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We are pleased to invite you to submit your proposal up to the deadline of October 24, 2018. The Pillar Sponsorship program invests annually in alumni and student initiatives, while promoting the affinity products that sponsors offer to individuals in the University of Toronto community.

Our Sponsors: U of T Affinity Partners

The University of Toronto has long-standing affinity relationships with Manulife, MBNA, and TD Insurance. These partnerships allow the University to provide beneficial, value-added financial and insurance products to our alumni and students. Thousands of alumni take advantage of these offers and, in turn, the revenue generated helps support a range of diverse alumni and student initiatives. See all affinity products

Who can apply for sponsorship?

Open to U of T alumni or students that develop projects, events or initiatives which add value to the University community and embody the values set out by our affinity partners.

Eligibility criteria:

  • illustrate a clear support of the student and/or alumni experience
  • be able to provide marketing visibility for the sponsor(s)
  • be non-academic in nature, and hosted primarily in Ontario
  • take place between January 1 and December 31, 2019
Marketing deliverables

To build awareness of valuable affinity products offered, projects deliver marketing opportunities for the sponsor(s). Basic marketing deliverables include sponsor promotions and presence across: online, social, print, and signage. Additional marketing deliverables may include news articles, giveaway items, and other strategic engagement opportunities with the sponsor(s). Among other promotions, all projects must provide at least one (1) direct online or social promotion whereas your audience can click-through to the affinity products website to learn more and sign-up.

Project attendees vs. sponsor’s audience

Applicants must outline the potential of their project for: a) number of people involved in the project (i.e. attendees), and, more significant to the sponsor, b) number of people who might see the sponsor’s brand (i.e. impressions). It is important to distinguish between your project and the story of your project. Your project likely has a relatively small number of people involved as compared with the larger University community and broad alumni audience that you could reach with your story, i.e. through an alumni magazine, newsletter, social post, website, etc. For example, some projects many not involve the sponsor’s target audience (primarily alumni), but they can reach the sponsor’s target audience with their story, sharing about their community impact, and the sponsor(s) who helped to make it possible.

Reporting deliverables

For approved projects, expected vs. actual metrics are required in a final report. Approved project leaders are accountable to report metrics and to give creative ideas for how they might improve those in future. A report template will be provided.

What are the benefits of being sponsored?

Beyond the direct sponsorship funding (up to a maximum of $10,000 per year), the Pillar Sponsorship Program provides many supporting benefits:

  • ongoing support from Alumni Relations across the whole year as a single point of contact
  • sponsor branded swag / prizes
  • new stand-up ‘thank you’ banners for events
  • a social media guideline
  • a sponsorship branding guideline
  • learning sessions held to support Pillar leaders (i.e. with social media best practices and measurement know-how)
  • branding approvals - to remove the guesswork for Pillar leaders, all treatments of the sponsor logos are submitted for approval in advance with quick-turnaround feedback.
  • report template - to simplify final reports, a PowerPoint template will be provided for each project leader to easily fill in providing a consistent reporting approach
How to apply
  1. Read all information provided on this web page.
  2. Carefully select the potential sponsor that is most aligned with your project.
  3. Apply online by the deadline: October 24, 2018. APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED
  4. Retain a copy of your online application for your records (PDF is provided).
  5. All applicants will be notified of results in the third week of November 2018.
  6. Approved applicants will attend an info session in either of December 2018 or January 2019.
How are proposals assessed?

Proposals are assessed by members of our affinity partner organizations, and the department of Alumni Relations in the Division of University Advancement. Affinity partners make the final decisions and past project approval is not a guarantee of future approval.

Assessment criteria of project proposals:

  • Community Impact – Effect on U of T alumni, students, and the greater University community.
    • Note: Pillar Sponsorship Program overall aims for a balance of audiences and project types.
  • Efficiency – Resourceful and efficient use of funding to deliver value to participants.
  • Sponsor Values – Alignment with the values of the sponsor(s).
  • Sponsor Audience – Ability to reach the target audience of the sponsor(s).
  • Sponsor Marketing – Extent of marketing opportunities provided for the sponsor(s).
    • For returning applicants, plans that will improve sponsor marketing versus previous year.
Sponsor specific criteria
Please review the below information and request the sponsor(s) that is well aligned with your project.
Volunteerism Teamwork and innovation Financial Security,
Vibrant Planet,
Connected Communities,
Better Health
At Manulife Financial we believe that every volunteer hour, every volunteer act, and every hour given back is an investment in the future of all Canadians. Provide opportunities that help build innovative teams which foster community, enhance the student experience and provide value to alumni and future alumni. Provide opportunities for direct interaction with students and alumni around at least one of our values. More info: TD Ready Commitment
U of T
The University of Toronto Alumni Plan with Manulife offers low rates on term life, disability, personal accident, health and dental insurance. The U of T MBNA Rewards Mastercard® credit card lets you earn MBNA Rewards points and redeem for the rewards that you want. The TD Insurance Meloche Monnex program provides savings through lower preferred insurance rates for home and auto.
Alumni: Ages 25-45 Alumni: Ages 23-45 Alumni/Students: Ages 25-49
Among other promotions, deliver at least one (1) online promotion or social post whereas your audience and public can click-through to the affinity products website to learn more and sign-up. Must use unique short link for tracking purposes, i.e. using the tool.

If you have any questions about the Program or the suitability of your project, please feel free to contact Benjamin Goss, Manager, Alumni Services and Affinity Products, at

Please note: Approximately 40-50 projects are approved annually. Historically, the number of applications submitted greatly exceeds those that are approved. Past project approval is not a guarantee of future approval.