The Difference Between a Sponsorship & a Partnership


In business, a sponsorship exists when one entity provides financial support to another to achieve promotional advantages. When a business gives funds to a local cause or event, for instance, it has sponsored that event. A partnership means each entity shares in the responsibilities, risks and earnings of a business arrangement. When two companies collaborate on an event or promotion, for instance, they share these commitments.

Blurred Lines Between Sponsorship and Partnership

  • "Sponsorship" and "partnership" are often used in the same way to describe a for-profit company's relationship to a nonprofit organization or activity. In reality, the for-profit is a sponsor in most cases because it gets no direct benefit from the financial or tangible support. However, some people refer to the business as a "partner" when it receives prominent face time and attention from its involvement. Though the relationship is still a sponsorship, for-profit companies do gain public relations benefits from supporting important causes.

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