What is a sponsorship?
A Sponsorship is an agreement between an advertiser and a business or individual. In return for promoting its services or products, a business or individual will receive something in return from a sponsor – usually financial.
In regard to student groups, you could have a sponsor of your student group who give you money for promotion. You could also have a sponsor for a single event or campaign that your student group is running.
Why get a sponsorship?
The primary reason of having a sponsor is for immediate financial gain as you can make money from a company for promotion. Having a sponsorship can also lead to further business relationship with that company, and therefore more future opportunities and financial gain.
Having a sponsor can also lead to unique opportunities or discount for your student group members. For example, if a taxi company sponsors your student group, your student group members may be entitled to discounted taxi journeys.
How to get a sponsorship?
The simple answer to this question is that message companies and sell yourselves. External companies are looking for what they will gain from this sponsorship so you need to impress them.
There are a few things you can consider when doing this.
- Firstly, analyse your student group and compile a list of things about your student group that you can offer to your potential sponsorship. For example
- Do you run a large event every year that may interest a sponsor?
- Do you run a fundraising campaign every year that may interest a sponsor?
- Do you have a large membership base?
- Do you have a large group of a specific demographic within your members that may be of interest to a sponsor? For example, do you have a large female demographic? Do you have a large LGBTQ+ membership?
- Look around for companies that will fit your student group members and the activities your student groups undertakes. This isn’t essential as unrelated companies may still want to sponsor you. However, companies with a link to your activities, for example, a wool producer sponsoring knitting and crochet society, may be more likely to sponsor you and may make more sense from your members perspective. It is also means members may have access to unique promotions that they are more likely to use.
- Send a well-worded email to companies and pitch a sponsorship. You could either detail what you are looking for, for example a sponsor for a specific fundraising event, or you send a more general email pitching yourself and ask if there was a chance to negotiate what a sponsorship agreement could like. Be sure to sell yourselves in this email by letting companies know the great things you do and the people you can reach.
- Be confident and negotiate if you feel it is necessary. You can always ask for something ot be amended, increased, decreased or clarified to lead to a better deal. Even if you don’t get the answers you want, at least you know you tried to improve the deal and can then either move on or accept the agreement.
What to look for in a sponsorship?
Generally, a good sponsorship is one where the agreement is...
- Fair in terms of payment and what the company expects of you.
- Realistic. Your student group has to be able to deliver what you are agreeing to
- A good fit for your student group. Consider how your members will perceive this sponsorship, whether it will be beneficial in the long run, and the image and morals of the company you are allowing to sponsor you.
- Professional and legitimate. All sponsorships should be written and signed, ideally in a contract form.
You should avoid sponsorships if...
- The company is asking for too much or is unrealistic. For example, they are asking for a percentage of your membership sales
- The company is unprofessional
What to do before you sign a sponsorship?
Before you sign any sponsorship agreement, you need to send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to review. They will look at it to ensure it is achievable within our financial processes and parameters and will ensure you are not being ripped off.
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