Feature Image

A toolkit for engaging corporate sponsors

One of the many ways corporations engage with JMU is through sponsorship of university programs and events. As with all solicitations for corporate funding, it’s important to determine what a sponsoring company gains from supporting your event.

To begin recruiting corporate sponsors:

1. Develop a sponsorship package.

  • Look at your program/event budget and determine appropriate levels of support and number of sponsors needed at each level (e.g., will the top supporter be exclusive, or can there be co-sponsors?).
  • Determine what you can offer as benefits a company would find valuable.
  • Design your sponsorship document, including a detailed description of your event, all sponsorship levels and benefits for each level, and information on the ROI your event provides to companies. For example sponsorship packages, please contact John Meck, Director, Corporate Relations at meckjh@jmu.edu.
  • Include sponsorship information on your event website, if possible.

2. Find sponsorship prospects.

  • Research programs and events similar to yours and the companies that sponsor them. Local companies are often your best bet for sponsorships.
  • Develop a list of possible companies and research the community section of their websites to see sponsorship guidelines. You can also find prospects through personal connections, hoovers.com, and the Foundation Center corporate directory.
  • Determine your program’s fit with the company’s mission, prior support, and interests.

3. Clear the Sponsorship Package and Prospect List with the Office of Corporate Relations.

Once you have developed your sponsorship package and the corporate prospect list, send it to John Meck at meckjh@jmu.edu for clearance. Corporate Relations will cross-check your list to see if we already have relationships, or if it conflicts with pending requests or existing relationships.

4. Reach out to your prospective sponsors.

  • If there are guidelines on a company’s page, follow them. Keep your emails brief, and request a call or meeting with a prospective donor if possible. Allow up to a couple of weeks for an initial response, and follow up with a call if the recipient doesn’t respond initially. You may have to follow up multiple times.

Once your sponsorship is awarded, contact John Meck at meckjh@jmu.edu to complete the necessary paperwork to receive the funds. Be sure to deliver on your agreement with the company and find ways to thank them and engage them with the event as appropriate.

Back to Top