We are a reader-supported education publication. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission to help us keep providing content.
Supporting education helps students grow and pursue their interests. It also reflects positively on the sponsor. So, companies and individuals can make a difference through education sponsorships. Here is everything you need to know about them.
How Do They Work?
An education sponsorship is support given to an event, person, or organization. This can include financial contributions or supplying products and services. For example, a sponsor may secure advertising spots for an educational event. However, the sponsorship provides mutual benefits since companies receive brand exposure.
Organizations can sponsor a variety of educational-related activities, such as sporting events. Many companies often support school clubs or athletic teams.
Difference Between Scholarship and Sponsorship
While these terms may seem interchangeable there are slight differences. Both provide funding support. Although, a scholarship is financial support given to a student to help them stay in school. These awards are usually given based on merit and economic needs. The money often covers tuition, textbooks, and meals. Students usually don’t have to pay these back. So, the organization supplying the funds isn’t given anything in return.
An educational sponsorship is support given to a student or organization. However, the company often expects something in return. This usually comes in the form of brand building.
Benefits of Education Sponsorship
Education sponsorships can provide both student’s and company’s benefits. Here are some of the main advantages of these sponsorships.
The funding provides students and communities with the educational resources they need. For companies sponsoring student organizations, the money helps the club put on events. It can also boost their credibility and help attract more members and sponsors. A company can also sponsor an international student. This can help children in third-world countries continue their education.
For the Sponsor
Businesses can receive benefits from their donations as well. By attending the club’s events, employers can recruit new talent for their team. Also, they can reach a wider audience which can help drive sales. This is also a less expensive advertising method.
Plus, by giving back to the community, companies can even enhance their reputation. Along with more leads, companies can receive certain tax deductions. For example, if your logo is on the jersey of a sports team, this isn’t considered taxable income.
How to Find an Education Sponsor
To find an educational sponsor, students need to do some online research. Non-profit organizations, such as The National Partnership for Education Access, help connect students to resources. They should try to find businesses that align with their organization’s goals. Also, they can see if any companies have sponsored similar events.
A certain company may even work with other clubs at their school. Another way to find sponsors is by working with their university to find resources. The school may have a good relationship with a specific company already.
When engaging with a sponsor, a student should emphasize how they can help the business. For example, they could promote them on their social media. Also, it’s important to write a strong proposal. Keep in mind the company may receive multiple requests. The organization should have clearly defined goals and expectations. It’s important students know how much money they want upfront.
Also, mentioning a personal connection with the company can help them stand out even more. To make the proposal more unique, they can visit the corporation in person. Students should also follow up to show their desire to work with the sponsor.
How to Become an Education Sponsor
If you’re interested in sponsoring, look for events that align with your company’s values. This is important because the organization you support is a reflection of your brand. Also, you want to sponsor events your target audience cares about. This can help you keep loyal customers and attract new ones.
Use tools, such as google analytics, to learn more about your consumer’s preferences. You can also engage with your followers on social media. See what things they’re posting about to determine which events will benefit your brand.
Another thing to consider is how much financial support the students expect. You want to ensure you have the money and resources to hold up your end of the deal. Also, you can provide no-monetary funds, such as equipment. So, ensure both parties are clear about what you are going to cover.
Also, determine how much exposure you can gain from the education sponsorship. For example, will your company’s name be mentioned in the event program? Also, make sure the education sponsorship aligns with your business goals. If you want to generate more leads, help advertise the event to ensure it’s well attended.
Examples of Companies Sponsoring Education
There are multiple well-known corporations currently offering education sponsorships. Wells Fargo is one of the top companies. They support organizations focusing on housing affordability, small business growth, and financial health. In 2021, they sponsored the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Leadership Institute. This program helps provide financial assistance and resources to black students.
Marriott has also created educational opportunities for Chinese workers in the hospitality industry. They created the J Willard and Alice S. Foundation to connect educators and industry leaders.
Here are some of the other corporations offering sponsorships:
- Dicks Sporting Goods
- Whole Foods
- State Farm
- US Bank
Tips for a Beneficial Partnership
Education sponsorships can be beneficial for both companies and students. However, for them to succeed, both parties need to work together. Here are some tips for creating a successful partnership.
1. Straighten Out the Details Immediately
The first step after securing an education sponsor is to put together an agreement. Both parties should sign these documents. Clearly state what the sponsor will provide and what they will receive in return. Try to come up with creative ideas to increase engagement with the company’s audience.
For example, the sponsor could give a gift to all the attendees at the events. Hold a meeting to discuss these details. This can encourage face-to-face communication and prevent any confusion down the line.
2. Have Open Communication
Students and their sponsors must communicate regularly. This ensures that everyone is on the same page. Leading up to the event, send email updates. If any last-minute changes occur let the sponsor know as soon as possible. Keep them in the loop about relevant details, such as who the speakers are.
Also, students may want to invite the employer to pre-activity events to get them more involved. This can also show them how much they value the sponsor’s support.
3. Check up on Your Sponsor
During the event, students should check in with the employer. It’s important they feel comfortable and taken care of. Consider having a few club members assigned to reach out to them a few times throughout the day. For example, bring them a plate of refreshments between speakers.
4. Follow Up After the Event
Once the event is over, students should stay connected with their sponsors. Follow up with them and discuss how they felt the event went. Companies want to know their return on investment is important to the club. Also, see if there is an area for improvement for the next activity.
5. Discuss Your Event Marketing Strategy
Before an event, discuss how you plan to market it. This should cover the type of media you plan to use. Both the organizations and sponsors promotional ideas should align. Being on the same page can help to create a cohesive partnership. When determining the best promotional strategy, consider making an online event page. Also, advertise the event on social media.
6. Follow Through
Both parties should follow through with what they agreed upon at the beginning. This helps to build trust between the students and the sponsor. So, if a student said they would mention the company in the program, they should make sure that happens. The sponsor then should provide the agreed-upon amount of funds or services.
7. Give Constructive Feedback
To get the most out of the sponsorship, both parties need to have an honest conversation. Suppose an event didn’t have a great turnout. Then both parties should figure out how to increase attendance for the next event. However, no one should be blamed; instead, focus on finding a solution.
8. Show Your Appreciation
Students should let the sponsor know that they value their support. They can send a personalized thank you note after the event. In the note, remind the company of the event’s name and how much money they offered. Also, briefly mention how it made an impact on the organization’s goals. Showing appreciation can lead to ongoing sponsorship.
9. Be Respectful
It’s essential that both the student and sponsor are kind to one another. While both can receive benefits, it’s important to keep in mind each other’s feelings. So, students shouldn’t just focus on the money but try to help the company reach a wider audience. The corporation should then figure out how to help the club accomplish its goals.
10. Be Open to Feedback
While club members have a vision for the event, they should still be open to feedback. Knowing how to take criticism is an important skill. This open discussion can lead to new ideas making the event an even greater success.
The Basics of an Education Sponsorship
An education sponsorship provides students and company’s a chance to grow. The money can help student organizations achieve their goals. It also gives businesses lots of exposure. So, consider becoming a sponsor today.