One of the best ways to offset the cost of printing your charity auction catalog, as well as many other elements of your fundraising event, is to get corporate and/or individual sponsors to underwrite different parts of the event in return for recognition in the catalog.
First, it's important to note that there is a slight difference between "sponsorship" and "underwriting", even though the terms are often used interchangeably:
- Underwriting: A donor pays for either all or a portion of an event expense directly. Almost any aspect of an event can be underwritten. An example would be finding a print vendor to pay for ALL printed materials, including banners, tickets, this catalog, forms, invitations, etc. Other sponsorship opportunities include a menu item, like dessert, or other aspects of the event like the centerpieces, the band or the booze.
- Sponsorship: A donor buys into a sponsorship package offered by the Nonprofit with the funds going directly to the organization to help offset event expenses. Examples include sponsoring a table for 10 or a "presenting sponsorship" where a donor would pay to sponsor - say - the live auction so it would read "The 2015 Live Auctrion, presented by XYZ".
In either case, your objective is to defray the costs or expenses of your event by offering donors various incentives - such as verbal recognition or putting a company's logo on event banners or other printed material. You can offer a range of sponsorship and underwriting opportunities, each with its own level of benefits.
One of the best places to offer potential sponsors some exposure during your event is in your auction catalog. If you haven't already, check out our professionally designed 100% customizable Microsoft Word auction catalog template, which includes space for you to recognize donors at the different sponsorship levels discussed below.
So how should you structure the sponsorship and recognition options?
One option is to establish different sponsorship levels, each of which comes with its own level of benefits.