5 Tips to Take Your Sponsorship Program to The Next Level

By Allison Scudder • April 1, 2022

Sponsorship programs are a key non-dues revenue source for associations and brands that support your members are looking for ways to connect with their current and potential clients on a deeper level. Are your current sponsor offerings designed to support all levels of donors?  

Not all sponsorship programs are developed equally. It is easy to get stuck in the same programs that have been offered every year while sponsorship opportunities are transforming as associations offer new hybrid events, launch online communities, and technology advances.  

Here are five tips on developing successful sponsorship programs for all your sponsors. 


Associations provide unique opportunities for brands to connect directly to their target market on a personal level. Events will always have their place in sponsoring and getting face-to-face interaction; however, the pandemic has forced all industries to think differently about connecting with their audience. Each of your digital communication channels offers a new opportunity to connect sponsors with your members.  

This can include: 

  • Directing your members to sign up for a sponsor’s webinar or online education classes.
  • Allowing sponsors to place advertisements in newsletters, on career centers, or on a blog.  
  • Creating a new affiliation program that is offered to members only.
  • Promoting the sponsor’s new products and services on social media. 

Brands want to connect directly to their current customers and generate new leads. Connect your members with the content already being produced by your sponsors.  


Members are the biggest asset to any association and to the sponsors who support them. Engaged members will invest more time and attention to the services that are provided. Ongoing surveys will give you important insights into the business needs of your members. Utilize this information to connect your members directly to the sponsors who can resolve these issues. 

Learn the needs of your members to develop your sponsorship packages by giving them the opportunity to show case how they can solve the needs of your members.  


Your members are providing you with valuable data every day. This can be collected through email campaigns, mobile app engagement, social media, polls, webinar sign ups, and more. Data is essential for sponsors to understand the value of the offerings in your sponsorship packages. When you can show exactly who your audience is and how they interact with your association, your sponsors can tailor their efforts to meet your members where they are. This type of data can include demographics, interests, or geographic location.  

To provide additional value, your association can create case studies based on this data to use in marketing and sales campaigns for the next year. It not only proves value for your sponsors, but also can be used to attract new sponsors for the upcoming year.  


You should invest time in these relationships with your sponsors in the same way you invest in your members. By providing your sponsors with a survey or hosting quarterly or annual town halls throughout the year, these allow them to voice their needs without the push of a hard sell at the end. Learn what you are doing well and where they see opportunities to grow and better your processes. Sponsors are also able to fill the needs of your members. The information gathered from sponsors can be used to fine tune your offerings to fit exactly your sponsors’ needs and provide continuing value to them.  


Your sponsorship offerings, whether they are in pre-fixed packages, or offered a la carte, should be priced appropriately. Every asset should have a researched market value attached to it. Using previous years’ data (views, clicks, attendance, etc.) can provide true value benchmarks of where you can price your offerings. This is especially important for small- to medium-sized associations who have larger sponsors who are looking for niche access to your members.  

After campaigns conclude, provide your sponsors with a full report on how each of their commitments were fulfilled. It is the association’s responsibility to provide proof that expectations were exceeded, or how your association will pivot next time to have a better result.  

The association is the bridge between sponsors and members. It is the responsibility of the association to ensure that the needs of both groups are met. Naylor Association Solutions has comprehensive tools to take your offerings to the next level. By providing strategic and tactical knowledge, our team can help your association better engage members while positively influencing non-dues revenue from your sponsors with content and engagement tools, event management, and software solutions.  

If you like to learn more about our tools that can take your sponsorship program to the next level, click here.