorship. I particularly like the responses of Huggins and Joachim which clearly indicates that the corporate responsibilities of PRIVATE businesses are completely voluntary. While voluntary the private sector contribute upwards of 95% of any donations received by different individuals, groups or organizations, this is despite the heavy taxes that are levied upon them.

    That said, these businesses also have their images to protect against any negative publicity that may arise from ill planned activities. Success of these planned activities does not mean always making a profit. A profit of which you, Franklyn, indicated you made from the event. So why the high cry? Or is it a “thump chest” approach simply because you made a profit. Use part of that profit to use into next year’s activity and make it grow.

    Am sorry to say to you that your profit did not make it a succesful event. An event which was promoted as a school event but was not limited to the type of persons accessing the event. You may not have sold alcohol on board the boat, but alcohol was definitely available and used. Not to mention the behavior of the kids at the event, being very reminiscent of a regular carnival boat ride with a lot of revelling.

    There is a need to manage events especially if it is being represented as a school promoted function and indeed your PTA failed here. This is the exact reason why some businesses are “very reserved” in terms of who they provide sponsorship to under their corporate image. It is not that some can’t or simply refuse. Do not attempt to count it simply by the dollar value.

    so go back and plan your events, ensure that the desired outcome is something that these business places would be proud of being a part of and then move to approach them. They must know what they are going to get out of the event, they must know this and be comfortable that no event not done directly by them will not affect their image.

    Posted by Rolynx | June 7, 2012, 16:08





    Posted by Peter | June 7, 2012, 16:29
  6. VINCYPOWA, see how the Gonsalves Marxist scum regime is affecting people, how people are copying the behavior of Gonsalves, and how your evil support is helping to destroy decent people.

    Posted by Peter | June 7, 2012, 16:32
  7. The problem here is that Mr. Franklyn doesn’t get how businesses work. He doesn’t know the understand net income, revenue, balance sheet, income statement, expenses, budgets or any of the fundamentals of running sound businesses. Furthermore, he believes that his request is the only one that matters, he can’t contemplate that that same business may have had and answered several request that same week or month. He doesn’t get staying within budget.

    The bigger problem is that the majority of our people share Mr. Franklyn’s outlook. All we want is a handout (sponsorship) instead of doing what we can afford and gradually working their way up to earning and affording more. That’s why the GSS school organisation is asking for sponsorship as opposed to running small fundraisers until they make enough money to have afford a large fundraiser like a boat ride.

    Are we a lost people? We can’t plan? We can’t think rationally, and when faced with disappointment, we don’t think of what we could have done differently or better, we just write a load of nonsense on the internet? Wow!

    Posted by Wow1020 | June 10, 2012, 15:56
  8. This article was dumb, no doubt about it, it was at the time my opinion and mine only. I cannot speak here of the frame of mind and a specific factor which spawned such garbage, but lets just say such are the misadventures of youth.

    The salient lesson here (for me) is that much extrapolation arises from one statement. I prefer to analyze patterns of behavior when assessing the knowledge, competence and philosophy of others.

    Screaming liberal and handout seeking socialist who cannot even spell corporate, very much out of line with my philosophy and training, but given the article I certainly cannot fault the characterization, its my product and thye only means of shedding light of an unknown quantity (me).

    I am fully aware of how business works, and especially that businesses are not beholden to aught and anyone. Generating employment is enough quite frankly, and many go beyond by equally enhancing and uplifting societal life.

    Many enquire about the business in particular, it would be remiss of me to identify, given the excess of my comments. I do however distinguish multinational conglomerates from mom and pops stores. Perhaps this will take some of the distaste out of the reader’s mouths, perhaps not.

    I am indefensible, the school however will be defended; take your agro on me and not the institution. The part at the end is offensive, ironically it was a joke and I know many of you will immediately comment on the bad taste and implications thereof subsequent to reading this response. It was as dumb a statement as I ever saw, soooo dumb its not funny.

    As previously stated I understand why these assumptions are projected unto the school, and they fall inline with traditional views of schools having a “beggermaid” posture towards fundraising, they are nevertheless misconstrued. I am no mendicant, but better call me such and not the school.

    I will stop here, most wished for it to be left alone, dying a natural death as such things do, it will eventually but I will nevertheless offer my sincerest apologies for any offense. This was stupid, I was stupid.

    Posted by C. Franklyn | June 11, 2012, 08:13

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