Donation v/s Corporate Sponsorship: What Works Better for Nonprofits?

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Donation v/s Corporate Sponsorship: What Works Better for Nonprofits?

Deciding between engaging in a corporate sponsorship or a straight donation for your nonprofit organization can be a confusing task. They both are important revenue streams and both can be a part of your overall funding mix. Fundraising for nonprofits often requires an in-depth understanding of these different concepts. If you are looking to understand the benefits of each to make the right choice between the two, GiveCentral has you covered. These insights from nonprofit influencers and leaders will guide you through the process of deciding which is right for your organization and when! 

“Maximizing sponsorship revenue demands that development professionals think less about the benefits the sponsor receives and more about the relationship they must build.  What are the sponsor’s goals and how do they align with those of your organization? Just as with individuals, sponsors are not ATMs. They need cultivation and stewardship. And please don’t forget to fuel them with stories of impact that they can share!!! If you build these long term relationships with sponsors, you can turn a one-time donation into a long term funding relationship.”

-Joan Garry, Principal, Joan Garry Consulting

“From the perspective of the nonprofit, there’s not too much difference between sponsorship and a donation, other than what the sponsor expects in return for the sponsorship. As long as a sponsor’s requests are reasonable in comparison to the size of the financial commitment, then a sponsorship is a good opportunity for most nonprofits. Sponsorships and donations likely take similar amounts of time upfront in terms of research and cultivation. With sponsorships there are more likely hoops to jump through when asking for the gift in terms of paperwork. Both are good opportunities for nonprofits to raise much needed dollars.”

-Amy Eisenstein, Capital Campaign Toolkit

“The benefits of corporate sponsorship are two-fold: your organization receives funding to support your mission while the sponsor receives a positive boost for their brand from the “halo effect” your organization provides. While sponsors can improve your bottom line they can also help generate awareness of your mission and expand your reach. Typically,sponsorships are more dynamic and involved than donations, oftentimes linked to a particular initiative of your organization. They are a powerful fundraising for nonprofits strategy. On the flip side of the coin, straight donations may offer you a bit more flexibility and control over what you do with the funds. Both are great choices – each addressing a different goal of your fundraising strategy.

-Patrick Coleman, CEO, GiveCentral

“Partnership between companies and nonprofits is, for my time and resources, the best approach. This means values and objectives are aligned and that leads to a more sustainable and long term relationship that is best for both organizations. Practically, this often means that there is a combination of expectations that are marketing-oriented and others that are mission-oriented so it is really either both a sponsorship and a donation, or neither!”

-Heather Nelson, President, BridgeRaise


Seeking and engaging corporate sponsors can be a powerful addition to your nonprofit.  It’s a proven technique that complements and enhances your fundraising goals.

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