A common misconception: Sponsorship vs. Fundraising

A common misconception: Sponsorship vs. Fundraising

“We play a big role in the community but so far cannot really convert that to sponsorship revenue” 

Sound familiar? There’s often a common misconception for schools when it comes to fundraising versus sponsorship. 

While fundraising still plays an important role in schools, therein lies a common disconnect regarding the role Sponsorship Ready plays when it comes to supporting schools across their Sponsorship journeys. 

So, what’s the difference between Sponsorship and Fundraising? 

Well, Sponsorship in general is a relationship, similar to advertising. 

That means sponsors want to see a return – whether that’s measured in marketing value, generating new business, brand recognition or delivering on community engagement objectives, it needs to be there. 

This has always been clear in the more transactional world of sponsorship, but increasingly individual donors are seeing their philanthropy as an investment, too. 

Whereas School Fundraising is more about identifying and giving to causes that people care about and tapping into altruistic motivations. 

Understanding this difference will drastically impact how you approach your school community when it comes to school sponsorship. 

Schools are extremely capable of delivering on business, brand, and community engagement objectives of its sponsors, and in many cases more effectively and certainly cost effectively than other mediums like print or radio or billboards. Schools and their leadership are powerful conduits and advocates within their respective communities

 But schools need to understand to gravitate from donations or fundraising to that of genuine sponsorship their narrative needs to change!

So, how do you change the narrative?

  • How are you defining your schools reach and impact?
  • How are you professionally promoting your school’s purpose, vision, and values?
  • How are you capturing and connecting the heart of your school?
  • Can you talk to sponsors about their objectives rather than just benefits?
  • Have you effectively positioned your schools sponsorship program to run alongside your more philanthropic program/s?

If any of these questions are challenging to answer concisely, Sponsorship Ready could be the right solution for your school.

Sponsorship Ready does not include selling sponsorship in schools.

Sponsorship Ready provides schools with the right strategy, tools and support so that schools can manage their sponsorship program themselves.

So, what are you waiting for?


Your Invitation

We invite and encourage you to speak
with Sponsorship Ready for a no-cost
30-minute strategy session.

Sponsorship Ready: Meet Senior Marketer Kelsey

Sponsorship Ready: Meet Senior Marketer Kelsey

If a tree falls in the forest with no ears to hear, does it make a sound?

The same philosophy can be applied to school marketing.

Many schools wish to successfully be able to deliver upon a sponsor’s business, brand and/or community engagement objectives while also effectively conveying their school’s purpose, vision, and values. A desire to articulate their reach and impact on the local community also a motivation.  As such, adopting an integrated marketing approach is a necessity for schools.

That’s why Sponsorship Ready has since introduced various marketing services that are tailored to best support schools. These services include:

  • Photography & Video

We offer tailored Photography and Videography solutions that support schools in building their image banks while capturing content that captures the heart of their school.

  • Brand Guidelines & Logo Refresh

Brand consistency is at the forefront of what drives loyalty today. Having updated brand guidelines enables schools to deliver against marketing collateral that reflects a consistent look and feel while connecting and compelling your school communities.

  • Capacity Building & Professional Development Marketing
    T Those counting school marketing and community engagement in their portfolio of responsibilities are often very time poor.  We can support by adding hours back into your day by offering curated content solutions and training support to professionally upskill and optimise your time more effectively in the marketing space.  So, whether your schools challenge is related to capacity or capability, we have a professional development solution in this space.

Leading Sponsorship Ready Marketing Services is Senior Marketer, Kelsey McAlpine.

With over 13 years’ experience as a senior marketer specialising in digital, retail, asset management & FMCG industries, Kelsey has worked with many major corporates.

From leading a portfolio of ten JLL shopping center’s in strategic digital marketing to supporting 187 Queensland stores as State Marketing Manager for Coles Supermarkets, Kelsey has a strong background across all marketing disciplines.

“As a marketer, I’ve always found the definition of “marketing” to be incredibly broad and ever-changing and unless you’re living and breathing marketing, it’s really challenging for businesses to stay on top of trends and truly understand what works for them.

“And this is where I have found my marketing niche and passion.

“I have always seen myself as a problem solver and working with Sponsorship Ready was a no-brainer in terms of the support and value I could be offering within the space of Education.

“When I look at all the data and insights available surrounding Education here in Australia, there is always one thing that has stood out.

“That educators are incredibly time-poor yet, research shows a strong desire to be doing more when it comes to marketing in schools.

“That’s why being able to offer professional marketing support and capacity building solutions in schools is where I now derive the truest form of career satisfaction.

“Not only that, but I’m also able to capture and curate content that professionally and strategically positions your school within its various communities while adding time back into the days of educators.

“This means teachers efforts can be best spent educating and improving outcomes for students.”

Sponsorship Ready Marketing services can also work successfully in conjunction with your school’s sponsorship framework while amplifying key messaging across digital marketing, social media marketing and various other forms of school marketing collateral.

Before you start having a new school website developed or start posting to your school’s Facebook page why not take a step back from the tactical areas of your school marketing and have a conversation with Kelsey at Sponsorship Ready?

For an initial chat please contact Kelsey McAlpine via Kelsey.McAlpine@sponsorshipready.com.au or call 0434 495 948.

It could help you reassess your school’s course of action from a strategic perspective, while ensuring maximum success and return from your marketing spend.

You can also view Sponsorship Ready’s full list of marketing services here.

Make sure you also check out and follow our new Sponsorship Ready LinkedIn page for all of the latest updates.

Build a connected School Community

Build a connected School Community

​Schools that have rich community engagement programs are more likely to create vetter sponsorship educational opportunities for students, teachers, parents, and the wider school. School sponsors can help play a part in this as well as deliver incremental revenue for the school.

​Share your schools purpose, vision, values

​By sharing your school’s purpose, vision and values effectively to your schools community, it drives positive impact on brand visibility and awareness for both sponsors and schools.

With your community in tune with your schools vision, it’s easier to connect with the right sponsors that represent similar values and secure the right sponsorship educational opportunities.

Understand what a sponsors objectives are

​All too often schools miss out on building these relationships because they present benefits without understanding the motivations of prospective sponsors, so to enable your best chance of finding the right sponsorship platform – remember this! Schools have so much to offer!

Understand that your schools sponsorship strategy should sit alongside other key strategies

Strategic partnerships, communications strategy and marketing strategy​. Engaging with sponsors, bringing them into your sponsor family is therefore a great opportunity delivering more than just revenue.

Leverage your school’s impact

Leverage your school’s impact

​Sponsorship of schools can be linked to improving outcomes for students and to funding variety of initiatives including but not limited to:

  • Excellence programs
  • Extra-curricular programs
  • Community engagement programs
  • Infrastructure projects
  • Additional learning resources

​By articulating your school’s reach and impact to potential sponsors, your school can attract real sponsorship dollars through sponsors as well as a great opportunity to promote your schools mission and values in the community.

Tips for clubs with > 400 members

Tips for clubs with > 400 members

Golden Rules for clubs with > 400 members…

  1. Sports clubs have an engaged, passionate audience – but perhaps they could do better to allow sponsors to leverage this…. Consider the ways your club can help put an SME’s product or service in danger of being sold, create a list or register of all your clubs possible sponsorship assets, get the key people in a room and flesh this out. Its critical, and ideas will flow. Guaranteed. But you need to think about how your club can deliver on their brand, commercial and community engagement objectives and you need to get more creative than signage and logos on apparel. Use the inventory prompt ‘what have you got to sell’ to kick start the process.
  2. Sports clubs have plenty of volunteers, a history, and a story to tell – but struggle articulate it for sponsors …. publish this content, tell the story, and capture it in your professional pitch material. Your selling tools need to be professional, a must. I cannot stress this enough it – in my professional opinion, and I have pitched to hundreds of people representing many sports – it is the difference between winning and losing a sponsor.
  3. Sports clubs and Associations know their organisation makes a positive impact on their respective communities and people’s lives – but cannot define it, this too needs to be told and captured in your selling tools. This type of content is what sponsors are looking for to deliver on community engagement or corporate/social responsibility objectives. Consider strategic alliances with organisations in health/social space in your community. It will help your conversion rate.
  4. Clubs suspect they can provide significant ‘reach’ for prospective sponsors – but cannot demonstrate it…..this is just so key to success, if you can demonstrate quantitatively in your selling tools the reach you have you are then demonstrating ROI versus other mediums sponsors would already be spending on such as radio, print, digital etc
  5. Clubs know their organisation has a good brand, reputation, and governance – but fail to really showcase it in their pitch. Again, these are key components in your selling tools and seriously consider a survey of your member base to get rich data on what members think of the brand so it can be used in your pitch. Why not try getting data on what your members think of prospective sponsors!?!
  6. Fewer, bigger, and deeper relationships with sponsors makes sense – but they tend to have multiple lower value partners with high servicing costs. Consider making the change in your sponsorship strategy to fewer, bigger, deeper. Those already on board subscribe to your club and its impact so take steps to grow their investment and bespoke their partnership platform.

Want more useful tips? Download here for more information.

Sponsorship Ready?

Sponsorship Ready?

Schools can get Sponsorship Ready, they have an audience in Mums, Dads and students and the wider community. The audience is engaged and passionate, and the school is a conduit to that audience. Businesses currently try advertising in school newsletters – we all see that.
Schools are rich in possibilities that could help sponsors reboot their business post covid.

Public or private does not matter. Schools too can deliver on a sponsor’s business objectives. Of course there are sensitivities and common sense needs to be applied. School sponsorship policies will very clearly articulate the parameters.

Do schools do a good job fundraising?

Generally yes and a pretty good job at that actually! But fundraising is very different to sponsorship.

Do schools do a good job acquiring sponsors and growing sponsorship revenue?

No, generally speaking unfortunately. However, just like clubs, schools can benefit from the right strategy, tools and training when it comes to growing sponsorship!


Terry Johnston from ​Sponsorship Ready