If you are looking to get a sponsor for your event or anything else you are doing, you should know how to draft a great sponsorship letter to convince them to offer their support. Basically, a sponsorship letter is a letter written to a business or an individual asking them to contribute to an event, provide long-term support or fundraising initiative. A sponsorship letter, also referred to as a sponsorship proposal, is a chance for you to secure funding from your sponsor of choice.
The letter is written to convince the potential sponsor that what you are planning to do is worth supporting and should clearly outline the benefits that they stand to get from offering their support. Remember that you are not only asking them for money, of course but also telling them how their contributions would be used while incentive’s them to consider offering you their support. Drafting a great sponsorship letter can make all the difference between being ignored or securing the sponsorship.
What is a Sponsorship Letter
A sponsorship letter also referred to as a sponsorship proposal, is a letter written to prospective sponsors to secure funding for an event or anything else that one is planning to do. A sponsorship letter is not all about asking for money, but it is a way of explaining to the potential sponsors how their money will be used while incentivizing them to consider giving.
How to Write a Sponsorship Letter
The key elements of a sponsorship letter include:
An introduction about yourself and your opportunity
When writing your sponsorship letter, this is not the time for you to write all the details about your organization, what you do, your history, and how much money you are looking to get to accomplish your goals. Instead, you should use the introduction part of your sponsorship letter to describe who you are with a brief introduction about your organization.
The reason for your writing
Inform the potential sponsor of your reason for writing. Inform them of their corporate goals that are in line with yours. Do they have a history of sponsoring events like yours? Is your audience important to them? Is your main contact involved in organizations like yours?
This is your chance to show the potential sponsor that you have done your homework and that you are not just sending thousands of letters to any organization that you come across.
Information about your audience
This is a chance for you to stand out! Sponsorship is all about sales and marketing, and both require one to have a target customer to work with. Do you know your potential sponsors’ target audience? This is your chance to prove it to them.
Your sponsorship opportunities and your activation
Rather than focusing on the amount of money you are looking to get from the sponsor, you should use your sponsorship letter to show your potential employer that you understand how sponsorship works. Give them some examples of activation ideas that they and their audience would love.
Show them some of the things you can offer them, such as branding, product placements, sampling, contests, etc. Be clear and specific about the way you work with sponsors and how they can add value to your audience.
A mention of when you will follow up
Let your potential sponsors know that you will be following up on the letter and be specific on when you will do so. Inform them that you will be calling them on a specific day or when you will be visiting their office to discuss the sponsorship more.
When Not to Send a Sponsorship Letter
There are some instances where a sponsorship letter can do you no good; these include:
When you have no prior connection with the potential sponsor: Every day, organizations are looking for sponsors for their events. Maybe they won’t be sending their letters to the same sponsor, but the story is almost the same in all the applicants.
Any sponsor who is well known to sponsor organizations will, in most cases, have piles upon piles of letters and endless emails. Having a prior connection with the sponsor or with someone that they already know will help set you apart from the rest.
When you don’t know much or if you have forgotten about your audience data: When you are looking for a sponsor, it is advisable to choose one that at least you have some common areas with – be it a similar goal or the same audience. You may know your audience well enough, but the sponsor has no way of getting the same information if you leave out your audience data.
When you have a tight timeline: If your event is almost due, then you might as well forget trying to get a sponsor at this point. By the time the letter reaches them, it would probably be too late for them to do anything. They could want to help you, but a tight timeline might hinder them from doing so.
What Can you Offer the Sponsor in Return for their Sponsorship?
There are several things that one can choose from to offer their sponsor in return for their sponsorship.
- A booth at the event
- Social media shout-outs
- Advertising space in the event’s program
- Public acknowledgment of their support
- A chance for them to speak at the event
- Promotional materials
- Including them in the online “Supporters’ list.”
Free Sponsorship Letter Templates & Examples
If you need some help drafting our sponsorship letter, don’t worry, we’ve got you! We have compiled some of the best templates that you can download and use at your convenience. Simply choose one that fits your specific situation, change a few things, make sure that the details are all correct, and you are good to go.
Tips for Writing a Great Sponsorship Letter
- Lead in with your connection: If you know, someone that is connected to the sponsor or you have already met with the sponsor at an event, start with that, then proceed with the money request.
- Personalize letter: In as much as it takes more time and effort to draft a personalized letter, it is important than simply inserting some names into a generic template as it will sound more appealing to the sponsor.
- Remember the letter is about the sponsor: Another key reason to personalize your letter is to keep the focus where it is supposed to be- on the sponsor. A sentence or two about who you are is important, but it should be all about the sponsor for most of the letter.
- Keep it short: sponsors get a lot of letters and emails every day. It is therefore important that you make the letter fit on a single page of printed paper. In as much as there is no hard and fast word count rule in writing sponsorship letters, a few paragraphs should do.
- Ask for their opinion: Asking for the sponsor’s opinion is a great way of piquing the sponsor’s interest; try asking for something from them. In doing so, you are conceding that they are an expert in that field. You are also showing them that you value what they have to say, something that could onset your relationship with them.
- Set a time for a phone call or a meeting with them: Do not leave it up to the sponsors to determine when to contact you – propose for them a day and time when you will contact them to expound more on your request.
Things to Avoid in your Sponsorship Letter
Here are a few things that you should avoid including in your sponsorship letter:
- Sponsorship contracts/agreements the first time you reach out to them
- Focusing on need
- Specific financial requests
- Leaflets, samples, proposals, or pamphlets
- An assumption about their key demographics
- Sponsorship levels and grids
- Pictures of your stakeholders and your audience
- An assumption about their demographic and their target audience
Whereas a well-drafted sponsorship letter can be valuable to get an in with a prospective sponsor, one cannot just ask for money right off the bat. There is an art to drafting a great sponsorship letter. With the templates provided, info-graphics, writing tips, what to avoid in your letter highlighted in this article, you are well on your way to nailing your sponsorship letter.