Sponsorship: n. giving funds and/or helping a subset(s)
A donation is just giving financial support and most sponsorships involve some additional help other than financial to support a cause, a human, or an organization. A true sponsor usually has more responsibility than just a financial investment role and frequently offers additional help of some kind.
Sponsoring a needy child overseas means financial support but also some communication with that child encouraging or motivating them with love, affection, and advice.
Many athletes are sponsored by corporations in a purely monetary way so sponsorship is just a way of making the donor feel more important than they really are and the sponsors are usually not helping in other ways too.
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