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									                                                             Table of Contents
Welcome .......................................................................................................... Page 1

Icon Overview ............................................................................................... Page 2

Who is the American Cancer Society?.............................................. Page 3
     Our Mission
     2015 Goals

Relay For Life Overview............................................................................ Page 4
     What is Relay for Life?
     Philosophy – Why We Relay
     Why Relay?

National Event Standards ........................................................................ Page 8
     Overnight Event
     Opening and Closing Ceremonies
     Luminara Ceremony
     Survivorship Activities
     Mission Delivery
     Team Registration/Commitment Fee
     Tobacco-Free Environment
     No Alcohol Allowed
     Follow National Text/Graphic Standards

SAD Event Recommendations ................................................. Page 11

Building Relay Excellence – The 5Ds ...................................... Page 13
     1. Leadership Development
     2. Team Development
     3. Survivor Development
     4. Event Development
     5. Fundraising Development

Sponsorship Guidebook

Sponsorship ................................................................................................ Page 15
     What Sponsorship Accomplishes for the American Cancer Society
     What Sponsorship Accomplishes for a Sponsor

Sponsorship Subcommittee Chair ..................................................... Page 16
     Responsibilities and Expectations
     Qualifications and Skills
     Tools to Track Your Progress
     Sponsorship Development Checklist
Sponsor Recruitment............................................................................... Page 20
     Working the Track
     Coordinating Efforts
     Timing is Everything!
     Making “the Ask”
     Materials Needed When Making “the Ask”
Sponsor Retention .................................................................................... Page 23
     Year-Round Relationships
     Recognition of Sponsors
     Standards and Policies Relating to Sponsorship
     Corporate Sponsorship and Underwriting
     In-Kind Sponsorship
     Saying Thank You to Your Sponsors
     Other Times to Show Gratitude
Appendix ....................................................................................................... Page 28

                     Sponsorship Guidebook

Hello South Atlantic Relayers!

Happy 25 Birthday Relay For Life!! It is hard to believe that it has been 25 years since the first laps were
taken around a track in Tacoma, Washington by Dr. Gordy Klatt. Who would have believed that 25 years
later, Relay For Life has raised over $4 billion in the fight against cancer? We have proven that with
passionate, dedicated volunteers and staff partners, no goal is unattainable, especially in the South
Atlantic Division.

Through Relay For Life, we are able to promote the mission of the American Cancer Society by
increasing awareness of cancer, recognizing and celebrating our survivors and caregivers, remembering
those who have lost the battle and fighting back through increasing our grassroots advocacy efforts. With
the addition of CPS-3 (Cancer Prevention Study 3), we have been able to provide our Relay communities
with a way to be involved in life changing cancer research opportunities.

With the help of this guidebook, you will be able to further advance the mission through your community’s
Relay For Life efforts. This guidebook has been compiled using a wide array of resources…web-sites,
DGI’s (darn good ideas), experienced staff, best practices…all in an effort to provide you with a wealth of
tools that you can use to make your event bigger and better than ever. Whether you are chairing a new
event, a committee chair or an experienced chair looking for ideas to improve your existing event, the
information contained in this guidebook will undoubtedly serve as a valuable resource. Many thanks to
everyone involved in putting this guidebook together.

Thank you for all that you are doing in your community to fight cancer. Good luck in planning and
implementing your Relay For Life event. As Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little, together
we can do so much.” Together we can make a difference in the fight against cancer.

Nan                                                       Jeff
Nan Jenkins                                               Jeff Ross
South Atlantic Relay For Life Task Force                  South Atlantic Relay For Life Task Force
Co-Chairperson                                            Chairperson

Sponsorship Guidebook

                                                             Icon Overview
This guidebook includes icons which will alert you to valuable information and
advice. Watch for these icons:

                      IDEA Icon
                      When you see this icon, pay attention! Somewhere along
                      the line, some creative, successful Relay volunteer has
                      come up with an “out of the box” idea that is extra special.

                      IMPORTANT Icon
                      This icon shows you something you definitely don’t want to
                      overlook or miss! It might be information worth reading
                      twice and perhaps even committing to memory.

                      SHARE Icon
                      This icon will highlight a factoid or something that we
                      highly recommend be duplicated and shared with your
                      committee or discussed with your staff partner.

                      ON TARGET Icon
                      This icon alerts you to tried-and-true best practices.

                      DATA Icon
                      This icon will give interesting statistical or data evidence.

                      HINT Icon
                      This icon will give you helpful hints about the topic at hand.

  Sponsorship Guidebook

                                                     Who is the
                                       American Cancer Society?
Our Mission
The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based, voluntary
health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by
preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through
research, education, advocacy, and service.

2015 Goals
The American Cancer Society has four goals that we want/need to reach by
2015. These are:
       A 50 percent reduction in the age-adjusted cancer mortality rate.
       A 25 percent reduction in the age-adjusted cancer incidence rate.
        A measurable improvement in the quality of life from the time of diagnosis
       and for the balance of life for all cancer survivors.
       If our 2015 goals are achieved, it is estimated there may be 5.7 million
        fewer cancer cases and 4.9 million fewer cancer deaths.

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                                            Relay For Life Overview
What is Relay For Life?
Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature activity. It offers
everyone in a community an opportunity to participate in the fight against cancer.
Teams of people camp out at a local high school, park, or fairground and take
turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a
representative on the track at all times during the event. Relays are an o vernight
event, up to 24 hours in length.
Teams of people from all walks of life have fun while raising much -needed funds
to fight cancer and raise awareness of cancer prevention and treatment. No
matter who you are, there’s a place for you at Relay.

Relay For Life is a life-changing event that brings together more than 4 million
people to:
         Celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer. The strength of
        survivors inspires others to continue to fight.
        Remember loved ones lost to the disease. At Relay, people who have
        walked alongside people battling cancer can grieve and find healing.
         Fight Back. We Relay because we have been touched by cancer and
        desperately want to put an end to the disease.

History of Relay For Life
One person can make a difference. Nowhere is that more evident than with the
story of the American Cancer Society Relay For Life, which began in Tacoma,
In the mid-1980s, Dr. Gordy Klatt, a Tacoma colorectal surgeon, wanted to
enhance the income of his local American Cancer Society office and to show
support for all of his patients who had battled cancer. He decided to personally
raise money for the fight by doing something he enjoyed – running marathons.
In May 1985, Dr. Klatt spent a grueling 24 hours circling the track at Baker
Stadium at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. He ran for more than 83
miles. That first year, nearly 300 of Dr. Klatt's friends, family, and patients
watched as he ran and walked the course. Throughout the night, friends donated
$25 to run or walk with Dr. Klatt for 30 minutes. His efforts raised $27,000 to fight
While circling the track those 24 hours, Dr. Klatt thought about how others could
take part in his mission to fight cancer. He envisioned a 24-hour team relay event
that could raise more money to fight cancer. Over the next few months, he pulled
together a small committee to plan the first team relay event, known as the City of
Destiny Classic 24-Hour Run Against Cancer.
In 1986, with the help of Pat Flynn – now known as the “Mother of Relay” – 19
teams took part in the first team Relay event on the track at the historic Stadium
Bowl and raised $33,000. An indescribable spirit prevailed at the track and in the
tents that dotted the infield.
  Sponsorship Guidebook

Relay For Life Mission Statement
The American Cancer Society Relay For Life represents the hope that those lost
to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported,
and that one day cancer will be eliminated.

Why Get Involved?
One in three people will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime. The funds
raised at Relay save lives by funding cutting-edge cancer research, early
detection and prevention education, advocacy efforts, and life-affirming patient
services. It is because of your involvement that we are able to save lives, help
those battling cancer, and empower all to fight back against the disease.

Where the Money Goes
Saving Lives

      Since the inception of its Research Program in 1946, The Society has
       contributed to almost every major cancer discovery. As a result of research
       advances, there are more than 10 million cancer survivors in America.
      Society funding of select researchers led to effective treatments like
       chemotherapy, radiation, and bone marrow transplants that extend
       thousands of lives each year.
      Many cancers such as breast, cervical, colon and prostate can be detected
       early when treatment is more effective. Society-funded research has led to
       the development of early detection methods such as the PSA test and
      If colon cancer is discovered and treated early, the 5-year relative survival
       rate is 90%.The Society has been a leader in raising awareness about the
       importance of getting tested for colon cancer to save lives.
      Original Society scientific research contributed to the recognized link
       between smoking and lung cancer. The Society is helping smokers double
       their chances of quitting through our Quitline, 1-877-YES-QUIT.
      The Society advocates for stronger smoking ordinances and state laws to
       protect employees and the public from tobacco smoke in an effort to reduce
       death and illness caused by smoke. The Society works to fund researchers
       early in their careers, when funding is particularly hard to receive.
       Remarkably, 42 of those funded researchers have gone on to win the Noble

Helping those touched by cancer

      Any time, day or night, people facing cancer can connect with lifesaving
       information, resources, and support online at or through our
       toll-free call center – 1-800-ACS-2345.

  Sponsorship Guidebook

      You are never alone in the Cancer Survivors Network , an online
       community that connects patients, survivors, and caregivers with others who
       have “been there” for insight, moral support, and inspiration.
      When the best hope for a cure is at a cancer center far from home, Hope
       Lodge provides a comfortable, nurturing environment where patients and
       caregivers can stay free of charge during treatment and focus on what is
       most important – getting well.
      Through I Can Cope classes, medical professionals help patients and their
       families overcome fears through information and resources to understand
       their cancer experience.
       Patients need not worry about how to get to and from their treatments when
       trained American Cancer Society volunteers offer free transportation,
       friendship, and support through our Road to Recovery program.
      A free consultation with a Look Good … Feel Better beauty consultant helps
       female patients feel beautiful again by providing tools and tips to overcome
       treatment side effects and restore their pre-cancer appearance and self-
      The American Cancer Society offers many other programs, services, and
       resources to help with the cancer journey. Call the Society to find out which
       ones are right for you, 1-800-ACS-2345.

Empowering people to fight back against cancer

      Ensured access to breast and cervical cancer screenings for low-income
      Passed the Patient Navigator Act, which allows for personal navigators who
       will assist patients in medically underserved communities gain access to
       affordable, understandable prevention, detection, and treatment services.
      New Medicare enrollees now have access to a “welcome visit” with their
       physician that will result in personalized healthy lifestyle and screening
      Cancer advocates sent over 45,000 letters to Congress urging them to
       support cancer research and programs.
      Continuing to restrict youth access to tobacco.
      Reduced deaths and illnesses by advocating for stronger smoking
       ordinances and state laws to protect employees and the public from tobacco
      Society events such as Relay For Life , Making Strides Against Breast
               ®                           ®
       Cancer , and Celebration on the Hill , offer a venue to make a difference in
       the fight against cancer and share the camaraderie of others with the same

25 Years of Progress
When Dr. Gordy Klatt set out on that first Relay, few people envisioned that after
nearly 25 years – smoking would be banned in many public places; that the
human genome would be sequenced, giving hope that a cure can be found;
or that groundbreaking Society-funded research would yield remarkable

  Sponsorship Guidebook

breakthroughs in cancer treatment. These milestones in the fight against cancer
were made possible in large part due to funds raised through Relay For Life
events all over the world.

The 1980s
The Society develops breast cancer early detection guidelines, and backs
legislation allowing Medicare coverage for Pap tests, which means more women
have a chance to prevent cervical cancer.

The 1990s
Early detection pays off as overall cancer death rates drop 1.6 percent between
1991 and 1995. The Society helps pass the Breast and Cervical Cancer Mortality
Prevention Act, which provides grants to states to establish programs for breast
and cervical cancer screening, case management, outreach, and education.
Programs that serve low-income and under-served women are a priority.

2000 and Beyond
The 21 century begins the largest drop in per capita cigarette consumption in 60
years. The human genome is sequenced – partly thanks to Society grantees –
opening the door to understanding how cancer develops. A remarkable new drug,
Gleevac, increases life expectancy for most chronic myeloid leukemia patients.
Death rates for female breast cancer drop 20.8 percent, and prostate cancer
death rates drop by more than 26 percent between 1991 and 2001. The five-year
relative survival rates for cancer in general increase dramatically to 64 percent,
up from the 50 percent rate between 1974 and 1976. In 2000, there were 9.5
million cancer survivors; by 2015, it is projected there will be 11 .3 million cancer
survivors nationwide, a 19 percent increase.

  Sponsorship Guidebook

                                        National Event Standards
Overnight Event
The American Cancer Society Relay For Life was originally created as a 24 -hour
event to represent the fact that cancer never sleeps. When someone who has
cancer goes to bed at night, their cancer does not go away, so Relay For Life
provides an opportunity for us to give up one night in honor and in memory of all
of those who have been touched by cancer. Although many Relays are fewer
than 24 hours in length, they are still overnight, many going from sunset to

Opening and Closing Ceremony
Relays begin with an opening ceremony which sets the tone for the entire event.
The opening ceremony includes an opening lap by cancer survivors and then a
second lap for caregivers. The closing ceremony provides another opportunity for
cancer survivors, their caregivers and all participants to walk the track and to
celebrate their success.

Luminaria Ceremony
The Luminaria Ceremony is often referred to as the Ceremony of Hope or
Ceremony of Remembrance. It is a time to remember people we have lost to
cancer, to support people who currently have cancer, and to honor people who
have fought cancer in the past. Bags lit with a candle and adorned with the
names of those who have been touched by cancer line the track during a
powerful ceremony that provides an opportunity for people to work through grief
and find hope.

Survivorship Activities
Survivorship activities include hosting a reception, as well as giving special
recognition to survivors. These activities are encouraged year-round, as well as
at the Relay For Life event.

Mission Delivery
Educational activities at Relay result in greater awareness of cancer prevention
and early detection methods. Relay supporters have evolved into year -round
collaborative partners who promote cancer awareness and programs before,
during, and after Relay.

Team Registration/Commitment Fee
Teams that pay a commitment fee are more likely to follow through on their
participation and fundraising. If nothing else, the commitment fee covers the costs
of printing the registration materials and other event overhead costs. The average
commitment fee is $10 per person.

  Sponsorship Guidebook

Tobacco-Free Environment
A tobacco-free environment does not mean banning smokers/chewers. Rather,
we encourage their participation but prohibit their use of tobacco during the event.

No Alcohol or Drugs Allowed
Relay For Life is a family event and often held on school property; therefore,
alcohol and drugs are always prohibited.

Follow National Text/Graphic Standards
All national text/graphic standards for Relay must be adhered to.
National Text Standards

Name of the Event:          American Cancer Society Relay For Life
Short:                      Relay For Life (Relay)
Plural:                     Relays

Always capitalize the “F” in Relay For Life. Stylistic manuals support the
capitalization of brand or trade names. It is not uncommon in advertising and
journalistic writing to capitalize certain key words for emphasis. Th e marketing
benefit of capitalizing the “F” is a stronger presentation of the event name.

Use American Cancer Society as often as possible when referring to Relay For

Use luminaria do not use “luminary” or “luminaries”

Corporate Sponsorship/Local Identification:
“The American Cancer Society Relay For Life presented by XYZ Company”
“The American Cancer Society Relay For Life sponsored by XYZ Company”

A community‟s name should appear after the event name.
“The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Jefferson Township.

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A corporate sponsor‟s name should never appear before American Cancer
Society Relay For Life.
Do not use “XYZ Company’s Relay For Life.”
Do not use “XYZ Company's American Cancer Society Relay For Life.”
Do not use “XYZ Company presents the American Cancer Society Relay For Life.

A community‟s name should never appear before American Cancer Society
Relay For Life.
Do not use “Jefferson's Relay For Life.”
Do not use “Jefferson Township’s American Cancer Society Relay For Life.”
Do not use “Jefferson County presents the American Cancer Society Relay For Life.”

  Sponsorship Guidebook

                                             South Atlantic Division
                                         Event Recommendations

Fight Back Ceremony
The Fight Back Ceremony symbolizes the emotional commitment we each make
to the fight against cancer. The action we take represents what we are willing to
do for ourselves, for our loved ones, and for our community to fight cancer year -
round and to commit to saving lives.

Caregiver Recognition
Relay For Life is a time to recognize and thank those who have ever provided
care or support to someone throughout their cancer journey.

Corporate sponsorships are a great way to enhance the success of Relay For Life
events and engage local businesses and community partners in the fight against

South Atlantic Division Awards and Recognition Program
The South Atlantic Division provides the following awards and recognition
programs to Relay For Life teams and participants:
          All-Star Fundraising Club
          Grand Club
          Adult and Youth Incentive Programs

Expense ratio of less than 5 percent
In order to be good stewards of donor dollars, all events are encouraged to keep
their expense ratio to less than 5 percent.

Many Relay For Life events use newsletters, postcards and electronic
communication in addition to personal phone calls and visits to keep in touch with
teams and participants throughout the year.

  Sponsorship Guidebook

Team Meetings
Most successful Relay For Life events hold monthly Team Meetings where Team
Captains and participants are invited to learn more about the American Cancer
Society, gather fundraising ideas, and receive details about Relay For Life.

Bank Nights
In an effort to collect as much money prior to the event as possible, many events
host Bank Nights the week of Relay, which gives teams an opportunity to turn in
funds and collect last minute information.

  Sponsorship Guidebook

                    Building Relay Excellence – The 5 D‟s
Leadership Development
As the leader of your Relay For Life, you should have a good understanding of all
aspects of the Relay For Life event as well as your role in ensuring that your
committee is supported and understand what they need to accomplish. The main
aspects of your Relay can be broken down into five areas of development:
       Leadership Development
       Team Development
       Fundraising Development
       Survivor Development
       Event Development
We will take a brief look at each of these areas. As Event chair, it is your
responsibility to be familiar with each of the 5Ds.

Team Development
All successful Relays have one thing in common – teams! On average a team
consists of eight to fifteen people (this may vary by Relay), representing their
place of employment, neighborhood, school, place of worship, family, or
community organization.
The team captain is an extremely important person who is responsible for both
actively recruiting people to be on the team and for encouraging them to raise
funds. An enthusiastic and dedicated captain is vital. Top captains set the bar
high. They help individual team members set ambitious, yet attainable,
fundraising goals. They also help the team coordinate supplies to bring to the
event, team themes, and campsite activities.
We strongly recommend you have a focused, well-defined team development
committee consisting of separate subcommittees, each having their own chair:
    Team Recruitment
    Team Retention
    Team Mentoring

Fundraising Development
Team and individual fundraising events are the largest sources of income for a
Relay For Life – typically around 85 percent of the net income. Once you have
recruited teams, the next step is to provide them with the tools, tips, information,
and motivation they need to become successful fundraisers. Each participant in a
Relay For Life event is asked to raise, on average, at least $100 in donations
from friends, co-workers, relatives, business associates, and others in the months
preceding the event.
Your Fundraising Development committee will include the following subcommittees:
    Individual Fundraising
    Team Fundraising

   Sponsorship Guidebook

        Online Fundraising
        On-site Fundraising
        Sponsorship (is sometimes its own subcommittee)

 Survivor/Caregiver Development
 Survivors are important to our Relay because their presence and participation
 remind us of the hope we have to fight, cure, and end cancer. Caregivers of
 cancer patients are the helping hands and hearts who have traveled the cancer
 journeys with the survivor, and they should have a prominent place at Relay as
 A strong Survivor/Caregiver Development committee at your Relay will ensure
 survivors and caregivers have opportunity for active involvement at your Relay.
 To develop stronger relationships with a community’s cancer survivors, Relay
 committees are being asked to implement the national survivor model. The focus
 of the HOPE model is in four key areas: Honor, Opportunity, Provide, and

 Event Development
 When people come to a Relay For Life event for the first time, many are
 awestruck by the experience. Relay is unique, inspirational, community-focused,
 and fun-filled. The goal for each Relay is to provide an unforgettable, safe, and
 inviting experience for all who are involved. We want everyone who attends to
 have fun and continue to come back year after year!
 We would like to challenge you to develop a plan for “the show” at Relay For Life,
 with a focus on these areas:
        Ceremonies – Exciting, well-run ceremonies have the ability to
         impact everyone. Visit for scripts and ceremony
        Activities and entertainment – Relay should be filled with games,
         activities, and entertainment if we want people to come back.
        Logistics
        Food and Hospitality
        Registration, Data, and Accounting
        Gatherings leading up to Relay: All meetings, rallies, and kickoffs leading
         up to Relay should be informative, fun-filled, and energizing.

For information on all of the 5Ds, please visit our 5D+Mission interactive training
modules, which can be found on

          Sponsorship Guidebook

Relay For Life sponsorships occur when a business or an organization agrees to pay
money for exposure at your Relay. Exposure may be in the form of signage or perhaps a
logo on your Relay T-shirt. Basically, sponsorship is a marketing opportunity that gives
community businesses and organizations a presence at the number one nonprofit event
in the nation – The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life.

For additional information on the sponsorships please visit our 5D+Mission
interactive training modules, which can be found on

What Sponsorship Accomplishes for the American Cancer Society
Corporate sponsorship is a source of income for your Relay For Life event, but it is als o
so much more. Corporate sponsor employees often serve as volunteers. Sponsorship
also results in the additional promotion of your Relay event by the company.
Of course, the American Cancer Society isn’t the only beneficiary of this agreement.
Remember, our brand carries a lot of weight. Association with the American Cancer
Society brings credibility to corporate sponsors. We have a highly compelling cause –
Americans believe cancer is the most important health problem facing them, and we’re
the largest source of private, nonprofit cancer research funds in the United States.

What Sponsorship Accomplishes for a Sponsor
    Credibility – By associating the sponsor with the American Cancer Society, the
    business is perceived as a credible business. The American Cancer Society has
    name recognition more than 90 percent and receives a favorable rating in public
    opinion surveys.
    Imagery – By stating that a company is a Relay Sponsor, they are linked to a known
    set of image qualities, such as being public service oriented, concerned about health,
    concerned about cancer, etc.
    Community Goodwill – Sponsoring events helps cultivate a deeper a relationship
    with the people in the community.
    Internal Morale – Employees can be directly involved with a company’s sponsorship,
    and in turn, this provides employees with fun and creative team building opportunites .
    Consumer Interaction – Sponsorship is live! Representatives from the sponsor can
    interact with the participants at an event.

                                                   Sponsorship Chair
The Relay For Life Sponsorship Chair is responsible for creating, with the help of a
volunteer committee and staff partner, a targeted list of businesses and/or individuals
to solicit as sponsors. Additional responsibilities include, acknowledgement of
sponsorship gifts and distribution of appreciation gifts (if applicable to specific
community events).

Roles and Responsibilities:

        Make the ask
        Set a sponsorship goal for your event in coordination with the Event chair and
         staff partner.
        Recruit subcommittee members to assist with sponsorship asks.
        Work with the subcommittee to develop a strategy to reach the goal.
        Work with the Team Development committee to coordinate team recruitment and
         sponsorship asks.
        Facilitate contact and follow-up with past and potential new sponsors.
        Facilitate contact after and follow-up with sponsorship asks through the point of
         securing the funds.
        Ensure sponsor amenities are provided as promised.
        Adhere to the standardized sponsorship levels for your division.
        Work the track the night of Relay to thank current sponsors and identify potential
        Work with the Publicity chair to ensure proper publicity for sponsors.
        Work with your staff partner and Event chair to develop a working plan to ensure
         the continued support from sponsors.
        Recruit next year’s Sponsorship chair.
        Thank and recognize sponsors and committee members in a meaningful manner.
        Ensure a Proof of Performance package is delivered to each sponsor within two
         weeks after your event is over.

Characteristics of a Sponsorship Chair:
        Knowledge of and commitment to the American Cancer Society Mission
        Knowledge of the community for recruitment of volunteers and potential sponsors
        Sales experience or being a member of the business committee can be helpful
        Must be comfortable asking for large sums of money
        Must have the ability to lead and motivate; as well as excellent organizational

Sponsorship Guidebook

Sponsorship Timeline
Just as specific responsibilities may vary from event to event, the timeline of when
these activities take place may also vary. However, a recommended timeline for
Sponsorship follows:

8 to 10 Months Out
       Set the Sponsorship goal with the Event chair and staff partner. (The
        Sponsorship goal is usually 10 to 15 percent of the event goal.)
       Identify five to six people to serve as subcommittee members. Select
        those who move in community leadership circles and who would have the
        best opportunity to present the American Cancer Society Relay For Life
        message to others.
       Obtain a list of the previous year’s sponsors and their sponsorship levels.
        Also review previous year’s sponsors, as there may be sponsors who
        were previously on board that can be asked to participate again.
       Work with your staff partner to obtain a national corporate partners list.
       Work with the Team Recruitment chair and discuss possible leads for
        team recruitment on your sponsorship asks.
       Work with the Publicity chair and the ACS Communications and Marketing
        staff partner to determine media sponsorship.
       Work with your on-line chair to gather appropriate logo information for
        top-level sponsors. The logos of top-level sponsors can be placed on the
        event Web site.
       Work with the subcommittee to delegate areas of responsibility (such as
        businesses, churches, other community organizations).
       Compile a list of companies and businesses for potential sponsorship.
       Determine the levels of sponsorship depending on the size of the event,
        the market, and the community. If a previous event or similar event has
        been held, refer to it for sponsorship levels, but adhere to Division
        sponsorship levels as a minimum.
       Work with your staff partner to customize sponsorship proposals. Use the
        template available from your Division.
       Set a deadline for final commitment from sponsors so they can be
        included on event materials.

Sponsorship Guidebook

6 to 8 Months Out
      Start making presentations to potential sponsors.
      Work with the planning committee to plan the kickoff. Include someone
       from the top level of sponsorship on the agenda to speak about why they
       are participating.
      Work on in-kind donations for kickoff.
      Begin collecting sponsor logos for print materials.

4 to 6 Months Out
      Continue making presentations and finalize all sponsor/team commitments.
      Send thank-you letters as soon as a company commits to being a sponsor
       for Relay. The thank-you letter also serves as a confirmation of their
      Get materials printed with sponsor logos. (Don’t forget to put their logos
       on the event Web site.)
      Provide sponsor information to the Publicity chair for inclusion in
       newsletters, press releases, and PSAs.
      Provide sponsor information to Event chair for announcements at team
       captain meetings.

2 to 4 Months Out
      Design the layout of the back of the Relay T-shirts that will feature
       sponsor logos.
      Work with the planning committee to design event program with sponsor
      Continue to work with the Publicity chair to fulfill sponsor benefits.

6 to 8 Weeks Out
      Work with the Planning committee to finalize and print the event program.
      Gather company banners for display at the event.
      Have an appreciation gift (e.g., plaques, certificates) made for the
       sponsors. Keep the sponsor in mind when selecting these gifts. For
       example, if a sponsor is a small company based out of a home, a plaque
       may or may not be the best gift. Try to make the gifts personal to that
       company or sponsor.
      Work with your staff partner to contact a signage company to make
       banners with the sponsors’ logos, which will hang in visible locations at
       the event.

Sponsorship Guidebook

One Month Out
      Finalize banner/signage location at the event.
      Provide sponsor information to the Ceremonies chair for inclusion in the
       event script.
      Continue to work with the Publicity chair to publicize sponsors.
      Invite any future potential sponsors to be “VIPs” at the event.

Night of the Event
      Act as host to “VIPs,” escorting and introducing them around the event.
       Introduce them to other sponsors.
      Ensure that the Ceremonies chair recognizes and thanks sponsors at the
       opening and closing ceremony. Present with appreciation gifts.

Post Event
      Submit all data regarding sponsorship to your staff partner. Give complete
       records with the name of company, address, phone number, sponsorship
       level and amount given, and the name and position of contact person.
       Submit any correspondences shared by the contact person, CEO, etc.
       This can be beneficial to include in thank-you letters or in next year’s
      Send a thank-you note with the date of next year’s event. Include a
       reminder to the sponsor asking them to keep Relay in the budget for the
       next year, and tell them you will be contacting them eight to ten months
       prior to the event.
      It’s also a great idea to send a picture taken at the event that shows how
       their logo was displayed. You may also want to consider sending them a
       fulfillment package with a collection of all the materials in which their
       name and logo were mentioned.
      Send newsletters to all Relay participants with a full-page thank-you to all
       the sponsors. Include a page with logos if possible.
      Work with the Survivor/Caregiver chair to recruit survivors to help with the
       thank-you process.

Sponsorship Guidebook

                                   Sponsor Recruitment
The first step in sponsorship development is to identify your potential sponsors
and work with your Event chair to set a sponsorship goal. The first step to setting
a goal is to understand what has happened previously.
Take time to assess last year’s sponsorships. How many were there? What
companies were involved? Have you contacted them about returning?
Sponsorship goals need to be based on your community size and available
resources. In order to do this, you must assess your community’s potential. Two
ways to do this are community mapping and networking.
       Community Mapping: Gather your sponsorship committee and top team
        captains. On a large map of your community, place dots to show the
        location of your existing sponsors. Are they clustered? Are they spread
        out over your entire community? Ask participants to identify businesses
        with which they have contacts in areas where there are no dots. This
        exercise should happen at one of your RFL committee meetings.
       Networking with participants, survivors, and other sponsors: Just as
        you would use a Recruitment Wheel to recruit teams, why not use the
        same strategy to identify potential sponsors?

Working the Track
One effective networking tool is known as “working the track.” At your event, walk
the track with other committee members and greet current and potential sponsors
in attendance. Ask them for their support next year while thanking them (and
showing them) what their support has helped to create this year. What better time
to ask for a sponsor to join you to return then when they are at the event in the
middle of their Relay experience?

Coordinating Efforts
For those events that take place in densely populated areas or urban markets,
corporate sponsorship requests work best through a coordinated approach
versus asking multiple times with multiple events. This preserves the relationship
with the company and increases your chances of success when you make the
ask. Work with your staff partner to coordinate this process.

Timing is Everything!
When planning your sponsorship asks, don‟t be afraid to ask the potential
sponsor for their budget timeline for sponsorships. Most companies plan
their budgets at least six months in advance. The best way to ensure you
make their deadline is to have a good post-event plan in place and to ask for
their support for next year.

Sponsorship Guidebook

Making “the Ask”
There are many factors that will contribute to your success when approaching a
potential sponsor. The first is finding the right person to make the ask! When
looking for a committee member to ask local businesses for participation in your
event’s sponsorship program, identify a volunteer who:
     Has good contacts.
     Is willing to make the call
     Understands your program
This person should be:
     Enthusiastic
     Willing to ask for money
     Committed to the American Cancer Society and Relay For Life
Knowing how to tell your story contributes to your success when requesting
sponsorship. Here are a few things to keep in mind when asking potential
sponsors for their support:
      Share your personal story or your experience with cancer in a passionate
      Be persuasive but not pushy.
      Know some of the information about the American Cancer Society and
       how it benefits your community.
When meeting with a potential sponsor, bring a friend and/or a survivor, and be
specific about your request. Discuss the benefits and recognition opportunities,
such as on banners being hung at the event and on programs and T -shirts.
For the bigger asks you will make this season, set appointments and
include your staff partner. This shows the sponsor you are respectful of
their time and keeps your staff partner in the loop on your recruitment

Know what “no” means. Many times, there is more to the story behind a “no.”
If you are comfortable, try to determine why. Is it a budget issue? Remember to
make the ask earlier next year. Is it a concern about the Society? Find out
specifics and get back to them with more information. Is there concern about the
dollars staying in your community? Show them the ways that the American
Cancer Society is active in your town.

Sponsorship Guidebook

Materials Needed When Making “the Ask”:
Once you have set a meeting to ask for support, be sure you are prepared . Work
with your Fundraising chair and Event chair to put together a sponsorship
package that reflects your community and the people involved in your event. Here
are a few suggestions of things to bring with you:
     Sponsorship packet with a sponsorship agreement
     Event brochure
     Local statistics and information about the Society’s impact in your local
        community. Be sure to have recent statistics that are pertinent to the
        you are meeting with, but are understandable, and brief
     Photos of signage and sponsors from last year’s Relay

Your Division may have a sponsorship packet template available for sponsorship
committees and chairs to use. Local events should use the template
by their Division. Each sponsorship packet should contain:
     A personalized letter from the chair (an additional hand-written note is
         even better)
     Information on sponsorship levels and amenities
     Relay For Life fact sheet
     Local event information sheet
     American Cancer Society information. The programs and services
         brochure is a good collateral piece to include in the packet. Your staff
         partner can help you identify the proper piece and order it for you
     A response form that includes a deadline date
     If it’s available, publicity you have received about the event or interesting
         photos from examples of last year

Google „em or
A potential sponsor may very well have certain affinities with causes
or a mission statement that works well with the mission of the American
Cancer Society. Research them in advance so you can be informed!

Sponsorship Guidebook

                              Sponsorship Retention
Just as we work to retain our teams from year to year, it is important that your
committee works to retain your sponsors. Invite sponsors to your event, involve
them in your wrap-up, and engage them year-round. Send them holiday cards,
invite them to your kickoff, and ask them to form a team. At your event, ask them
back next year and be sure to acknowledge returning sponsors whenever
possible. Last but not least, follow up with thank-you notes that include the total
finds raised by the event and local data on where the money goes.

Year-Round Relationships
Building strong relationships with your sponsors is essential to retaining them
year after year. After Relay is over, approach your sponsor about providing
mission opportunities to their employees. Offer them information on the American
Cancer Society programs and services in your area. Ask them to sign up teams,
and survivors, and even to host an onsite fundraiser or activity. Building a
relationship based on mutual benefit is what will set your event apart from other
fundraising events.
Relationship building means knowing what is going on in your sponsor’s world.
Have they been featured in a local publication? Have they received an award
from a business organization? Are they having an important anniversary or
reached a significant milestone? Watch out for and acknowledge your sponsor’s
achievements year-round.

It is important to keep information on organizations that have agreed to
sponsor your event each year. Be sure to list who to contact at the
company, how to reach them, and the value of the sponsorship donation
received. Create a “pass down” log to share with next year’s committee and
to show your event’s historical growth year after year.

Sponsorship Guidebook

Recognition of Sponsors
Recognition is a key element in the retention of sponsors. Work with the
Recognitions Chair to create a plan for recognizing the sponsors. Show them you
appreciate them by keeping in touch year-round. Have you considered asking
sponsors how they would like to be recognized? A few best practices for
recognizing sponsors include:
      Using their logos on event materials (Don’t forget online opportunities.)
      Inviting them to your kickoff, and thank them publicly
      Hosting a VIP reception just for sponsors and top fundraisers before your
      Sending thank-you notes written by survivors or team captains
      Posting their signage at your event and inviting them to speak
       Caution: The Opening Ceremony should focus on survivors and is not the
       place to recognize sponsors. Schedule a separate stage opportunity for
       your sponsors to be recognized at your Relay.
      Waiving the registration fees for a set number of your sponsors’ teams as
       a thank you and to encourage the people to attend and participate in the
      Recognizing the sponsor on the stage at your event and reserving a time
       for those sponsors with teams to walk a lap together as an organ ization
      For first-time sponsors, especially ones without teams, assign a
       committee member to host them at the event. Introduce the sponsor to
       survivors and team captains who can thank them personally.
      Acknowledging your sponsors by including their logos or company
       information in all communications and printed materials for your event
      Inviting sponsors to your post-event wrap-up and asking their opinion
       about their experience as a sponsor for your event
When planning your strategy for sponsor recruitment, retention, and recognition,
don’t forget to use your teams. They have connections in your community and
can help you identify potential sponsors and ask for that support. Team captains
can help you thank sponsors with handwritten thank-you notes, phone calls, and
personal attention at the event. If a sponsor sees a number of people
acknowledging and appreciating their donation, they are more likely to continue to
support the event.
As your event grows, so will your need for sponsors. A well-rounded
subcommittee is important to help with each of the three Rs mentioned in this
guidebook – recruitment, retention, and recognition. For example, focus sponsor
recruiters on different target groups. Ask a volunteer to solely focus on
recognition, for example, by sending regular communications to your sponsors,
organizing sponsor attendance at Relay events throughout the season, and
collecting logos for printed materials.

Sponsorship Guidebook

Standards and Policies Relating to Sponsorship
      It is a policy of the American Cancer Society that we do not accept money
       from tobacco companies.
      Because Relay is an alcohol-free, family event, we do not promote
       alcoholic beverages through signage before, during, or after the event.
      Media coverage cannot be guaranteed and therefore should not be
       promised as a benefit unless previously confirmed via written contract
       through media sponsors. The American Cancer Society can only promise
       to include sponsor recognition in our promotional materials.
      Luminaria sponsors cannot place their corporate logos on the luminaria
      No sponsorship opportunities in a proposal are guaranteed to be
       exclusive. We will offer as many sponsorship opportunities as possible to
       help put us one step closer to finding a cure for cancer.
      Relay For Life does not honor “title sponsorships” where a Relay event
       features the name of a company (Example – “Wal-Mart’s Relay For Life”).
       However, we do honor “presenting sponsorships,” for example, “American
       Cancer Society
       Relay For Life of XYZ County presented by Wal-Mart.”

Corporate Sponsorship and Underwriting
   There is a distinct difference between corporate sponsorship and
      Underwriting is solicited to pay the cost of the event or an activity of the
       event. The underwriter receives benefits, but those benefits are
       associated with the activities underwritten.
      Corporate sponsorship is what the business pays to be associated with
       the American Cancer Society and the event (or part of the event).

Sponsorship Guidebook

In-Kind Sponsorship
       Sponsorship benefits are given to in-kind sponsors when the product
        donated helps relieve the Relay budget. The value of the sponsorship is
        based on the price you would pay for the product if purchasing it.
       Items that can enhance your event and great to get donated. Talk with
        the planning committee to decide who is going to approach these
           Tents
           Food
           Beverages
           Porto-potties
           Moon-bounces
           Dunk Tank
           Door Prizes for games
           Pizza for midnight pizza party
If your event has difficulty meeting these standards, please discuss this with your
staff partner to develop a plan to achieve the standards.

Sponsorship Guidebook

Saying „Thank You‟ to Your Sponsors
Did you know that a person has to be thanked seven times before they truly feel
appreciated? Work with the Recognition Chair to develop a recognition plan and
establish who is going to handle recognizing sponsors. In the case of sponsors,
it’s important to thank them several times, in several ways. Most importantly, it’s
crucial that you thank them face-to-face after your Relay is over.
Here are a few suggestions of ways to say thank you:
       Send a group picture of your survivors along with a thank -you note.
       Have a local bakery donate sweets to be delivered to the office of your
        sponsors. For example, you could send a pie with a note that says –
        “Your generosity toward our Relay was sweet as pie.”
       Work with your Survivor Development chair to recruit survivors to deliver
        items, such as baked goods, balloons, flowers, pizza, or a singing
       Ask survivors to write personal thank-you notes to sponsors and their
        team members.
       Ask a survivor to write a thank-you letter to the editor sharing his/her
        experience at Relay and what it meant to have local companies support
        Relay. Include the top sponsors in the letter.
       Get local businesses to donate space on their marquees, and following
        your Relay and have signs that say, “Thanks to our Relay sponsors.”
       See if a “thank you” message can be placed in a sponsor’s company
        newsletter, on a bulletin board, or on the entrance to their company.
       Send a personal note from the sponsorship chair.
       Send a personal note from your staff partner.
       Send a personal note from the Event chair.

Other Times to Show Gratitude
       During the holiday season
       During company picnic times (you might send a card or balloons as a
       At the end of their fiscal year
       During the company anniversary
       When you can invite them to other American Cancer Society functions,
        such as research tours
Developing a calendar and getting donated items lined up prior to your Relay
event will aid your success in cultivating sponsors.

Document Name                                                                           Location
     Sample Cover Letter ....................................... . ........................... Page 29
     Sample Cover Letter 2………………………………………...………..Page 30
     Sample Sponsorship Sales Flyer ……………………………………..Page 31

                                         Relay For Life
                                      Corporate Sponsorship

Please join the American Cancer Society in our effort to end cancer through our largest fundraising event,
Relay For Life. Relay For Life is the country’s largest grassroots effort to eliminate cancer as a major
health problem in America.

Sponsorship in Relay For Life creates a positive corporate image and positions your business as a strong,
innovative and socially committed leader. Perhaps the most compelling reason to become involved as a
corporate sponsor of Relay For Life is your employees. Sponsorship in Relay For Life helps build
employee morale and company pride. Community outreach not only heightens morale, but builds team
leadership and management skills and provides valuable networking opportunities within the
The American Cancer Society will not give up until we find a cure. It is because of organizations like
yours, we continue to make progress every single day. Join us today by becoming a Relay For Life


<staff name>                                     <Corporate Sponsorship Committee Chair>
<staff title>                                    Corporate Sponsorship Committee Volunteer Chair
American Cancer Society
<insert office address>
<insert office phone number

To Whom It May Concern:

The American Cancer Society is organizing the Relay For Life, which is a fundraising event to raise
money and awareness in the battle against cancer. Millions of Americans are touched by cancer if not
directly then they know of a friend or acquaintance that has been affected by this disease.

This community truly pulls together by forming teams made up of families, friends, church groups, etc.
who raise money to support our programs. The community support also comes from area businesses who
participate as Sponsors by giving cash and/or in-kind donations, which make the event special for the
participants and helps to communicate the importance of this event to our community.

By becoming a Corporate Sponsor, businesses gain a fantastic marketing tool to reach over <insert
number of participants> participants and the general public throughout our community by receiving
various media and print recognition for your generous donation. Corporate Sponsorship levels are
outlined in the enclosed brochure along with a brief description of the event. Your business can help with
a cash and/or an In-Kind contribution.

Your generous contributions are sent to the National American Cancer Society to be distributed for
Research Grants, and Patient Services such as the National Cancer information Center Hotline. On a
local level they are used for Patient Programs and Services such as Look Good…Feel Better (Cancer
Patients hair and skin care/ make-up session), Man to Man (Gentlemen’s Cancer Support Group), Road to
Recovery (transportation to treatments), and a Wig Bank (wigs are free of charge at our local office to
patients who cannot afford this added expense while going through treatments).

Please help our community fight this disease by becoming a Corporate Sponsor for the Relay For Life of
<insert event name> this year. Your community support helps so many who have battled and who are
currently battling this disease and your help will be greatly appreciated. Please feel free to contact me if
you have any questions or wish to discuss the details of this event.


Relay For Life Planning Committee Volunteer
American Cancer Society
<insert office address>
<insert office phone number>

<insert date>

        Relay For Life of <insert event name>
        <event date>
        <event location>

                 <customize information below to fit your event specifics>
    Sponsorship Benefits
    Gold Sponsor       $5,000
    special recognition during the Relay For Life opening and
       closing ceremonies
    your company-supplied banner/sign displayed on the main stage
    publicity in the monthly event newsletter
    corporate signs at the event
    publicity in radio and TV promotions for the Relay For Life 
    your company logo/name on back of participants’ T-shirts
    providing long-term advertising and visibility
    opportunity for your company spokesperson to speak at the
    commitment fee waived for three teams
    your company logo/name on all event promotional brochures and

    Silver Sponsor        $2,500
    recognition at the event
    your company-supplied banner/sign displayed at the event
    publicity in the monthly event newsletter
    corporate signs at the event
    publicity in radio and TV promotions for the Relay For Life
    your company logo/name on back of participants’ T-shirts
    commitment fee waived for two teams
    your company logo/name on the event promotional brochures and

    Bronze Sponsor        $1,000
    corporate signs at the event
    your company logo/name on back of participants’ T-shirts
    commitment fee waived for one teams

your company logo/name on the event promotional brochures and

In-Kind Sponsor     no minimum gift

publicity in event program
the value of the goods or services will determine the
additional sponsorship benefits

Relay For Life of <event name> Sponsorship Agreement

____ Yes, we would like to support the American Cancer Society as
a sponsor of the Relay For Life at the level indicated below.

____ $5,000 Gold Sponsor

____ $2,500 Silver Sponsor

____ $1,000 Bronze Sponsor

____ In-Kind Sponsor - Item(s) ______________________________
Value $ _______

We are unable to be a designated Relay For Life sponsor this
year, but would like to make a donation of $ _____

Please fill out the information below:

Company Name                            Contact Name


_________________________________   _______________
City                                State               Zip

Phone                         Email

Company Name & Sponsor Signature                             Date

Relay For Life Corporate Sponsorship Chairperson Signature


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