University of Minnesota  Appendix

Job Aid for Sponsorship for University-Hosted Events/Activities


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Please use the contact section in the governing policy.

Sponsorships for University-Hosted Events/Activities

Sponsorship Definition:

  • Opportunities for an entity to monetarily support an event/activity and include return benefits for the sponsoring entity.


  • Insubstantial return benefits as defined by the IRS are allowed and therefore can be receipted in whole or in part by UMF.
  • Fair market value should be easy to calculate for return benefits considered receiptable by UMF.
  • Some return benefits may be viewed as unrelated business income and could subject U of M/UMF to UBIT.


  • List examples of return benefits and determine whether the sponsorship packages should be considered gift or non-gift eligible.
  • If a decision can not be easily made using these guidelines, return to sponsorship group for further discussion ([email protected]).

Guiding Principle:

  • If a sponsorship package contains any ONE (or more) components from the "Non-Gift Eligible Sponsorship" list, then all event/activity revenue will flow to the U of M (not UMF). While this policy specifically pertains to events/activities, many of the same principles apply to other types of sponsorships.

Gift Eligible Sponsorships - Deposit at UMF

Medium shouldn't matter. Key factor is U of M/UMF determines terms of name and logo placement as sponsor recognition.

Gift Eligible Sponsorships
Category Description/Examples
Name & Logo Recognition of sponsor by placing their name and logo in event/activity communications or on items such as:
  • Emails, brochures, invitations
  • Event programs
  • Event/activity promotions on social media
  • T-shirt or other token item
  • Banner or other display during event/activity showing a list of sponsors
  • Verbal, plaque or social media recognition as a sponsor
  • Prominent/primary placement of the sponsor in activities
Naming Opportunity Recognition for level of sponsorship - opportunity is open to multiple sponsors for consideration.
Tickets Individual tickets for sponsor & guests to attend the event/activity.
Website Link to sponsor website on U of M/UMF event/activity site (assumes landing page/home page only, not specific advertisement page).
Celebrity Engagement Celebrity appearance at event or table.
Swag Bags Promise that a swag bag containing logoed items from many sponsors will be provided.
Tour of Campus/Facility/Lab Tour of a facility or lab that does not include U of M Access (see complete definition in policy).

Non-Gift Eligible Sponsorships - Deposit at U of M

Note: Medium shouldn't matter. Key factor is sponsor determines and influences terms and content.

Non-Gift Eligible Sponsorships
Category Description/Examples
Advertising Any message which promotes or markets any external trade or business, service, facility or product (qualitative or comparative language, price information, an endorsement, or an inducement to purchase or use).
Naming Opportunity Exclusive or contracted name on event/activity - opportunity is not available to other potential sponsors, for example, "sold" to one sponsor.
Exhibit Space Opportunity for sponsor to set up their own display/booth during the event/activity (to advertise, network, etc.).
Coupons/Vouchers/Discounts Any medium such as coupons, vouchers, gift cards, discounts, etc. that are an incentive for the recipient to buy a sponsor's item.
Sponsor's Banner Promise to display sponsor's banner at event/activity (for example, sponsor brought their own banner).
Billboard/Radio Advertisement Promise to mention sponsor's name in radio or billboard advertisement for event/activity (viewed as providing advertising for the sponsor).
Social Media Promotion U of M/UMF promises social media promotion of sponsor.
Promotional Opportunity Promise of an opportunity to speak/present a video, etc. during the event/activity (assumes sponsor could use the time to advertise themselves).
Use of U of M Marks Sponsor is granted right to use U of M marks (logo, co-branded merchandise, etc.).
U of M Presence Promise of U of M staff/faculty member appearance at no cost/reduced cost to sponsor (mascot, coach, etc.).
U of M Access Promise that a sponsor may access University faculty, staff, and students in an event or activity (see complete definition in policy).