Sponsorship Plans: Making the Choice


Jason E. Ebey, IOM

If your chamber is thinking about sponsorship plans, there isn’t one perfect plan, just like there isn’t one perfect chamber. Your leadership needs to evaluate various types of plans and determine what will work best for your chamber.

There are four types of sponsorship plans:

  1. Per event
  2. Annual bundled program
  3. Sponsorships through tiered memberships
  4. Total resource campaigns.

Once your chamber identifies what type of plan it has or would like to execute, it needs to determine the goals of the plan.

  • Are you looking strictly for financial revenue?
  • Do you want to initiate organizational pride?
  • Are you looking for an increase in awareness for your organization throughout the community?

Next, your chamber will need to determine what inventory will be included in the plan. Items we are seeing trending nationally include:

  • Workforce Development/Education programming and events
  • Women’s initiatives
  • Medical events & First Responder recognition programs

Educational seminars during the lunch hour (aka “Boxed Lunch & Learn” series with attendance cost of $10-25) are being replaced with substantial professional development programs – at least half a day – with at least $100 admission. Chamber leadership programs are being reinvented to include professional development components as business leaders are saying “city field trips” aren’t enough any more.

Selling the Inventory

Once your inventory is established, you have to make certain you can articulate your programs. If you can’t explain it in a very short narrative, you probably won’t be able to sell it because your sponsor won’t be able to sell it to their customer base either.

You also need to be sure you can answer what the program is really worth. Beyond the budget, is the topic relevant and unique, and is the audience popular to the sponsorship.

Think through the real value of each sponsorship, of how a business could market it, of how a business could benefit from it.

If you need help working through the details of sponsorships, contact YGM at ebey@ygmtrc.com. We will be happy to discuss it with you.

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