About partnerships

TED and TEDx sponsorship looks very different from the traditional sponsorship you usually see at a conference or event. It’s important to know our philosophy and approach.

The partner philosophy

When approaching sponsors, a major component is spending time educating them on what it means to be a TEDx event sponsor. In short, TED/TEDx provides sponsors an opportunity to do something different.

At TED, we view our sponsors as partners who are joining us on a journey. This is a project that we’re investing in together. There are three core principles to keep in mind:

  • Sponsors are engaging with you in a collaborative relationship to be part of something meaningful: your TEDx event.
  • Target partners who would want to have an authentic dialogue with the TED/TEDx community.
  • Encourage partners to be as creative as possible and dream up interesting and value-adding ways to reach their/your audience.

The 9 steps to TEDx sponsorship

You’ll be learning more about securing and managing partnerships in the following pages, but refer to this ten-step sponsorship process as a general guide:

  1. Review the TEDx sponsorship rules.
  2. Brainstorm potential sponsors that might be a good match for your event. Check out local businesses, or big businesses with local branches.
  3. See if your prospective sponsors fall under the prohibited sponsors list or the prohibited industries list. If so, you are not able to approach them to sponsor for your event.
  4. Reach out to the potential sponsors with a letter and slide presentation. We also find it helpful to review the Why TEDx video and Sponsorship video.
  5. Finalize sponsorship using an agreement.
  6. Collaborate on activation. Check out some of the TEDx sponsor innovations for ideas.
  7. Invite your sponsor to your event.
  8. Send your partner a thank you note after the event, along with photos and a recap of your event.
  9. If you’re interested in having them as a sponsor for next year’s event, make sure to keep in touch.

What makes an ideal TEDx partner?

In this video, Ronda Carnegie, former Director of Global Partnerships at TED, explains the opportunity for TEDx partnerships. And in this video from TEDGlobal, Ronda explains the role of partnerships in TED and TEDx communities.


Rules to remember
  • You cannot have sponsors who sell weapons/ammunition, tobacco/cigarettes or adult-oriented products/services.
  • Sponsors cannot be speakers at the TEDx event they’re sponsoring.
  • Sponsors have no editorial control or veto power over your program.
  • For TEDx events with under 100 attendees, total sponsorship funding may not exceed $10,000 (not including venue cost). For over 100, sponsorships can’t exceed $20,000 per sponsor.