Event Sponsorship Levels

Do you struggle setting levels for your sponsorship events? Ever wonder what is too high or what is too low? I think those are questions everyone struggles with when you first start a sponsorship program.

Before you set your levels make sure that you have some way to steward and work with these groups (see my post on starting a business program). It is also useful to have a gift acceptance policy and have talked about beforehand how you will negotiate with sponsors regarding their cash and in-kind gifts. I’m getting ahead of myself.

When starting a sponsorship program make sure that you know your history. Many organizations have programs in place with historical sponsors to those programs. Take the levels that you currently have and have an internal discussion about if they are working. Is it really easy for you to get a high level sponsor (then your levels might be too low)? Do you traditionally have a lot of major sponsorship gifts or is it all small size gifts (levels too high)?

Note: I want this blog to be about what your nonprofit needs and questions are. Please let me know if I am talking about information you are interested in or if you have specific or general questions.

Reader Question: “We’re having a concert/gala for our young ladies in my church. These are people of our own community in need of a lot of assistance because of the rural area we live in. There are scholarships that we want to give to these young people, along with gifts and monetary offerings to make sure their focus remain on obtaining the goals set forth for their futures. Can you assist me in the necessary things I need to get started [with promotions]?” – Sheila

A Small Change: In terms of promotion I would talk with the parents and friends of the students and ask for their help in inviting friends. I would also let them know you are looking to secure some sponsorships. If it is the first time you’ve done an event like that make sure you know your budget and set a fundraising goal. Then ask a couple of local businesses to help sponsor it. I’d start with some of the community banks. Let them know you’re have a sign with their logo or announce them on the stage.

Reader Question: “I’m planning a cross-country “march”. My goal is to raise funds to help the families of soldiers who were wounded or killed in the Afghanistan war. I’m sure that having local sponsors along the way would be helpful, but without knowing specific times as to when I will be in their respective areas, would requesting their sponsorship be wise? Also, how would I be able to reciprocate sponsorship, to ensure that companies also benefit?” – David

A Small Change: How are you planning on promoting the event? There are a few easy things you can do for sponsors. Use your website to post the logos of your sponsors. Or, maybe you could have a special page where your sponsors could share a word of encouragement. For most race type events a great promotion tool is the t-shirt. Put the logos of your sponsors on it. That is a great practical way for sponsors to benefit. If it’s just you “marching” then maybe donors can get a t-shirt for a donation of a specific size.

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