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Student groups make university life more fulfilling. Young people can explore new hobbies, develop skills, and prepare themselves for life after graduation. Funding makes it all possible, but not if you’re struggling to find money by sending cold emails and leaving voicemails with local businesses. Corporate education sponsors could be a much better option for your group if you know how to offer the best solutions.
These are a few benefits that make corporate sponsors excited to donate to student groups. With a bit of effort and creativity, any student-led organization can get the funding they need to do what they love.
1. Update Your Website
Digital marketing is one of the primary concerns for corporations looking to meet new consumers. Updating your website to include your sponsor’s logo is an effective way to entice more frequent donations. Your digital visitors will see the brand’s name or image on your homepage, giving them more exposure if they’re a regular donor.
Your sponsors will also enjoy the long-term marketing benefits of having a place on your website. Even if they only donate once or twice a year, their spot on your website will remain up every day and potentially introduce their business to new customers.
2. Create Logos on Shirts
Most sponsors for student groups want to add their logo to your t-shirts. If your group makes matching t-shirts for annual events or sports games, put your sponsor’s brand on the sleeves or across the front of the shirt. Their donation can pay for your t-shirt order and guarantee their continued support if your members wear their new shirts during most events.
3. Add Sponsors to Community Events
Many student groups focus on community outreach. You could serve food to the underprivileged or help organize adoption events for animal shelters. Corporate education sponsors may regularly donate if you add their brand to your outreach efforts.
Hanging a sign that reminds people the event was made possible by your donors will attract more local talent to their hiring pool and establish new community connections that promote brand awareness.
4. Provide Student Testimonials
Some businesses may want more of a personal effort for their donations. Arrange for two or three student testimonials the companies can put on their marketing materials in exchange for a sponsorship.
They’ll benefit from students talking about how their corporation gave them a unique personal growth opportunity because they can post the testimonials on their website or include them in commercials. New consumers may trust them more because people outside the business promise guaranteed results.
Arrange for a certain number of interviews and then discuss who wants to tell their story. Group members can talk about how their lives changed because your group received funding for specific events, like experience for their resume or friendships they formed.
People want to support companies that initiate positive change in their communities, which testimonials will account for.
5. Train Future Talent
Sponsors for student groups may also want to donate because it attracts future talent. Freshman and sophomore students who repeatedly see a specific corporation making their lives better are more likely to consider those businesses as prospective employers.
They’ll apply because they already have a personal connection with that brand, resulting in skilled applicants passionate about the corporation before starting their career.
6. Design a Banner
Exposure is everything to corporations, so designing a banner could be the most powerful benefit student groups can offer. Hang it on a fence at every sports event or over the entryway to chess competitions or musicals.
If more people learn that the corporation made your club possible, your sponsors will get priceless consumer expansion for their financial efforts.
7. Give Free Swag
Branded free swag giveaways can be some of the best benefits for education sponsors. College students love reusable free gifts like t-shirts, water bottles, and lanyards. The gifts double as a marketing tool for your sponsors, so offer to put their logos on whatever you give away.
You could also make signs that remind people how their free merchandise is possible. While setting up a pizza slice giveaway station on campus, set up a poster that displays your sponsor’s name and contribution.
Free food is a powerful way to capture new group members and corporate consumers. The average college student only has one hour to eat every day, which doesn’t leave much time for cooking meals. They’ll appreciate whichever brands give them free food on-the-go, so offer corporate education sponsors the opportunity to feed their community in return for brand exposure.
8. Impress Other Students
Affiliated group members will appreciate the corporations that keep their clubs going, but the sponsorships will also impress students outside your organization. Establishing a brand’s identity on your campus will influence young people to become lifelong supporters or future employees.
They’ll become more familiar with the corporations because their logos appeared at sporting events and sign-up events. It’s an easy way for brands to invest in their future. Remind them of this opportunity during your next discussion with potential corporate sponsors.
9. Post on Social Media
Social media presents a unique opportunity to corporations. It’s a direct connection to consumers that meets them where they spend their time. If your student group has a significant online following, offer to post about your corporate sponsors in exchange for donations.
Virtual posts are a faster, more modern form of a commercial. It only takes a few seconds of your time, but it includes the promise of going viral. Viral posts are tempting for businesses because they make brands stand out through memory-recall recognition. Every time someone laughs about the viral video or remembers the catchy theme song, the company will gain repeat customers because you helped them go viral.
10. Link to Corporate Sites
Links are another one of the most popular benefits for education sponsors. Include a direct link to your sponsor’s website or ongoing product promotions within your social media posts, website, or a university digital newsletter. Young people will click on the link and follow through with potential purchases or repeat visits, driving direct traffic.
Traffic results in increased sales or profits from ad exposure. For the price of ongoing donations to your student group, your corporate sponsors could permanently gain sales because those links will remain permanently online.
11. Discuss Possible Scholarships
While reviewing potential corporate sponsors for student groups, consider which brands could fund new scholarships. If an established business has a significant revenue stream, they might put students through a semester of school for free if they’re part of your group.
Scholarships might feel like a big financial ask. Requesting that much money could seem like an overreach of your relationship with sponsors. But they’ll get a tax incentive in return.
Corporations that give scholarship money can claim the money as tax deductions if there’s no requirement of the person receiving the money. They couldn’t get the tax credit if they required their logos on your t-shirts in exchange for the opportunity. Reminding corporate sponsors of this unique benefit could influence them to help your group members through this win-win situation.
12. Avoid Donations From Competitors
A few local businesses may donate to your group because they were part of the organization when they were students at the same university. Most donors will only provide funding because they want to expand their consumer base. Accepting their money before inquiring about funds from their competitors is rude.
It exposes your organization’s followers or event attendees to both brands, making it less likely for them to only purchase from your original donor. It’s a waste of a corporation’s time and money. They’ll get a more significant foothold in their desired market if they’re the sole donor from their industry.
Promise future donors that you won’t accept donations from their competitors to secure long-term funding.
13. Allow University Logo Usage
Flip logo usage on its head by allowing your donors to show off which groups and universities they support. It may require a meeting with your college’s media center or marketing department, but it could secure a new sponsor.
Corporations love showing off their connections to prestigious universities. They could include your school’s logo in their newsletters or post about their donations to your group online. Corporate education sponsors may form stronger brand relationships with consumers who graduated from your institution or look forward to attending one day.
14. Start Seasonal Sales
You may have experience with selling goods to boost your club’s revenue. Many people sell candy bars or snack foods to get money for upcoming events. If your group already does that, make it one of your benefits for education sponsors.
Paste their logo on your boxes or order personalized products with their symbol. You could hand out water bottles that mention your sponsors on the wrapper. This could be an attractive benefit if you have multiple sales per year and if your sponsor sells local goods. Students will remember seeing their logo on your merchandise and stop by their store on the weekends.
15. Give Them First Dibs
Your student group likely participates in sign-up events once each semester. They’re an opportunity to set up a table and meet new students who need ways to connect with friends. Give your sponsors an exclusive heads-up when you begin planning for these events.
They’ll have extra time to consider whether they want to put their logo on your products, freebies, or signable item. They could also supply water bottles or pizza slices to attract students to your booth. It gives their company more facetime with potential customers because their donations make them your preferred sponsors.
16. Make Video Ads
Some student groups post videos on YouTube or other websites. Your sports team could record or live stream a game and post the video afterward to give your sponsors more advertising opportunities. Some corporations may donate extra funding for recurring ads in your videos, which anyone can do with a little creativity.
Work with your sponsors to determine how they want their ad to look. They might want to feature a picture of their team or from a recent company event. They will also likely prefer specific wording regarding their brand, like a logo or quote from a glowing review.
Feature the ads throughout your videos for extra corporate exposure. If your video happens to go viral or reaches beyond the campus community, your sponsors will benefit from your marketing.
17. Allow Employee Discounts
Clubs or groups that sell tickets to events have an added advantage to attract corporate education sponsors. If your events are popular with locals, offer an employee discount specifically for your donors. They’ll strengthen their relationships with their team members and likely have better retention rates.
The discount doesn’t have to be significant. A few dollars off of your next performance or sports event is a way to give back to your sponsors while still increasing revenue through ticket sales and sponsorships.
Offer These Benefits to Corporate Education Sponsors
Student groups don’t have to stay self-funded. College students don’t often have extra room in their budgets even for their favorite hobbies or activities.
Consider using these benefits to attract and keep corporate education sponsors. They could catapult your group to new activities and a more extensive membership base, all because you gave them some incentive with exceptional benefits.