Budget & Sponsors Guidelines

  • Funding: All funds raised through your CEC event’s ticket sales and partnerships must go back into the organizing of the local CEC Events.
  • Eligible sponsors: You may not approach any sponsors that fall under our prohibited industries list: adult-oriented products/services; tobacco/cigarettes; weapons, oil companies, ammunition and defence. If any of your sponsors fall into these industries, your license will be removed immediately.
  • Editorial control: Sponsors have no editorial control or veto power over your program.
  • Payment: Wherever possible, please have sponsors pay vendors directly.
  • Social media: Do not commit with your sponsors that CEC will write about them or include them in the CEC Newsletter nor CEC social media. You have a list of sponsor benefits to provide from CEC (YOUR CITY or ORGANIZATION) but do not commit CEC to do so. If you have doubts reach out to your CEC Organizers Coordinator.
  • Products and giveaways: Branded products may be given away. CEC@-branded products may not be sold. The local CEC logo/brand may not be licensed for commercial purposes.

Tax exemption

Unfortunately, CEC can't extend our non-profit tax-exempt status to your Chapter. Some Chapters such as University chapters may have tax-exempt status extended by their University. Tax laws are also extremely strict regarding fundraising and expenditure of funds, so Chapter activity that infringes on these laws could threaten CEC’s non-profit status.

Do you need to form a local association?

Most banks do not require your local club to be an incorporated association to be able to receive sponsorship payments in the bank. If you need to form an association, you are allowed to open an association with your CEC local name for the period that you are a CEC Organizer. Once you are no longer a CEC Organizer, you should pass on the association to the next organizer or close the association.

Your Chapter can individually apply for 501(c)3 status if you would like to have more flexibility in forming permanent partnerships and securing cash or in-kind donations (if you are a university or school-based Chapter make sure this is allowed by your University or School). For university or school-based Chapters, your school likely extends non-profit status to you as an official organization (check with your school for details). For international Chapters, we recommend that you refer to your country’s laws with respect to tax-exemption.

Create a Budget

It is important to keep track of expenses, and what you need to pay and when. The Mapping session budget is very straightforward. Create a checklist for all of the things you might spend money on, do some research on general costs for each and add an estimate to the list. To be safe times this figure why 1.5 to be on the safe side.

In-Kind donations

You’ll be surprised at how many costs can be supplemented with in-kind donations. This can be done through those willing to donate their services for something in return. Maybe the local baker can provide cupcakes in exchange for introductions to key attendees. In-kind donations could be used to source the following:

  1. Room hire and audio-visuals
  2. Catering
  3. Speakers (via the CEC Facebook group and CEC LinkedIn group you can look for CEC Members who are experienced in undertaking speaking roles that may accept to volunteer as a speaker at your event. Otherwise you may look for sponsorship to cover the cost of speakers that have a fee).
  4. Photography (recruit a volunteer with knowledge of photography).
  5. PR (ask your team to help you contact the local news and media outlets to spread the word about your event and share your event in different sustainability and circular online groups).

Securing Funds

Here are some suggestions on how to raise money for your Chapter’s activities:

  • Register as a club in your city or organization, as this may entitle you to a budget (this will most likely apply to Universities which may fund campus clubs).  
  • Research other places to get funding such as social entrepreneurship initiatives in your cities, non-profit activities, company budget for extra activities, student activities and affairs, career services, Centers of Excellence, and Dean’s grants and awards.
  • Think of organizations which might be able to provide financial or logistical support.
  • Charge admission at events.
  • Ask for sponsorship from organizations.

Approaching sponsors & partners

You will need to find and contact the right person at the company, someone who can make decisions about sponsorships and in-kind collaborations. You can usually find this on the “about” or “contact” page of their website or in LinkedIn. If you’re still not sure, check with someone in their administrative department. Give yourself plenty of time to reach out to sponsors and partners.

Here’s a sample letter you can customize and use when reaching out to potential sponsors:

“Dear [sponsor contact],

My name is [your name] and I am the Circular Economy Club (CEC) [YOUR City/Company/University/School] Organizer.

The concept of the circular economy is grounded in the study of non-linear, feedback-rich systems. A major outcome of taking insights from living systems and applying them to the economy is the notion of optimizing systems rather than components. CEC is an international network of over 2,600 circular economy professionals and organizations. CEC is global and open for anyone to join for free via CEC website. CEC gathers designers, engineers, economists and strategists who are resetting the world standards. 

In the spirit of attracting circular economy professionals to collaborate and strengthen the circular framework, CEC (YOUR CITY) has organized the (YOUR EVENT) (DATE), which will be a session to (EVENT GOAL). We are excited to be given the CEC licensee for our city and are reaching out to a select group of companies that are committed to the power of the circular economy model.

We felt [sponsor] would add value XXYYZZZ and add to the unique atmosphere. We are looking forward to discussing ways in which [sponsor] could collaborate in this exciting new global venture.

I look forward to hearing from you and discussing this is further detail.

[your name]”


What to communicate once you make contact with the prospect sponsor

  1. Explain that your CEC session will spur knowledge, collaboration and inspire people to implement a circular future in your city/community. Show them the CEC Media kit , to learn more about the club and let them know about the local member network you are building.
  2. Communicate benefits for the company in sponsoring session. These may include:
    1. Inclusion of their logo and link to their page on the CEC website on your page.
    2. Networking opportunities
    3. Publicity during your session
    4. Inclusion of their company name in your local press release in a newspaper (if applicable)
    5. A chance to launch/showcase a new product/project during the networking sessions
  3. Make sure to put together a sponsor/partner agreement (this is the CEC Template for sponsor/partner agreements), to be signed by the sponsor and lead organizer. It is important to clearly outline what the sponsor is agreeing to provide to your CEC session (not to CEC itself), and what they will get in return (from you directly, not from CEC itself).
  4. Invite them to the event and introduce them to relevant contacts.
  5. Send your partner a thank you note after the event, along with your session photos on CEC and a recap of your event.
  6. If you’re interested in having them as a sponsor for another CEC session, make sure to keep in regular contact.

Return to Toolkit for Organizers

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