Directors of corporate sponsorship typically work for medium- to large-size corporations throughout the United States and the world. They also work for nonprofits of all sizes that seek to obtain corporate sponsorships to offset their operating expenses or to fund organization events or programs.
Most directors of corporate sponsorship begin their careers in entry-level positions as fundraisers, or in the advertising, public relations, marketing, or media departments of businesses or nonprofits. With experience, they advance to higher-level positions that provide them with the training and skills, as well as industry contacts, to land their first jobs as directors.
The position of director of corporate sponsorship is high on the career and corporate ladder. As a result, the prospect of advancement can be somewhat limited. However, individuals may begin their careers with smaller organizations and move to similar positions with larger corporations or nonprofit agencies or they may move from nonprofits to private sector positions (or vice-versa).
As those individuals already serving in the role of director create and implement successful and financially beneficial corporate sponsorships and partnerships, he or she may seek internal expansion of their position, with increased responsibilities and a greater role in the company.
Given the significance of branding and marketing strategies to companies and corporations, it's possible that the successful performance as director of corporate sponsorship may lead to promotion to other executive or managerial positions. Likewise, as sponsorship is one of the most important tasks of nonprofit organizations, success in obtaining funding through corporate sponsorship may result in enhanced management responsibilities for the individual.
Practice the old adage “it’s not what you know but who you know.” Successfully securing and implementing sponsorships requires the “right” contacts. Work hard to build your network to improve your chances of success in the field.
Follow your conscience when searching for a potential employer. Pursuing positions at nonprofit agencies with missions and purposes that you believe in and support will make your job and your life more fulfilling.
Learn how to think outside the box. Developing corporate sponsorships requires new and creative ideas.
Join associations for fundraising and marketing professionals; many offer continuing education opportunities and job postings.
Review industry journals that focus on specialized markets such as sports teams, auto makers, or beverage producers. This will keep you up-to-date about corporate spending and sponsorship trends.