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Corporate Sponsorship Process

cfr timeline

The following steps will assist you with determining corporate sponsors for your event on campus. Please provide at least 4-6 months lead time before your event to begin this process to ensure a successful outcome. For formal approval and review, please submit your corporate sponsorship application. Questions can be emailed to

  • Step 1: Summarize your program and event (~6 months out)

    Use the optional Brainstorming Worksheet to get you started.
    Designed to assist you in planning, this optional worksheet is not required to be turned in.

    Topics to Consider when planning:

    • Event Description and Details
      • Identify the name of event, date, location, and time.
      • Why is corporate sponsorship needed?
    • Approvals
      • Have you received approval from leadership about the event and sponsorship need?
    • Budget and Costs
      • How much do you need to raise to support the event or program?
      • Create a budget that identifies all expenses to be covered and projected income to the event.
    • Target Audience
      • Internal or external?
      • How many are expected to attend?
    • Case for Support
      • What is your goal and why should an attendee want to participate?
      • Why should a company feel compelled to support your cause?
  • Step 2: Identify your Corporate Sponsorship Benefits (~5 months out)
    • 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: examples include logo recognition on signage, website, social media, etc.; item giveaways; recognition in publications related to the event; verbal recognition at events; keynote speaker from company; event access for employees; etc.
    • Design your sponsorship document, including a detailed description of your event, all sponsorship levels and benefits for each level. Include a detailed description of your event and what acknowledgement it will offer a company, as well as who it impacts/reaches.
    • Include information about the prospective audience and number of people your event will reach. Include contact information and details about how to learn more.
    • Add sponsorship information on your event website, if possible.
    • Check out examples and templates to see examples of CSUSM sponsorship packets!
    • Don’t worry about having multiple sponsor levels, the template and examples are meant to help you consider how you can recognize your sponsors before, during, and after your event.

    Follow the Sponsorship Benefits Template to get you started.
    You will need your Corporate Sponsorship Benefits for the Corporate Sponsorship Application. Check out the Examples and Templates section to see how you can structure your sponsorship packet.

  • Step 3: Determine Corporate Sponsorship Prospects (~5 months out)

    When researching companies aligned with the purpose of your event, look at programs/events/organizations like yours and the types of companies sponsoring them. You can start by exploring local companies who may be interested in sponsoring your event.

    Where to look for support:

    • Community section of a company’s website.
    • Publications covering the corporate sector.
    • Sponsors of similar events in the region.
    • Companies or alumni already connected to your area.

    Relationships are key: Use connections you already have to corporations. Cold calling is usually less successful but can work with persistence. Consider:

    • Personal or professional connections.
    • Does your program align with your prospects’ interests?
    • Why would they want to participate in this program/event?
    • If the company has sponsorship requirements, read through and understand them.
    • Analyze the types of activities the company sponsors.
    • Determine whether your program/event aligns with the company’s mission.
    • Does your event promote the brand or image of the company?
    • Has the company given to similar organizations?
    • Does the company have a connection to your program/event?

    Fill out the Sponsorship Prospects List Template.
    This will be submitted in the Corporate Sponsorship Application.

  • Step 4: Submit the Corporate Sponsorship Application to the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations (~4 months out)

    Once you have developed your corporate sponsorship benefit package and corporate sponsorship prospect list, send it to the office of Corporate and Foundation Relations (CFR)s by submitting the Corporate Sponsorship Application. CFR will cross-check your prospect list to see if we already have relationships, or if it conflicts with current University asks or existing relationships. Please provide at least 4-6 months lead time for formal approval and review.

  • Step 5: Reach out to your prospective sponsors (~4 months out)

    Once your prospect list is approved, you are ready to begin to reach out to prospective sponsors. Remember to reach out at least four months ahead of your event to give your prospective sponsors enough time to consider your proposal.

    Helpful tips for outreach include:

    • Keep emails short, request a meeting (local contacts) or a call, and attach your sponsorship package.
    • 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.

    The Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations may be available to help facilitate an ask to a company. Questions can be directed to

    See Sponsorship Outreach Email Template as an example.

  • Step 6: Commitment (~3 months out)

    If a company makes a commitment to sponsor your event, provide them with a sponsorship agreement and email the agreement to Corporate and Foundation Relations once signed at Agreements should be finalized 1-3 months before the event.

    • The Sponsorship Agreement Template contains information on receiving sponsorships from corporations by check. If they would prefer to pay with a credit card or through a bank transfer, email us at for next steps.
    • Student Orgs can share this link to receive funds: Give to Student Organizations.
    • Be sure to deliver on all the benefits you guaranteed your sponsors. You are representing CSUSM and want to ensure a positive relationship with the organization for future partnerships and/or philanthropic opportunities.
    • See FAQs for more information on gift receipts.

    See Sponsorship Agreement Template.

  • Step 7: Thank you and Stewardship (~1 week after event)

    Send a personal follow-up email to your sponsor(s) 1-3 weeks after your event. You should plan to share a recap of the event, including how many people attended, event highlights, pictures of sponsorship signage and/or screen shots of any of the recognition benefits promised, and quotes from students about the event if possible.

    • If there are photos of your event, include a photo gallery link in your email.
    • Invite the company to future events/programs you are hosting. You can also include information on how to stay connected.
    • The CFR team would love a copy of thank you messages sent to our partners so we can track in our database and use as samples for future stewardship. Please forward those to

    See a Donor Thank You Letter & Stewardship Example.

    For questions about stewardship best practices, please contact