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The ABC’s of Corporate Sponsorship

by Randi Corey, HA Director of Special Events

The 2011 WALK season is already underway, which means that every Hydrocephalus Association WALK is actively seeking corporate sponsorship.  Where do you work?  Where does your spouse work?  Where do other family members (even extended family) work?  Because, that’s where you start looking to find corporate sponsorship.

What is a Corporate Sponsor?

If you’ve ever been to a WALK or seen one, you will appreciate that there is more going on than just walking.  Some WALKS have clowns or musicians or other forms of family friendly entertainment.  Some provide breakfast or lunch or breakfast AND lunch.  Most of them have some sort of catering.  All of them have costs associated with venue and equipment rental, licensing and even t-shirts aren’t free.

Corporate sponsors are the angels that come in and make all of that possible.  And, in return, the sponsors get tax benefits and their names/logos splashed around.

HA WALKs have varying levels of sponsorship, depending upon the size of the market, the size and age of the event and the sponsorship benefits. (Benefits increase with the amount of sponsorship contribution.) Sponsorship benefits range from the company’s logo on all of the WALK-related materials (brochures, posters, T-shirts) with signage at the event to the company’s name on a single mile or kilometer marker.  There’s a sponsorship opportunity to fit every corporate checkbook!

Where do I Look?

I always recommend that you start close to home.   Could your company be a prospective sponsor?

• Is your company a good “corporate citizen?”
• Does your company currently sponsor and/or participate in other charity events?
• Do the people in your company know your personal story – about your connection to hydrocephalus and how it’s impacted your life?
• Do you know the senior leadership in your corporation?  Are you comfortable asking about this or presenting a sponsorship proposal?

If so, your employer may be a good candidate for sponsorship of the local HA WALK. (As I always say, “They can’t say “yes” until you ask!”)

Another Great Way Your Company Can Support HA WALKS!

Another way that your employer can make a significant contribution to hydrocephalus research and HA’s program services – without opening its checkbook — is by organizing a WALK team!  This is a great option for companies tightening their belt, especially if they have a large number of employees.  To give you an example of how a company can truly make a difference without impacting its budget:

ABC Corporation (your employer) has 1,800 employees.
• The “rule of thumb” for the goal for the number of walkers on a corporate WALK team is 12-15% of the total number of employees. (All members of the team do not need to be direct employees of the company – employees’ family and friends count as part of the company’s WALK team, too.)
• Therefore, the goal for the number of walkers on the ABC Corp team: 1,800 employees x 12% = 216 walkers
• To recruit 216 walkers, the ABC Corporation WALK team would need 20 Team Captains (with each Team Captain responsible for recruiting 10 walkers.) 20 Team Captains can easily be recruited by one or two Team Leaders – especially if the upper management is willing to send a memo or email to all employees asking people to join the company WALK team.
• If each walker raised $100 (not donated $100 – raised $100 by asking 10 people they know for $10 each) – the national average per walker — the company’s contribution to HA would total $21,600!

That is a significant contribution to HA and its mission that will truly make a difference.  If the company really wants to show up with an even larger WALK team, simply providing an “ABC Company team T-shirt” for all ABC Corporation walkers will significantly increase the size of the team. (Don’t forget to ask the CEO of the company to lead his team on the day of the event!) To help get everyone on the team registered, and to give everyone hints and tips on fundraising ask HA about holding an “internal Kick-Off!”

As you can see by the example above, even a company with 1,000 employees, recruiting only 12 Team Captains, could raise $12,000.

If you think your company may be interested in exploring sponsorship opportunities for the local HA WALK and/or organizing a WALK team to participate, please contact walk@hydroassoc.org. We will put you in touch with the appropriate WALK Chair.

Or, if you, or anyone you know, is interested in helping with planning and organizing the local WALK please contact walk@hydroassoc.org.  Because all HA WALKs are 100% volunteer driven committee members are essential for a successful event (greatly appreciated!)

Even a few hours a month is a huge help. (If you attended last year’s WALK and thought “Why did they do X   ?” or “Why didn’t they Y  ?” this is your chance to change it.  Volunteer for the WALK committee today!)

2011 WALK Sites (as of 1-3-11) – Alphabetical by State

Birmingham (AL)
Phoenix (AZ)
Chico (CA)
Fresno (CA)
Los Angeles (CA)
San Francisco (CA)
San Joaquin Valley (CA)
Denver (CO)
Hartford (CT)
New Haven (CT)
Washington (DC)
South Florida (FL)
Atlanta (GA)
Chicago (IL)
Columbus (IN)
Wichita (KS)
Louisville (KY)
Cambridge/Boston (MA)
Southern Maryland (MD)
Livonia/Detroit (MI)
Minneapolis (MN)
St. Louis (MO)
Graham (NC)
Londonderry (NH)
Buffalo (NJ)
Southern NJ (NJ)
Albuquerque (NM)
Long Island (NY)
Cincinnati (OH)
Portland (OR)
Hershey/Harrisburg (PA)
Philadelphia (PA)
Chattanooga (TN)
Nashville (TN)
Salt Lake City (UT)
Seattle (WA)

4 Comments for : HYDROCEPHALUS WALK TIP OF THE MONTH – January 2011
    • sbreen0810
    • August 23, 2011

    I would like to organize a walk in Mississippi near Jackson. There is not one in my state and also would like to raise money using my avon division. I was born with hydro. I have a vp shunt and almost lost my life 3 years ago so this is very important to me as well. How do I go about organizing a walk?

    • Jordan
    • January 19, 2011

    Im excited for WALK 2011!

    • Medelyn collado
    • January 18, 2011

    Hi I’m also interested in particiatingnin a walk in Los Angeles. Can u send me dates? I wouldmlike
    to get a team or sponsorship together. Thanks.

    • Kym Nunez
    • January 16, 2011


    I would like to participate in a WALK in CA in 2011. Do you have locations and dates yet??



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