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Topic: Advertising/PR

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Setting Sponsorship Levels For A Nonprofit Event

Posted by BobetteKyle on 250 Points
I am on the board of a nonprofit organization that is planning a literary festival for October. It will be a two day event. Book authors will rent booths to sell and sign books. There will also be events such as a book cover contest, short story writing competition, etc. We are also discussing having craft booths on the periphery.

This will be the first literary festival ever for our city so we have no prior experience. We are just now in the beginning planning stages and are setting and defining sponsorship levels. (In truth, to be most effective, planning would have started last year, before a lot of funds were committed by potential sponsors, but it is what it is.)

Any money remaining after paying for venue rental, catering, etc. will be put back into the community through additional organization activities, so we see this as an opportunity to build the organization's funds.

I would like to get input on possible sponsorship levels - dollar values plus what the corporations would get for purchasing the sponsorship. We have discussed tieing sponsorships to advertisements leading up to the event, an event poster, t-shirt/sweatshirt, and tote bag.

For those of you involved in sponsorships, do you have some sponsorship examples and advice for us?


  • Posted by Michele on Accepted
    As this is the first event of it’s kind, you are going to be hard pressed to show real stats how many people should visit, what kinds of people will visit, etc.

    The best kinds of sponsorships are those where there is a natural fit between the clients business and the item being sponsored. Think of value exchanges rather than cash payments. E.g Avis donates the use of their old hire cars to deliver schoolbooks to rural areas; Price Waterhouse donate accounting services to an HIV AIDS centre.

    The key questions to ask are: what do you need, and who can best give it to you. You need a venue – rather get an organisation to donate the use of space, and make them a key line sponsor. You need catering – have a catering company do the catering at a reduced rate in exchange for promoting their business through flyers and brochures – better still, outsource the catering and charge them 10% of what they take as their charitable donation.

    I doubt that you will ‘sell of a rate card’ as each deal will be slightly different. Try and commit some company to sponsor advertising for the event. I’m not sure if it is the same in the States, but sponsorship may be tax deductible if it is a charitable donation. This may be an added incentive to a corporate.

    You could try and contact Richard Busby at BDS Sponsorships UK ( I attended a seminar he gave, and he knows his stuff. There are a number of interesting case studies on their website.
  • Posted by BobetteKyle on Author
    Thank you for the resources and ideas.

    Michele, I like your idea of value exchanges. In fact, we are doing exactly what you suggested with the venue. We are using a city-owned park and will be listed right beside us as co-sponsor. They've donated catering and clean-up services. The director also has high-level contacts and is fairly confident she can get one of our former Governors to make a showing and act as honorary chairman.

    Is there perhaps another Website for BDS sponsorships? The URL above says the domain is for sale?

    Thanks again!
  • Posted by Michele on Member
    Whoops. Typo. Try

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