Local chapters of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation can breathe a little bit easier nowadays.

The reason: the nonprofit has rolled out a new sponsorship strategy that shifts oversight of national partnerships from local chapters to its executive office.

Until last year, local chapters managed partnerships with Advance Auto Parts, Inc., Ford Motor Co. and more than 30 other national partners. Each chapter was responsible for coordinating benefits with other chapters across Walk to Cure Diabetes events, one of the nonprofit’s major fundraisers.

JDRF has already signed its first national partner under the new strategy: The nonprofit in April announced a two-year, $1 million tie with Novo Nordisk, Inc.as a national sponsor of Ride to Cure Diabetes. The pharmaceutical company represents the property’s first presenting sponsor.

The sponsorship supports Novo Nordisk’s title of a professional cycling team comprised of athletes with Type 1 diabetes.

JDRF launched the new strategy as part of an organization-wide effort to consolidate its chapter databases under the auspices of its executive office. The goal of the reorganization: to gain a more detailed analysis of financial information and other data across the JDRF network.

The nonprofit in November 2012 hired Margo Lucero, vice president of strategic corporate alliances, to spearhead the new strategy. Lucero previously served as vice president of experiential marketing and business development and partnerships with Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

JDRF works with three companies at the top-tier Elite Partner level: Advance Auto Parts, Inc., Ford Motor Co. and Marshalls. The three companies—each of which pay more than $2 million annually—support the nonprofit through the sale of paper cutouts and other fundraising initiatives.

Hy-Vee, Inc., Walgreen Co. and Roche Holding Ltd. (Accu-Chek) each pay between $1 and $2 million for Principal Partner packages. JDRF markets two other national packages: Major ($250,000 to $1 million) and Supporting ($100,000 to $250,000).

One of Lucero’s charges: defining benefits across the four sponsorship packages. Under the old model, a sponsor that paid $100,000 may have received similar benefits to companies at a higher level.

“Each package was very similar. There weren’t any hard and fast benefits according to giving levels,” she said.

Going forward, JDRF will assign benefits based on rights fees. For example, partners at the Elite level will receive more exposure on JDRF.org and the nonprofit’s social media initiatives than lower-level partners.

As part of the reorganization, JDRF is overhauling its chapter Web sites to ensure they have the same look and feel as www.JDRF.org, said Lucero. The nonprofit’s executive office also will gain inventory on local Web sites to promote national partners.

In addition to better defining packages, JDRF is placing more focus on servicing corporate partners. JDRF president and CEO Jeffrey Brewer has visited each sponsor at the Principal level and above, while Lucero has met with each of the nonprofit’s more than 30 national sponsors.

“We’re providing a higher level of customer service by understanding what our corporate partners need from us.”