Fundraising Events and Sponsorship Categories

What Event Planners Need to Know About Sponsorship

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Although organizing a gala fundraising event may sound like “fun” to some, there’s a tremendous amount of work that goes into planning. Keeping an eye on the bottom line, event planners must stay focused on creating value for sponsors, which underwrites a significant portion of event costs and funds raised.

Nonprofit event planners are always looking for ways to raise money for their cause while keeping the operating costs low.

That's where event sponsorship plays an important role. There are a variety of benefits -- from exclusivity to logo visibility -- you may wish to offer event sponsors for your next special event.

The Role of Sponsors

Sponsors are always interested in the demographic of who will participate in the event, so they can devise the best method of getting their message in front of those folks. In addition, event planners must be aware of the important role of media visibility, pricing, and use of event logo rights.

Sponsor fees usually cover the operating budget of the event, which can amount to 25 to 30% of the total event cost.

Sponsorship Categories

One of the most desired benefits that all sponsors hope to secure with their sponsorship is category exclusivity, which is usually tied to the higher levels of sponsorship.

Common Benefits Included in Sponsorships

  • Logo inclusion on event marketing materials.
  • Right to use event logos.
  • Logo inclusion on the cause’s event website.
  • Recognition at all event meetings and ceremonies.
  • Dedicated team area for walk day program.

Value-Added Benefits for Higher Sponsorship Levels

  • Logo visibility on walk-t-shirts.
  • Banner place at walk site.
  • Right to exclusive sponsorship of a related program activity.
  • Speaking opportunities for company representative at ceremonies.

Exclusive Benefits for Top Level Sponsors

  • Category exclusivity at their respective level.
  • Right to exclusive sponsorship of a related program activity.
  • Speaking opportunities for company representative at ceremonies.
  • Corporate sponsorships enhance programming.

Common Elements in a Sponsorship Package

Sponsors consider return on investment (ROI) when measuring the value of sponsorships. And the most important elements include awareness and financial benefits.

Nevertheless, event planners who organize community events will determine sponsorship levels and direct benefits from the organizer to help support ROI objectives. Depending on the sponsorship level, visibility may include any portion or all of the following:

  • Signage/banner opportunities (stage, railing, towers, street pole, etc.)
  • Corporate logo on main stage
  • Category exclusivity
  • Promotional tent
  • Advertisement in program materials
  • Status level on event brochure
  • Corporate logo on event advertisements
  • Corporate logo at ticket windows
  • Mentions in radio advertising
  • Priority seating tickets
  • Use of corporate hospitality tents
  • Main stage presentations
  • Main stage mentions
  • Opportunity to bring inflatable for increased visibility
  • Corporate press releases with event press kits
  • Parking and delivery permits
  • Invitations to press preview party
  • Opportunity to distribute pre-approved sample items

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