This protocol is a tool to assess, fund, track, and increase return on investment (ROI) on external sponsorship opportunities.

Why Use an External Sponsorship Strategy?

  • To better track external sponsorship outlays for budgeting and analysis.
  • To align sponsorships with SOE mission/brand/core strengths.
  • To ensure ROI by communicating sponsorship with the MCE Team, so that branding opportunities can be realized and news about sponsorships and partnership can be disseminated.
  • To realize the best sponsorship opportunities for an optimal mix of cross-campus, local, national, and international partnerships.  

Assessing and Initiating a Sponsorship

  1. The Dean’s Office and program managers assess sponsorship opportunities and fund them from central or program accounts.
  2. When a faculty or staff member learns of a sponsorship opportunity, the following questions should be applied (see below for more detail):
    1. What type of sponsorship is this?
    2. What are the benefits to SOE?
    3. What sponsorship tiers and benefits are offered?
  3. After initial assessment, the faculty and staff member should alert the following offices for go-ahead and to initiate procedures :
    1. Office of the Dean—for go-ahead, tracking, and potential logistical assistance
    2. Budget Office—for funds, tagging, and tracking
    3. Marketing and Communications—for branding, marketing, and news opportunities

Sponsorship Opportunity Assessment Questions

What type of sponsorship is this?

  1. Is it a cross-campus or local sponsorship (lower tier) or a national or international opportunity (upper tier)?
  2. Is it a monetary sponsorship or an in-kind sponsorship (i.e., are we providing space? a speaker? other resources?)
  3. Is this an event we want to be associated with—given the topic, reach, and audience?
  4. Who else is sponsoring the event? Do we want to be associated with them? Will our sponsorship be enhanced or diminished by the other partners?
  5. Especially if this is national or international opportunity (upper tier), will we receive a good return on investment? 

What are the benefits to SOE?

  1. Will it provide an academic opportunity for our faculty and students?
  2. Will it advance our brand and reputation among peers?
  3. Will it showcase SOE core strengths (i.e., opportunities around disability and inclusion, antiracism, experiential pedagogy)?
  4. Will SOE be associated with another strong brand for reputation management?
  5. Will the opportunity engage the SOE community (i.e., is this an event that engages alumni? Will it help Advancement make leads)?
  6. At what level should we sponsor (see next question)? 

What sponsorship tiers and benefits are offered? 

  1. What are the various sponsorship tiers on offer? 
  2. Is there an opportunity to mix monetary and in-kind payment to increase sponsorship yield?
  3. What additional benefits are included at various tiers (i.e., additional physical signage, complimentary tickets, speaking opportunities, VIP side events, naming rights for coffee stations, charging stations, recycling stations, etc.)
  4. Is there room to negotiate for more benefits?


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