In this article, we will be reviewing the basics of nonprofit sponsorship tiers, how to create your own sponsorship levels, and provide you with a series of useful nonprofit sponsorship levels templates. Let's dive in!
Who is this template for?
This template is for all nonprofit organizations.
What are the main sections covered in this template?
Editable template with three different sponsorship levels outlined.
Corporate sponsorships are a cornerstone of a great fundraising strategy. Corporate sponsorships are key to funding critical initiatives and can help facilitate strong connections to a community’s business sector.
With a set of well-developed nonprofit sponsorship levels, your organization can successfully construct a network of corporate sponsors, helping accelerate your growth and secure new sources of revenue.
In the following article, we will review the basics of nonprofit sponsorship tiers, how to create your own sponsorship levels, and provide you with a series of useful nonprofit sponsorship levels templates.
Let’s get started!
What Are Sponsorship Levels?
Let’s begin by tackling the basics: what are nonprofit sponsorship levels?
Essentially, sponsorship levels are tiered packages created by a nonprofits as means of persuading businesses to provide support for their organization in exchange for recognition.
Sponsorship levels communicate to businesses what type of recognition they will receive in exchange for a specific level of funding.
What makes corporate sponsorships so appealing to nonprofits and private enterprises is that both organizations benefit from the arrangement. The nonprofit receives funding or other types of support and the business receives positive recognition that they can leverage to cultivate a positive public image and market their brand.
For example, XYZ corporation could provide a $2,500 gift to support your organization and in exchange your nonprofit would print their logo in your annual report and other marketing collateral.
Very often, corporations will partner with nonprofit organizations in the planning and production of special events such as 5Ks, galas, auctions, and other events that draw in crowds so that they can market themselves to a large group of individuals.
Corporations will also sometimes sponsor specific programs or initiatives, but often this work is done through the grantmaking processes via the enterprise’s philanthropic arm.
Sponsorship levels are a great way to promote transparency and equity in your fundraising strategy—keeping everything clear, concise, and uniform. By assigning levels of giving with corresponding recognition packages, corporations will receive the same treatment and recognition regardless of other external factors or issues.
For example, if a new sponsor gives $3,000 dollars they will receive the same recognition and benefits stipulated by the corresponding sponsorship level, regardless of the fact that it is a new partnership.
Essentially, sponsorship levels provide businesses with flexible options for giving and set expectations for a potential partnership from the get go. Before an initial conversation about a potential partnership, businesses will understand how much they are expected to give and what they will receive in return.
Key Components of Sponsorship Levels
Nonprofit organizations can really get creative with their sponsorship levels! At the end of the day it is up to you to design the very best packages possible, ensuring they align with your organization’s objectives while making them appealing to potential businesses and corporations.
While sponsorship levels can differ radically from nonprofit to nonprofit, there are a few key components that any sponsorship level package should have.
1. Creative Naming Conventions for Each Level
One of the most important aspects of a sponsorship level package is the names of the levels.
Developing creative and memorable names for each sponsorship level is key to engaging sponsors and encouraging them to support your work.
One of the most common naming conventions for corporate sponsorship packages is “bronze”, “silver”, and “gold”. For the most part, it is universally understood that “bronze” is a lower tier or level while “gold” is the highest level. Many nonprofits choose these titles so that their sponsorship levels are clear, concise, and easy to understand.
However, other nonprofit organizations choose to come up with names for their sponsorship levels that align with the work of their organization or their mission—making them more memorable and engaging.
Take for example the Nebraska Repertory Theater. They have developed strong sponsorship levels with engaging names that call back to their work and overall mission. The names for their sponsorship levels, “Season” and “Show”, are aligned with their work as a theater company.
When creating names for sponsorship levels, get creative! A really great name can catch a sponsor’s eye, encourage engagement, and create interest.
Without question, the cornerstones of great sponsorship level packages are the benefits offered within each tier.
When creating each sponsorship level, consider the types of recognition available to businesses and what your organization has the capacity to offer.
Does your organization have a website? Offer to list corporations along with their logo on your website as a community partner.
Is social media the way you communicate with your audience? Include an exact number of social media posts that can be published featuring the corporation.
Hosting a large event? Include an option for businesses to have banners, signs, and other collateral present at the event.
Brand recognition is often why businesses pursue corporate sponsorships in the first place. So the more detailed you are in describing these benefits, the more competitive your sponsorship package becomes.
Consider also the desires of the types of sponsors you hope to attract. For example, the benefits that will be most appealing to large national or international corporations will probably be different from the benefits most appealing to smaller sponsors in your local community.
When developing your nonprofit sponsorship levels, knowing your audience is vital! Brainstorm with your team and think of the best ways your nonprofit can recognize your partners.
3. Giving Amounts
At the end of the day, the purpose of developing sponsorship levels is to bring in more support and additional revenue to your nonprofit organization. To that end, choosing a dollar amount to correspond with each benefits package is crucial.
Be thoughtful when determining the amounts you are requesting for each sponsorship tier. Sponsorship levels should not be random amounts or approximate guesses at what you think businesses might want to give to a nonprofit organization.
When creating each sponsorship level, you should always keep your ultimate objective in mind.
Are you hoping to bring in sponsors to fund your annual gala? Are you trying to meet a fundraising goal for a new program? Are you looking for support for your capital campaign?
Ask yourself these questions when you go about deciding the amounts you will assign to each sponsorship level. Remember, you need to be strategic when building out comprehensive sponsorship packages—so take your time and choose an amount for each level wisely.
When choosing your giving amounts, you should also take into consideration the different budgets of your potential sponsors.
For example, instead of offering similar giving amounts at $1,000, $1,500, and $2,000, you could widen the gap to potentially increase your own revenue and provide more flexibility to the businesses you partner with (e.g. $500, $5,000, and $10,000 levels).
Examples of Sponsorship Levels Templates
With the basics of nonprofit sponsorship levels now under your belt, let’s take a moment to review several nonprofit sponsorship level templates and examples that can guide you as you begin the process of creating your own.
The great thing about this collection of nonprofit sponsorship level templates from Slideteam is that you have several templates to choose from.
With a curated collection of 10 corporate sponsorship templates, you have a variety of choices so that you can identify a guide that will act as a solid foundation as you begin creating your own sponsorship levels and packages.
While it does not offer the variety that Slideteam does, SlideModel provides a tried and true sponsorship template that you can customize as needed.
This nonprofit sponsorship levels template is basic, featuring the ubiquitous bronze, silver, and gold sponsorship naming conventions. For a nonprofit just starting to work with corporate sponsors, this template can be a great starting guide to get you on the right track.
Keep It Colorado
Templates are a great way to guide you through the process of creating your own sponsorship levels. However, it is also important to look to other organizations in your sector to draw inspiration from and get pointers on how to develop the very best corporate sponsorship levels and packages.
A great example for corporate sponsorship levels can be found from the sponsorship packages designed by Keep It Colorado, a nonprofit focused on land protection and conservation.
Keep It Colorado has created very straightforward sponsorship levels with clear benefit packages. What really sets these sponsorship levels apart is the uniqueness of the naming conventions: “Peak Partner”, “Prairie Star”, and “Colorado Champion”. These names align strongly with the mission of the nonprofit, keeping that work at the center of their corporate sponsorship program.
3 Tips on How to Make the Best of Sponsorship Levels
Here are just a few tips that can help you develop competitive sponsorship levels so that you can secure additional revenue for your organization:
Establish Fundraising Objectives
When you first get started creating sponsorship levels for your corporate sponsorship program, you will need to establish overall financial goals and objectives.
Do not create sponsorship levels without a set fundraising amount in mind. Knowing your budget and the amount you need to fundraise will help you develop sponsorship levels that are best positioned to assist you in meeting your fundraising goals.
Incorporate Your Branding
As we’ve learned throughout this article, brand recognition is key for businesses and it's the primary reason they seek out sponsorship opportunities with nonprofits.
That being said, brand recognition is essential for nonprofits as well. When creating sponsorship levels and developing sponsorship packages, be sure to utilize your nonprofit organization’s branding as you work to establish partnerships with corporations.
Don’t Forget Contact Information
Don’t forget to include the right contact information when creating your sponsorship packages. Be sure that businesses can easily contact someone within your organization who is certain to respond to any inquiries right away. The more efficient you can make the sponsorship process for potential partners, the better!
Focus on Impact
When developing strong sponsorship levels, it is always important to find ways to focus in on the work of your nonprofit organization and the importance of the impact you make on your community.
Your organization’s mission should always be first and foremost when making sponsorship levels and developing sponsorship packages.
Creating nonprofit sponsorship levels is the first step to developing a strong corporate sponsorship program, allowing you to bolster your nonprofit’s overall fundraising strategy and secure new sources of revenue.
We hope that the advice and templates included in this article will help you as you create compelling sponsorship packages for your nonprofit organization.
Want to learn more about how to grow your nonprofit’s fundraising program? Visit the Instrumentl blog for more guidance and helpful tips on how you can help your nonprofit organization succeed!
With the right tools, nonprofits can quickly scale fundraising and programming and take back their time. But, what makes something the “best” tool? And how do you justify an additional expense in a resource-constrained organization? Download this guide to learn more.