The Power of Digital Sponsorships for Nonprofits During COVID-19

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WOO! It’s been a crazy few weeks with all the inbound information surrounding COVID-19, right?

Throughout all of the conversations, social content, and emails I’ve heard something constant.

“We’re all in this together. Identify the individual magic you bring to this world and use this time to create.”

What’s App, Venmo, Uber, and Groupon were just a few companies created during the 2008 recession. They thought outside the box and created experiences that we couldn’t imagine living without today.

So, what does this all mean for nonprofits?

I think this is a beautiful time to dig in and invest in creative digital solutions.

The WORLD is listening and engaging ONLINE.

This is a time where companies doing well will be analyzed by their consumers.

My recommendation to nonprofits for during COVID-19 AND after is to start pitching Digital Sponsorships.

What’s a Nonprofit Digital Sponsorship?

Think about someone paying for a table at your gala  – and flip that into them sponsoring a Facebook Live Series or any content series.

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. 

Live content helps you share your story, show a raw and authentic side of your cause, and build deeper engagement with your audience.

Facebook Lives are also different from your standard content because they create a push notification to followers to join and engage in the video.

Here’s a sample workflow to come up with your Nonprofit Digital Sponsorship:

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.

Have questions? Want to bounce an idea by me? DM me on Instagram or email me dana@positiveequation.


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