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Event Sponsorship Levels: How to Build Sponsorship Packages + Free Template

Author: Marlena Moore
September 22, 2023
🕑 14 min read

When it comes to making local connections and seeing a boost in event ROI, the magic often begins with your event sponsorship packages. And the best way to catch sponsors’ eyes? Creating unique and valuable event sponsorship levels!

According to Gitnux, event sponsorship drives brand engagement with 98% of consumers. Engagement is the lifeblood of every event, and helps your organization’s mission thrive!

In this post, we’ll walk you through how to create your event sponsorship levels and benefits, as well as provide:

  • A free event sponsorship levels template
  • Event sponsorship levels examples for nonprofits, galas, fundraisers and virtual events
  • A list of common components of sponsorship packages

Let’s get started!

What Are Event Sponsorship Levels?

Sponsorship packages often include various levels or tiers of sponsorship, each offering unique benefits based on sponsors’ level of contribution. These varying levels give sponsors the opportunity to choose how they want to support your event.

Common event sponsorship levels look like:

  • Bronze/Silver/Gold/Platinum style tiers. These are some of the most common types of event sponsorship levels, with pre-determined perks that increase sponsor visibility at each donation amount.
  • Title sponsorships. These are partnerships for sponsors who act as the major patron of an event. Often, these sponsors have a hand in decision-making about the event, including naming rights.
  • In-kind sponsorships. These sponsors donate goods or services to reduce event costs and create a positive attendee experience. In exchange, they gain fresh visibility!
  • A la carte options. Think of these as bonus perks that can be added to a larger tier. For example, if someone is happy with their sponsorship level but just wants an extra ad, you can have that as an optional add-on.

The Benefits of Sponsorship Levels

There are a few reasons why it’s good to have predetermined event sponsorship levels and benefits:

Measure ROI more easily

Budgeting is a key part of knowing how to plan an event, but it can be daunting to plan your investments without a clear idea of what your profit will be. Event sponsorships give you some predictable numbers for when you measure your return on investment (ROI)!

Seeing those numbers helps make smart choices about where you’re spending your money so you can ultimately come out in the green.

Having event sponsorship levels planned early is also a great tool for goal-setting. By taking a look at the costs of individual components (venue, accessibility, food, etc.), you can measure how many sponsors you’d need at each level to earn back your investment—and then reach out accordingly!

Less reliance on ticket sales

Ticket sales help you make back some costs while measuring audience turnout, but they aren’t always reliable. For example, if you have a pay-at-the-door option for your outdoor event that gets rained out, you’ll quickly find yourself losing money!

Using sponsorship as an alternative revenue stream makes your profit more consistent, and helps you be flexible with ticket sales. Not only can you avoid weather fiascos, but you can also afford to offer free or sliding scale tickets! This will help you connect with more attendees without sacrificing vital revenue.

Opportunities for sponsors of all sizes

Getting sponsorships is largely about understanding your sponsors’ individual wants, pain points and financial capacities. Where larger sponsors like banks won’t blink at tossing several thousand dollars your way, local businesses or individuals might shy away from overwhelming numbers.

A variety of event sponsorship levels give sponsors the opportunity to support your organization within their means. After all—connections are just as important as financial contributions. The more sponsors grow over time, the more they can offer in the future.

This is also where in-kind donations are a great way to go. For example, having a new bakery in town sponsor 100 free cupcakes will give them great exposure and create a great attendee experience!

Reduce admin strain

If you’ve had a long day, getting wrapped up in an email chain negotiating possible sponsorship opportunities can be tiring—now imagine doing that dozens of times. No thank you!

Setting pre-made levels of sponsorship for an event simplifies that process into:

  • Researching possible sponsors
  • Choosing event sponsorship levels and benefits that seem useful
  • Designing your event sponsorship package
  • Emailing the package to prospective sponsors
  • Confirming interest and ironing out the details

Automation is your best friend when it comes to event planning, and having pre-planned event sponsorship levels do just that! When combined with event management software, all the information you need can be organized into one cohesive system.

Do I Really Need Event Sponsorship Levels?

While we think event sponsorship levels can make a lot of event organizers’ lives easier, there are a few reasons you might choose not to include them:

  • Smaller events with low start-up costs won’t need the extra financial help to get started.
  • Sponsors of similar size and capacity won’t need unique levels, and it might be easier to just work with them individually rather than planning a sponsorship package they won’t need!
  • Perk fulfillment struggles are something you definitely want to avoid. If you can’t keep a promise in your sponsorship package, don’t include it!

Common Components of Sponsorship Packages

Event sponsorship will look a little different depending on your sponsors’ needs, but there are a few common components to most sponsorship packages:

Branding & Promo

Many businesses become sponsors because they want to increase brand visibility and grow their audience. Attaching their name to your event frames them as community members who share a passion for your mission!

A few promotional benefits to include in your sponsorship package are:

  • Branding opportunities on swag and promotional gear
  • On-site signage and banners
  • Logo on flyers, ads, badges and programs
  • Logo on website and digital promotion
  • Banners on event apps
  • Free or heavily discounted booths

Marketing Perks

Where the branding perks give attendees the opportunity to get curious, marketing perks are like a personal recommendation from your organization! These benefits extend sponsor visibility beyond the day of, giving prospective attendees the opportunity to learn more about what sponsors have to offer.

Some of these perks include:

  • Special blog posts and newsletter features
  • Social media spotlights
  • Attendee discounts for those who purchase sponsor’s product, sign up for service, join a newsletter, or give a follow on social media
  • Press and media opportunities like interviews

VIP Treatment

Everyone likes to feel special, and sponsors are no different! Offering VIP perks to event sponsors adds an extra element of gratitude and luxury, as well as the occasional opportunity for creative collaboration.

  • Event and pre-event naming opportunities (common with Title Sponsors!)
  • Sponsor representative on the event planning committee
  • A thank you from all speakers during opening and closing ceremonies
  • Free tickets to events and VIP sessions
  • Reserved seating
  • Event speaker opportunities

If you’re offering sponsorship perks that give sponsors a say in how your event plays out, it’s important to make sure you’re on the same page! Consider if the sponsors’ goals and values are aligned with yours, and if you feel comfortable working with them closely.

How to Create Levels of Sponsorship for an Event 

Ready to start making your own event sponsorship levels? Here’s how to get started!

1. Find current and potential sponsors

Before you start coming up with ideas for event sponsorship levels and benefits, take a look at the individuals and businesses you think might be interested in working with you.

Some places to look include:

  • Small businesses with aligned values
  • Businesses that offer in-kind donations
  • Highly active, long-term volunteers
  • People and businesses that have previously given large donations
  • Your local bank branch and other corporate heavy-hitters

This sponsor wishlist will help you find patterns in the types of sponsors you want to attract. Plus, as you move into brainstorming and organizing, you’ll have a tangible touchpoint when it comes to considering sponsor needs.

2. Brainstorm all possible benefits

Get your team together for a giant brainstorming session! This is a space where you dump all of your ideas into one place before you sort the best of them into levels.

Along with the sponsor research you’ve already done, you can:

  • Survey past sponsors
  • Study competitors’ sponsorship packages
  • Deep dive into the top resources you have to offer

As you brainstorm benefits, make sure you stay within your means. It’s better to have a simple event sponsorship package than to be unable to deliver your benefits!

3. Assign benefits to each level

Once you’ve picked which benefits are the most valuable and doable, it’s time to decide which perks should go with which levels.

As you organize your event sponsorship levels and benefits, consider:

  • The time, cost and energy it will take to fulfill each benefit
  • If your levels are feasible for/aligned with your dream sponsors
  • Which perks seem the most prestigious
  • Which perks require day-of support (special lunches, thank yous, etc.)

At the end of the day, each and every level should be valuable! A positive experience for lower-tier sponsors can easily turn them into mid- or high-tier sponsors the following year,

4. Price your event sponsorship levels

There’s no one-size-fits-all model for pricing your event sponsorship levels. After all, the cost and needs of a small virtual event will look quite different from a multiday in-person conference.

So: time to crack open the budget!

Take a look at all of your anticipated event expenses, such as:

  • Venue and catering
  • Guest fees
  • Entertainment
  • Decor
  • Marketing
  • Staff pay
  • Event management software
  • Hybrid or virtual software
  • A/V
  • Accessibility tools

With these numbers laid out, you can determine how much you’d need to make back in order to start profiting. Ideally, sponsorships can cover a bunch of these costs so you can start earning right away!

So, how does pricing come in? Let’s break it down into a few steps.

  1. Review your list of potential sponsors and make a low estimate of what you think each might be able to give. Put a star on all of the sponsors you think are likely to say yes, but don’t count out the rest!
  2. Find which numbers are repeatedly coming up ($500 for smaller sponsors, $2000 for mid-sized, $5000 for larger, etc.) and create a few brackets.
  3. Calculate how many sponsors of each level you’d need to pay back your initial costs. Does this seem feasible?
  4. See if there are any unique sponsorship levels you can create (accessibility sponsors, sponsored stages, etc.) to get specifics covered.

If this is your first time soliciting sponsorships, try not to fear the learning curve! Every event is a new opportunity to hone and adjust your pricing. And if a sponsor asks for a slightly lower amount, you can always say yes and make an adjustment—all support is good support!

5. Choose creative names

Creating sponsorship level names is one of the most fun parts of the process! There’s no harm in sticking to the classic Bronze/Silver/Gold/Platinum, but getting creative is one way to make your sponsorship package shine.

Here are a few suggested sponsorship names based on event:

  • Book festival: Bookworm, Bibliomaniac, Head Librarian
  • Bird conservatory event: Hummingbird, Chickadee, Crow, Osprey
  • Sports fundraiser: Game Changer, Team Captain, All Star, MVP
  • Charity fashion show: Trendsetter, Style Icon, Visionary

The event sponsorship levels examples below also have LOTS of great level names, so be sure to check those out for inspiration!

6. Design an attractive sponsorship package

Before sponsors read the details of your sponsorship package, they’re going to see the way the visuals are laid out.

Be sure that your package’s branding is:

  • Visually attractive and consistent (fonts, colors, etc.)
  • Aligned with your organization
  • Appropriate for your event
  • Easy to read at a glance

Many businesses receive a good deal of sponsorship requests—attractive layout and graphic design just might be what seals the deal for your organization!

7. Send your sponsorship package out!

Once your sponsorship package is complete (and reviewed by staff and board members!), all that’s left is to send it out.

This looks like:

  • Writing a compelling sponsorship letter pitching your event
  • Searching prospective sponsors’ websites for the right contact point
  • Following up after an appropriate period
  • Inputting everyone you reached out to into a database with your membership management software (to save you time on research for the next event!)

Respond to your no’s as well as your yeses—sometimes a quick follow up on why a no was given can help you negotiate it into a yes!

8. Review sponsor satisfaction post-event

Attendee surveys are a key part of any event planning checklist, but it’s equally important to check in with sponsors post-event as well! This vital feedback can help you plan for the following year and keep developing your event sponsorship levels into the best they can be. 

5 Awesome Event Sponsorship Levels Examples

Ready to check out some real event sponsorship levels examples? Here are seven choices featuring nonprofit events, fundraising events, galas and a virtual event!

Nonprofit Event Sponsorship Levels

These two nonprofit event sponsorship levels cover an awards ceremony and breakfast gala:

Environmentalist of the Year Awards

The Environmentalist of the Year Awards (EOY) is an annual event held in Hamilton, Ontario, that celebrates the efforts of individuals, groups and businesses dedicated to protecting and enhancing the environment.

Its event sponsorship levels include:

  • Sunshine Sponsor: Personalized, flexible sponsorship with perks including logo placement, a mention during the awards and social media tags.
  • Water Sponsor: This is a creative sponsorship that lets sponsors fund a bursary of their choice or cover the cost of plaques and award expenditures, plus the opportunity to choose the recipient. Perks include awards-related branding and promotion, press coverage and the opportunity to present the award.
  • Sprout Sponsor: Suggested $1000. Similar setup and perks as Water Sponsor.
  • Planted Sponsor: $6000. Primary sponsorship that funds the overall execution of the awards. Perks include extensive branding, speaking opportunities, press coverage and special recognition.

What We Like: These tiers all come with a unique benefit for both the awards and the sponsors, which lets sponsors get creative in how they’d like to give.

Brant Food for Thought: Breakfast for Champions

The annual Breakfast For Champions Charity Breakfast Gala is celebrating 25 years of contributing to childhood education by supporting and facilitating Universal Student Nutrition Programs in elementary and secondary schools in Brantford and the County of Brant.

Its event sponsorship levels include:

  • Raffle or Auction Donation: Official charitable tax receipt, special mention in the program and post-event socials recognition.
  • Table Sponsor: $500. Sponsors’ logo on the event brochure, post-event web recognition and one reserved guest table with special signage.
  • Silver: $1000. Same as the Gold level, but with post-event recognition only and one reserved table instead of two.
  • Gold: $2500. Sponsors’ logo on the event brochure and powerpoint, web and socials recognition, pre- and post-event media recognition and two reserved guest tables with special signage.
  • Platinum: $5000. Premier event naming, extensive logo placement, web and social promotion, pre- and post-event media recognition, marketing materials on tables and the best seats in the house!

What We Like: While the names are simple, the package has different pictures associated with value in the form of apples. This package also differentiates lead-up and day-of perks for sponsors.

Gala Event Sponsorship Levels

Gala event sponsorship levels are a great excuse to get fancy, and this 

Federation of Black Canadians Impact Gala

FBC and Skills for Life’s 2023 Impact Gala Fundraiser is celebrating providing over 150 youth across Canada with over $200,000 in scholarships. The event will include special guests, a cocktail reception, casino games, live performances and a silent auction—all with the goal to raise $6000!

Its event sponsorship levels include:

  • Tier 3: $299. One free ticket, direct written recognition in the impact report and a quarter page advertisement in the booklet. 
  • Tier 2: $499. Same as Tier 3, but with a half page advertisement.
  • Tier 1: $990. Free entry for a sponsor and plus one, direct written recognition in the impact report, a full page advertisement in the booklet and 2 passes for the VIP lounge. 
  • Ebony: $2500. 3 tickets, web page feature, 2 VIP lounge passes, full page ad with logo placement in back inside cover and 5 mentions on social media.
  • Onyx: $7500. Named sponsor for the Silent Auction, 5 tickets, web page feature, 5 VIP lounge passes, full page ad with logo placement in back inside cover and 10 mentions on social media.
  • Obsidian: $10,000. Named sponsor for the Entertainment, 10 tickets, extensive digital marketing, 10 VIP lounge passes, full page ad with logo placement in front and back inside cover and 15 mentions on social media.

The Ebony, Onyx and Obsidian levels all also include event signage, logo display, virtual media wall and a partner video. There are also the options to pay for advertising only and buy into the VIP lounge separately.

What We Like: Options, options, options—without being confusing! Check out the layout of this sponsorship package for a prime example of how to cleanly explain your benefits.

Fundraising Event Sponsorship Levels

Curious about sponsorship levels that are designed specifically for fundraisers? Check out this great example from a golf tournament!

YWCA Golf Fore Change Tournament

The YW Kitchener-Waterloo’s “Golf Fore Change” Tournament raises money to provide essential relief for single women, trans women and women with children who are experiencing homelessness. staying at the YW Emergency Shelter.

Its fundraising event sponsorship levels include:

  • Tee/Hole Sponsors: Company name and logo on tee signage at one hole, opportunity to hand out materials or hold a sponsor contest.
  • Contest Sponsors: Sponsor name and logo on the longest drive hole signage, plus sponsors tent or table at the hole or reception.
  • “Watering & Foodie” Hole Sponsor: Company logo and link on website, recognition at the tournament reception, signage at sponsored hole and spots for two golfers.
  • “Make a Difference” Gold Sponsor: Company logo and link on website and tournament banners, recognition at tournament reception and awards ceremony and a golf foursome.
  • “Choosing Change” Title Sponsor: Sponsor presents the golf tournament, has company name and logo placement on all promotional materials (website, clubhouse and golf carts), recognition throughout the tournament, reception and awards ceremony, two foursomes and other negotiable special opportunities.

What We Like: Relevant and straightforward sponsor benefits, plus a visible email for questions about the price of these event sponsorship levels!

Virtual Event Sponsorship Levels

Sponsorship levels for hybrid and virtual events aren’t actually structured that differently from in-person events—they just have slightly different perks.

FinCon 2023 Expo

FinCon is an annual event for Personal Finance content creators and influencers to connect with other bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, authors, advisors, coaches and

freelancers who create new media about financial topics.

Its virtual event sponsorship levels include:

  • Bronze: $10,000 – $24,999. 30-second ad roll aired before and after main-stage sessions, 1 sponsored post in the app or 1 event email ad (based on availability), logo displayed on home, sponsor and 2023 pages, at check-in, and in an event-specific email.
  • Silver: $25,000 – $49,999. Same as Bronze, except they get a sponsored post in the app AND email ad, as well as a 30 minute reservation in the Brand Studio.
  • Gold: $50,000 – $74,999. Same as Silver, plus participation in a breakout session panel, the attendee list with data, 45 minutes in the Brand Studio and mention in an official press release.
  • Platinum. $75,000+. Same as Gold, plus a welcome from the main stage, a breakout session, an hour in the Brand Studio, and an extra sponsored post in the app and email ads.

What We Like: This is a great example of how sponsorship shakes out for a much larger event. Having a price range for each level also adds an extra degree of flexibility, and lets sponsors sneak into a higher level if they’re really excited for the perks.

Free Event Sponsorship Levels Template

Looking for a jumping off point for your sponsorship package? Download our free event sponsorship levels template! With this template, you can fill in the blanks, review it with your team and then send it off to your marketing experts for branding.

Building Sponsor Relationships (And Great Events!)

Securing sponsorships is the first step in leveling up your event planning and growing your community relationships. When you take the time to learn what sponsors are looking for, it’s easy to create a package that makes your event a highlight of their year!

Looking for some tools to manage your communications with sponsors and attendees alike? Check out WildApricot’s award-winning member management software.

Along with streamlining your comms, we can help you build a website, sponsor database, mobile event app and more! Sign up for your 60-day free trial today and see for yourself.

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