On sponsorships

When you are finding sponsors for an event, you want to make sure that the reputation of the sponsors are good so that your event is not tainted by bad press. At the same time, you don’t want to be hounded by NGOs or enemies of your sponsors. Of course, more importantly, you want to make sure the values of your sponsors are aligned to your event’s values. So if you’re running some kind of sustainability conference, it is important that you don’t have a bunch of sponsors who are just there to do greenwashing.

This alignment of values extends itself to education sponsorships, especially the ones where you eventually are bonded to the organisation sponsoring you. You have to perform due diligence into their governance and processes, especially in terms of HR practices and talent management. Talent management is not just about paying the market rates, giving good bonuses and performance incentives.

True talent management is allowing employees to contribute with their talents, to be providing value through their opinions and not their obedience. The best companies are never short of manpower to support their work because they make the employees’ work their work. So if you’re considering a scholarship, especially a sponsorship that comes with a bond, please do your due diligence and don’t just think it’s free money.

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