How to Create a Compelling Sponsorship Offering

Sponsorship is a valuable source of funding for many associations. Tailoring a compelling sponsorship package is crucial for associations looking to create a package that appeals to potential sponsors to secure their support. Following are important elements to consider when creating your compelling sponsorship package.  

Identify your target audience.

Before you start putting together your sponsorship package, understand who your target sponsors are and what they are looking for. Consider the type of organisation you are targeting, their industry, size, and goals, and tailor your package accordingly.

Define your value proposition.

Sponsors aren’t interested in what you do. Instead they are interested in how you can help them meet their goals. So clearly communicate how your association can deliver that value to potential sponsors. This can include exposure to your audience, access to networking opportunities, and the opportunity to align their brand with your purpose and values.

Offer long-term partnerships, not one-off sponsorships.

Instead of focusing solely on one-off sponsorship opportunities, look to establish long-term partnerships with sponsors. An annual or multi-year approach can enhance the value to the partner, streamline your internal sponsorship processes and revenue, and increase the likliehood of success for all parties.

Offer a range of sponsorship levels.

Offering a range of sponsorship levels can help to appeal to sponsors of different sizes and budgets. Consider offering different levels of exposure, access, and benefits at each level, and make sure to clearly communicate the differing value of each level to potential sponsors.

Provide clear and measurable benefits.

Sponsors want to know exactly what they will get in return for their support, so it’s important to clearly outline the specific benefits that they will receive that will support the value you are offering. Consider offering benefits such as logo placement, website advertising, social media promotion, and recognition at events.

Highlight past sponsorship success.

Showcasing the success of past sponsors can help to build credibility and demonstrate the value of your sponsorship program. Consider including testimonials, case studies, and other examples of the impact that past sponsors have had on your organisation.

Use visual aids.

Visual aids such as infographics, charts, and graphs can help to clearly communicate the value of your sponsorship package and make it more compelling. Consider including visual aids in your sponsorship proposal to help illustrate the benefits and return on investment for potential sponsors.

Follow up and be responsive.

After you have submitted your sponsorship proposal, it’s important to follow up and be responsive to any questions or concerns that potential sponsors may have. Be prepared to negotiate and tailor your package to meet the needs of the sponsor, and consider offering additional value to secure their support.

At SMS we specialise in helping associations to build sustainable high-value partnership programs. This includes our sponsorship coaching program where we guarantee to work with you – for no additional fee- until your mutually agreed revenue target is met. So, if you are looking for support to optimise your partnership programs, please contact Julian Moore from SMS at for more information.

Avoiding Common Association Sponsorship Mistakes

Sponsorship can be a vital source of funding for associations, providing the financial support needed to host events, develop programs, and achieve their goals. Sponsorship can also provide valuable opportunities for brand exposure and partnerships, which can help associations better serve their members and the community.

However, it’s important for associations to carefully consider and approach potential sponsors to ensure that these partnerships are mutually beneficial and align with the values and goals of both parties.

By avoiding common mistakes and following best practices, associations can effectively seek and serve sponsors and build long-term, successful relationships.

Not doing enough research.

Not thoroughly researching a potential sponsor’s business and values can lead to a misalignment of goals and expectations. Be sure to take the time to understand the sponsor’s needs and how your association can best meet them.

Failing to personalise the proposal.

Sending a generic sponsorship proposal to multiple companies is a sure-fire way to get rejected. Take the time to tailor your proposal to the specific company and their goals to show that you have a genuine interest in partnering with them.

Not offering enough value.

Sponsors want to know what they will get in return for their investment, so be sure to clearly outline the benefits for the company. This could include exposure to a targeted audience, brand recognition, or the opportunity to align with the values of your association.

Neglecting to follow up.

If you don’t hear back from a prospective sponsor, don’t be afraid to follow up. A friendly reminder email or phone call could be just what they need to reconsider your proposal.

Failing to deliver on promises.

It’s important to follow through on the benefits and deliverables promised to the sponsor. Failing to do so can damage the relationship and discourage future sponsorship.

Not showing appreciation.

Sponsors want to feel valued and appreciated for their investment. Be sure to thank sponsors for their support and show them the impact of their contribution.

Not reviewing and renewing the sponsorship.

Sponsorships should not be viewed as a one-time transaction, but rather as a long-term partnership. Be sure to review and renew the sponsorship on a regular basis to ensure that it is meeting the needs of both the association and the sponsor.

By avoiding these mistakes, associations can effectively seek and serve sponsors and build long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships and secure the funding and support needed to achieve their goals and better serve their members.

If you are looking for support to optimise your partnership programs, please contact Julian Moore from SMS at

Sponsorship Shifts to leverage in 2023

Sponsorships and partnerships play a vital role in providing funding and resources to support the work of association. While return on investment is still king, following are some of the trends associations should be leveraging to ensure their success in 2023.

The importance of digital partnerships

In the digital age, it is more important than ever for associations to have a strong online presence and to be able to communicate effectively with their stakeholders through digital channels. This means that digital partnerships are becoming increasingly important in the association sector. To capitalise on this trend, associations can consider seeking out sponsors and partners who can provide digital resources and expertise, such as website development, social media marketing, and email marketing.

The rise of experiential sponsorships

Experiential marketing, which involves creating immersive and interactive experiences for consumers, is becoming increasingly popular in the association sector. To capitalise on this trend, associations can consider offering sponsors and partners the opportunity to create experiential activations at their events and conferences, or to create branded content that can be shared with their members.

The importance of sustainability

As sustainability becomes an increasingly prominent issue, sponsors and partners are increasingly seeking to align with organisations that are committed to sustainability. To capitalise on this trend, associations can consider highlighting their sustainable practices in their sponsorship and partnership materials and seek out sponsors and partners who share their commitment to sustainability.

The rise of content marketing

Content marketing, which involves creating and sharing valuable and relevant content with the goal of attracting and retaining customers, is becoming increasingly popular in the association sector. To capitalise on this trend, associations can consider offering sponsors and partners the opportunity to create branded content that can be shared with their members. This can include blog posts, articles, videos, and other types of content.

The importance of employee engagement

Employee engagement is becoming an increasingly important in sponsorship and partnership decisions, as employees are often the primary ambassadors for a company’s brand. To capitalise on this trend, associations can consider offering sponsors and partners the opportunity to engage with their employees through events, volunteering opportunities, and other initiatives. This can help to build stronger relationships and increase employee loyalty.

The need for flexibility and agility

In a rapidly changing world, it is important for associations to be flexible and agile to respond to new challenges and opportunities. This means that sponsorship and partnership agreements should be designed to be adaptable and responsive to change, rather than being rigid and inflexible. To capitalise on this trend, associations can consider offering sponsors and partners the opportunity to renew or modify their agreements on a regular basis, rather than locking them into long-term contracts.

The rise of cause-related sponsorships

As consumers become increasingly socially and environmentally conscious, they are more likely to support brands that align with their values. This trend is also evident in the association sector, with sponsors and partners increasingly seeking to align with causes that are important to their stakeholders. To capitalise on this trend, associations can consider highlighting the social and environmental impacts of their work in their sponsorship and partnership materials and seek out sponsors and partners who share their values.

By understanding and responding to the latest trends in association sponsorships and partnerships, associations can position their organisations for success in the coming years.

If you are looking for support to optimise your partnership programs, please contact Julian Moore from SMS at

JOURNAL: Associations Evolve: 2023 & Beyond Journal Released

We are excited to announce the release of Associations Evolve: 2023 & Beyond Journal, a compilation of articles from over 50 association thought leaders from around the globe.

This journal offers a unique perspective on the future of associations and the role they will play in shaping industries and communities. From innovative ideas for growth and sustainability to strategies for adapting to changing environments, the articles in this journal provide valuable insights and inspiration for association professionals.

As the association landscape continues to evolve, it is important for professionals to stay informed and stay ahead of the curve. The Associations Evolve: 2023 & Beyond Journal is a must-read for anyone looking to drive positive change and impact within their organisation. Get your copy today and join the conversation on the future of associations.

JOURNAL: Associations Evolve: 2022 & Beyond

Forty-six association experts from around the world have collaborated to produce a collection of articles showcasing contemporary thinking on governance, membership, revenue, events, and much more.

This is a great resource for those looking for inspiration and motivation to make 2022 your best year ever. It makes great holiday reading for those who are feeling particularly enthusiastic (tip: this publication pairs well with red wine and cheese).

Download “Associations Evolve: 2022 & Beyond”

This publication is part of our Associations Evolve project which looks for ways to help associations to thrive into the future. 

Thanks to Beau Cummin from Visual Traffic for his fabulous work designing this publication, Northern Territory Business Events for their great support of this project, and all our wonderful contributors.  

We hope you will find this collection of articles from experts in the association space as informative, inspiring, and motivating as we did. 

All the best for a fun and relaxing break over the festive period. I hope you arrive back at work refreshed and ready for an awesome 2022.

Warm regards,

VIDEO: “Sponsorship Update June 2020: Who’s Sponsoring Associations This Month?”

This past month has seen a number of really exciting sponsorship and partnerships proceed. In this session Julian Moore will talk about what sponsorship deals are closing, who is currently looking to sponsor, how best to approach, and opportunities that are currently available for associations seeking sponsorship funds. In this session Julian shares the highlights on what’s happening in sponsorship this month.

Watch the video

VIDEO: How to Create Your Association Partnership Recovery Program

This is a recording of the 45 minute webinar run on Friday 3 April 2020. COVID-19 has decimated the traditional funding sources of many associations. With events and their associated sponsorship in disarray for the foreseeable future, associations are scrambling to deliver enhanced services to members remotely and remain financially sustainable. Sponsors are facing their own challenges. Organisations that traditionally provide sponsorship are currently more concerned with what will happen to their staff and adjusting to the new operating environment. When they do begin looking at new opportunities, they will be assessing them by their ability to generate a strong measurable return to help them rebuild their momentum. Now is the time to retain your existing sponsors and, as the timing becoming appropriate, ensure your partnership program is ready to come back with a bang. In this webinar, Julian Moore, Australasia’s foremost association sponsorship practitioner, will discuss how other associations are successfully adapting their offerings and the key steps needed to create your partnership recovery program to ensure strong revenues into the future.

Watch the video.

Download the slides.

WHITEPAPER: Association Apocalypse

The operating landscape of associations is undergoing a seismic shift. Associations need to act now to ensure they can navigate these shifts to emerge stronger and more relevant than ever before. In my new whitepaper, Association Apocalypse, you can read more about the:

  • Six fundamental shifts occurring in the association operating landscape,
  • Three key models associations will need to re-invent, and
  • Eleven core operational enablers associations must get right along the way.

This whitepaper has been designed to assist association leaders to understand the scale of the change coming and create a platform for productive discussions within their associations about appropriate pathways forward. If you have more questions please feel free to contact us to find out how we can assist.

Read the whitepaper.

Creating Compelling Sponsorship Proposals

Potential sponsors don’t sit at their desks all day waiting for your proposal to arrive on their desk. For many, sponsorship is one part of a larger role which keeps them very busy. This means your proposal isn’t just competing with other sponsorship proposals (of which there will be many) but also with many other distractions for a share of their attention. Having a well-crafted, compelling partnership document is a critical first step in getting the attention of a potential partner… click here to read the whitepaper.