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What You Need to Know About Sponsorships and Its Different Types

By LeanStream Engagement on September, 23 2021

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Organizing a school fundraiser is supposed to be fun. However, it’s not always that way. There is a huge amount of work that goes on behind the scenes. As the organizer, you have to keep your eyes solely on the outcome. Since school fundraisers are nonprofit events, you must also keep the operating costs as low as possible.


Perhaps more importantly, you have to engage with sponsors without whom the event cannot be successful. They underwrite a big chunk of the costs and funds raised.


That is easier said than done. After all, sponsors are also looking for value before they can sponsor your event. They want brand recognition, visibility, and industry clout. If your event cannot provide value to the sponsors, they will give it a wide berth.


That said, not all sponsors are the same. There are different types of sponsors that you can work with depending on the goals of your fundraising event. This article looks at the four types of sponsorships that you can invite to your special school event.


But first, let’s discuss the role of a sponsor.


What Is The Role Of Sponsors?

As previously mentioned, sponsors contribute a certain amount of money to your event in exchange for some benefits. They want to know the composition of your event audience (demographics) to devise ways of maximizing their sponsorship. A good number of sponsors only support events that have something to do with their products and services. For instance, a restaurant may want to sponsor a food-related event for an opportunity to sell their food and related items in the event.


Some sponsors look for the largest fundraising events within their locality to achieve promotional advantages while also giving back to the community. It is not uncommon for events to bear the name of their primary sponsor. In a nutshell, sponsors are a fundraiser’s lifeblood.


The 4 Types of Sponsorships

Financial Sponsorship

The first thing that springs to mind when you think about sponsors is money. In this type of sponsorship, a sponsor funds an event by giving money directly to an organization or campaign organizers. In return, a cash sponsor gets recognized for their contribution through specified publicity. As a result, cash sponsorship is the primary source of funds, especially for nonprofit fundraisers.


A cash sponsorship works similarly to TV commercials. The advertiser benefits from the money while the company reaps from the publicity targeting a specific audience.


Depending on the size of their contribution, the cash sponsor may have a special place reserved for them at the event.


In-Kind Sponsorship

An in-kind sponsor doesn't give financial support. Instead, they provide goods in exchange for promotion at the event. An example of an in-kind sponsorship is a t-shirt company that provides free t-shirts to attendees of an event. It is a win-win for all involved, and more so the sponsor as the retail value of the goods provided is usually less than the cost of buying those products. It is also a chance for the company to show off the quality of their products.


There is another type of in-kind sponsorship known as a giveaway sponsor. An example of a giveaway sponsor is a bicycle manufacturer giving away a bicycle in a raffle contest to contribute to a fundraising event. It not only excites the attendees because they stand a chance to win something but keeps them talking about the bicycle and, by extension, the company offering the giveaway. Again, it's a win-win for everyone involved.


Media Sponsorship

Media sponsorships are pretty straightforward. The sponsors advertise the event as their way of sponsoring it. Such kinds of sponsors include social media channels, radio, television, and print media. As the organizer, this means you spend less marketing and popularizing an event. Small businesses can also collaborate with the media sponsor to coordinate the marketing drive. For example, a marketing consultancy can write an article about an event and share it with media outlets for release.


Alternatively, a company may purchase advertising space on behalf of the organizers. They may also publish content related to the event, for instance, blog articles, in their own [social] media channels.


Promotional Sponsorship

Promotional sponsors are very similar to media sponsors. Where they differ is promotional sponsors are mostly individuals instead of companies or media outlets. A promotional sponsor offers to advertise and popularize an event or fundraising drive on their personal media network. Instagram has become an especially useful tool for promotional purposes. Around 60% of users claim to have discovered new items on the platform. A promotional sponsor with a huge following on Instagram is, without a doubt, a big asset for an event organizer.


Sponsorship Benefits

As earlier mentioned, both the event organizer and sponsor must find ways of benefitting. Sponsors primarily consider the return on investment before sponsoring an event. The benefits are either monetary or publicity. For example, a restaurant can significantly boost its sales and publicity by sponsoring a fundraising event, especially as important to the community as a school fundraiser.


Ultimately, it is important to note that a sponsor's primary concern is not how they can help but what you can do for them (in return for their investment). They don't sponsor an event purely out of goodwill. As an organizer, you must convince your sponsors how they will benefit from their presence at your event. They must know the target audience. For example, a 5km charity run is most likely going to attract people below their 40s. As an organizer, you can list the businesses likely to target such a demographic and approach them for sponsorships.


Final Word

We have covered the four types of sponsorships, each with a varying contribution to an event. Knowing these types of sponsorship helps you choose the appropriate sponsor accordingly. Now the next step is for you to acquire sponsors for your school event.


Remember, LeanStream is here to partner with you by helping you engage donors, raise money, and support education. We connect the entire education family by providing online fundraising, e-commerce, fees management, and donor engagement solutions – all in one place. For inquiries, Contact Us and speak with members of our knowledgeable team.



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