By Dana Bakich, Founder and CEO of Positive Equation – a digital consultancy focused on equipping nonprofits with the tools and resources to build impactful digital strategies. She’s worked with Movember, Dress for Success, USTA, American Idol, The Gary Sinise Foundation, Hashtag Lunchbag, and many more. 


With in-person events postponed for the foreseeable future, digital opportunities own the stage. 

Are you ready to innovate? 

To flip the gala table sponsorship on its head and think about social media channels as new revenue streams?

Introducing Nonprofit Digital Sponsorships: Creating a live or on-demand co-branded online content series that provides value and shares impactful stories for viewers. 

For the example below, we’ll be building out a sample Facebook Live co-branded series.

If you’ve been watching Facebook or Instagram recently, everyone is going LIVE. 

Why?

According to a New York Magazine report, conducted in partnership with Livestream, 80% of consumers would rather watch a live video from a brand than read a blog. 82% prefer live video over traditional social posts. 

When you’re live, there’s a true authenticity created that helps build trust and likeability with an audience. Your average audience retention rate and engagement is substantially higher.

So, how do we monetize this?

There are two phases to develop a Nonprofit Digital Sponsorship:

Phase 1: Identify Your Audience & Partner(s)
Phase 2: Content, Cost & Creation

Phase 1: Identify Your Audience, Partner(s) & Content

Audience Insights: Look at your audience insights on Facebook and write down your key demographic information. What content would help serve and provide value to your audience right now?

Partner List: List businesses or brands aligned with your mission and/or might have a complementary audience.

Content Ideas: Based on the different partner options, brainstorm a 3-5 part video series to pitch (Q&As, feature archived content with a twist, interview with brand partner). Think about a direct program, service or area in your nonprofit you could really focus on highlighting + the partner’s donation will go towards achieving or providing impact in that area

Distribution: Determine which platform makes sense for your nonprofit to host this series. Where is your engagement the strongest? Facebook Live or YouTube Live have the most control on adding in advanced production options.

Phase 2: Cost & Sponsorship Value

Hard Costs: 

  1. Streaming Platform: Determine which third-party platform you want to use to produce your livestream. I recommend StreamYard for its low cost of $20 per month, ability to brand Lives with logos, go live on multiple channels, have a split-screen conversation, and much more. 
  2. Social Ads: Running a small social advertising campaign can help increase reach, viewership, and engagement substantially. For example, if you’d like to see 10,000 views on each video. That can be pretty much guaranteed with a $100 ad spend on each view with the right target audience.
  3. Production Equipment: Not necessary, but a simple ring light and microphone can really up the production value.

Digital Sponsorship Ask: After identifying all of your hard costs, it’s time to figure out how to build the sponsorship ask. The amount of the sponsorship largely depends on your social metrics – following, reach, engagement, and average video views. For example, a sponsorship breakdown for a sponsored livestream series:

Staff Time = $1,000
Social Advertising = $100 (approx 10k views per $.01)
Donation = $2,500 (**Provides X meals for X families, etc.)
Total Cost of Sponsorship: $3,600

* Direct Impact: With each series, I’d recommend aligning it with one mission or need for your organization to help with promotion and developing your sponsor amount.

The digital sponsorship model is scalable and can evolve into so many different custom opportunities! As we look for more innovative ways to authentically integrate partners with causes, this is a great way to amplify stories and increase impact with sponsors.


Dana Bakich, founder and CEO of Positive Equation – a digital consultancy focused on equipping nonprofits with the tools and resources to build impactful digital strategies. She’s worked with Movember, Dress for Success, USTA, American Idol, The Gary Sinise Foundation, Hashtag Lunchbag, and many more. 

How Nonprofits Can Use Livestreaming to Raise Funds Through Sponsorship