Although corporate giving should not be the focus of fund development efforts for organizations overall, it can be an important component of the annual fund.  And, some organizations lend themselves particularly well to a comprehensive program.

Corporate, service club, faith, and student groups can make more informed decisions when you offer them either a comprehensive sponsorship or comprehensive partnership package.  You benefit because a single solicitation annually frees your valuable time for deeper cultivation opportunities.

So, what are they exactly?  Comprehensive packages share these characteristics:

  • They are part of your annual fund strategy.
  • You send one solicitation per year in which you offer a menu of tiered offerings, graduated from small to large, with benefits calibrated to financial size.
  • Donors have some choice and flexibility.
  • Donors care about your mission but also appreciate the self-interested “halo effect” they derive from association with your nonprofit.

Comprehensive sponsorships focus more on event benefits.  Your sponsors will still receive valuable touch points from you throughout the year in order to cultivate relationships.

While both comprehensive sponsorships and partnerships provide your donors visibility, comprehensive partnerships offer a variety of ways for them to engage with you.  This can be through events, volunteerism, education, workplace giving, complimentary memberships or use of your facility, and more.

What do you have to offer your sponsors outside of event benefits? What volunteer engagement activities can you offer your sponsors?

These two questions help determine which path is best for you.

So which is better for you?  Start with some self-analysis of your organization and donor base.

    Sponsorship     Partnership
          X           X Your donors value events and local visibility
          X You have limited time, staff and energy to support a comprehensive plan
          X You have other high-value marketing opportunities for your sponsors outside of events
          X Your donor may add value through expertise, connectivity, etc.
          X Your nonprofit has a significant volunteer opportunities


Whichever route you choose, these key steps will help you design your comprehensive program:

  1. Determine what benefits donors can receive and distribute these across tiers you establish. Identify the donation amount associated with each level.
  2. If you’re creating a comprehensive partnership program, what engagement options would your donors value?
  3. Bomb proof your plan. Confirm you can fulfill the benefits you provide.  Are the tiers graduated appropriately?  Does the monetary value of all benefits exceed 30%?   (An added benefit of this exercise is that it helps you determine the non-deductible portion of a donor’s gift.)
  4. Identify whom you’ll approach.
  5. Meet with your donors to explain your comprehensive program and gain their support.
  6. Listen during these meetings and document their wishes. It will help you with cultivation and guide changes to their partnerships with you.

Ultimately, both of these programs are best for growing and cultivating existing sponsors and relationships. Through the process, you will learn what your donors value about your organization as you begin to build stronger relationships with them and offer them opportunities to have a deeper investment in your mission. And remember, this is not a one-size-fits-all approach. If you are trying to determine the best program for your organization, please reach out to us so we can help you!