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
- The Dean’s Office and program managers assess sponsorship opportunities and fund them from central or program accounts.
- When a faculty or staff member learns of a sponsorship opportunity, the following questions should be applied (see below for more detail):
- What type of sponsorship is this?
- What are the benefits to SOE?
- What sponsorship tiers and benefits are offered?
- After initial assessment, the faculty and staff member should alert the following offices for go-ahead and to initiate procedures :
- Office of the Dean—for go-ahead, tracking, and potential logistical assistance
- Budget Office—for funds, tagging, and tracking
- Marketing and Communications—for branding, marketing, and news opportunities
Sponsorship Opportunity Assessment Questions
What type of sponsorship is this?
- Is it a cross-campus or local sponsorship (lower tier) or a national or international opportunity (upper tier)?
- Is it a monetary sponsorship or an in-kind sponsorship (i.e., are we providing space? a speaker? other resources?)
- Is this an event we want to be associated with—given the topic, reach, and audience?
- 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?
- Especially if this is national or international opportunity (upper tier), will we receive a good return on investment?
What are the benefits to SOE?
- Will it provide an academic opportunity for our faculty and students?
- Will it advance our brand and reputation among peers?
- Will it showcase SOE core strengths (i.e., opportunities around disability and inclusion, antiracism, experiential pedagogy)?
- Will SOE be associated with another strong brand for reputation management?
- Will the opportunity engage the SOE community (i.e., is this an event that engages alumni? Will it help Advancement make leads)?
- At what level should we sponsor (see next question)?
What sponsorship tiers and benefits are offered?
- What are the various sponsorship tiers on offer?
- Is there an opportunity to mix monetary and in-kind payment to increase sponsorship yield?
- 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.)
- Is there room to negotiate for more benefits?