Sponsorship Letter: How to Write (with Examples)

A sponsorship letter commonly referred to as a sponsorship proposal is a fundraising request sent to potential sponsors to secure funding from them. Sponsorship letters are important because the donations they secure impact fundraising activities like walks, runs, rides, galas, etc., while at the same time strengthening the organization’s community ties. Sponsorship proposals are especially important for non-profit organizations who are looking to secure sponsorship opportunities with allies in the for-profit world. Without contributions from key sponsors, such organizations may fail to raise the money they require to achieve their mission.

One of the ways to soothe your potential sponsors into accepting your sponsorship proposal is by ensuring that you send them a professionally designed sponsorship letter. A sponsorship letter is also one of the best and the easiest ways to spark a conversation between you and your potential sponsor (s) about entering a mutually beneficial relationship. Other than communicating to the sponsors why they would want to support your cause, sponsorship letters also communicate how they will benefit from the partnership and how you see the relationship playing out.

The best time to send out a sponsorship letter is as soon as you have established your incentive levels and your budget. This way, you shall have given your potential sponsors time to consider the proposal and make their donations.

What to Include in Your Sponsorship Letter?

A sponsorship proposal should have the following components:

  • An introduction to yourself and the opportunity you are presenting: provide a brief description of who you are with a simple sentence or two about your organization
  • Information about your audience: this is your chance to stand out! This is where you prove to them that you have a clear understanding of your target audience. Do they know of or buy your prospects’ products already? Do you understand your prospect’s target audience? Can you help your prospect generate more products and maintain their current customers?
  • Your reason for drafting the sponsorship proposal: why did you reach out to the sponsor? Do they have a record of sponsoring opportunities such as yours? Why did you choose their company? What is it about this prospective sponsor’s corporate goals that line up with yours?
  • The sponsorship opportunity and activation: this is your opportunity to show your prospect that you understand how sponsorships work. Give them at least three examples of activation ideas that your sponsors and the target audience already love. Show them the type of outcome you can offer them, for example, sampling products, branding, contests, or product placements.
  • When you plan on following up: be specific and let your prospects know that you plan to follow up. By doing this, you are establishing that you are serious about working together. Don’t forget to add your contact information and invite them to contact you if they have any questions.

When Not to Send a Sponsorship Letter

There are several instances where a sponsorship letter may not be warranted. Here is an overview of such instances:

You have no prior connections with the sponsor

If you believe that your business or non-profit is the one to seek sponsorship, think again. There are thousands of people who are also eyeing that opportunity. Maybe they may not target the same sponsor, but the narrative is almost always the same.

Any organization known for its sponsorship will always be receiving countless letters and piles upon piles of emails. You must set yourself apart from the onset, or you risk having your letter thrown in the trash. To set yourself aside, you must always have connections. By at least setting your foot in the door through someone who knows the sponsor, they may be willing to set up a meeting with you and consider your proposal. Without which, you will just be grouped with the endless pile of emails and letters, which will later be trashed completely.

Your Forgot Audience Data

It is advisable to choose a sponsor to work within which there is some overlap, be it similar goals or a similar audience. In as much as you may know your audience very well, your sponsor may have no way of gleaning the same information if you leave out the audience data.

This information is important, and one must dedicate their time to compile their audience data and include it as part of their sponsorship letter, even if there is only a brief mention. Without this piece of information, your letter is not likely to get a second look from your potential sponsors.

The Timeline is Too Tight

If you plan to host the event in a weeks’ time, then you might as well say goodbye to getting a sponsorship at that point. By the time you draft and send your sponsorship letter, it’ll be too late. Your potential sponsors could be willing to help, but the notice period may be too little for them to even do anything.

If you give them enough time to make their arrangements and go through your sponsorship proposal, they could work with you, but your lack of organization can also drive them away, making you miss out on a potentially good opportunity just for poor planning.

7 Best Practices for Writing a Great Sponsorship Letter

As you go through your sponsorship letter several times trying to make sure that you have covered every corner, make sure you follow these best practices:

1. Lead in with your connection

To get a sponsorship, one must be well connected. The lead is one of the most important sentences in your sponsorship letter, and it must be the first sentence in your first paragraph.

A lead will separate you from the rest of the pack, moving you from just another applicant to someone the sponsor may be familiar with. Your lead sentence must be first; it could be the difference between the sponsored reading or skipping your letter altogether.

2. Personalize the letter

When looking for a sponsor, you will probably have to draft several request letters and send them to various sponsors. But they all don’t have to know that you are looking for another potential sponsor other than them.

Personalize each of your letters to make your sponsor feel like they are the only option you have for your event to be a success. To add some personal effect to your letter, never address the letter to Sir, Madam, or the commonly used “To Whom It May Concern.” Try as much as possible to find a contact at the sponsorship company and address the letter to them specifically. Talk about some of their company virtues that you like too.

3. Remember who the letter is about

Another reason why you should personalize your letter is that by doing so, you keep the focus of the letter where should be: on the sponsors themselves. Now is your perfect time to write an in-depth synopsis on why you are trying to secure sponsorship and what you hope to achieve in the fiscal year.

4. Keep it short

Your sponsorship letter should fit on a single page of printed paper; if not, you will have to go back and shorten it.

Sponsors are generally busy people, and they get lots of requests every day. They can’t read through a pile of pages to reel them in and convince them to support your cause. Even though there is no specific set rule that governs the word count, a few paragraphs should suffice.

5. Ask for an Opinion or Help

The best way to lure someone into helping you is by making them feel like they are already a part of what you want them to do for you. Asking the sponsors for their thoughts, assistance, or anything else other than money first should do the trick. In doing so, you’ll not only be showing them that you consider them an expert in such matters but also that you value their opinion, something which could set you on the road to a great working relationship.

6. Set a Time for a meeting or a phone call

The best way to show the sponsor that you are determined to secure a sponsorship opportunity with them is by setting up a time to call or have a seat down meeting with them. Don’t leave it up to them to determine whether to call you or not.

Even though you are the one to set up the meeting day or time for a phone call, don’t forget that they are busy people and remember that they are the ones who will determine whether they would like to partner with you or not. Be patient and allow them to make their decisions.

7. Avoid Boring Pleasantries

Icebreakers don’t usually come across as very confident. Besides skipping commonly used salutations, cut all the small talk and pleasantries out of the letter. These include: “How are you?” “How is the weather there?” etc.

What to Give your Sponsors in Return for the Sponsorship

There are several things that you can give your sponsor in return for their sponsorship, including:

  • Social media shout-outs
  • Brand marketing and promotion
  • Promotional materials
  • A booth at your event
  • Public acknowledgment of their generosity
  • Featuring their logo in all communications about the event
  • Advertising space in the event program
  • An opportunity to speak at the event
  • Etc.

How to Find a Sponsor to Support your Cause

There are different ways to kill a rat. If you are looking for new sponsors for your event, make sure to cover the following areas to unearth and increase your chances of landing a sponsor:

  1. Look at some of the organizations that offer sponsorships to non-profits like yours
  2. Check mainstream and social media pages- using the right keywords- for people who are passionate about your cause
  3. Approach businesses or organizations that have supported you in the past
  4. Look for organizations with robust corporate social responsibility programs
  5. Mine the networks of your staff, family members, and other people abroad
  6. Connect with people who directly or indirectly benefit from your association
  7. Consider your suppliers and vendors

Download Free Sponsorship Letter Templates & Samples

To write a better sponsorship letter, you can either use a template and examples (like the ones provided below) to help you in structuring your sponsorship letter and bring your organization’s fundraising narrative to life. You can also download the sponsorship letter templates and use them as a guide when writing your next sponsorship proposal.

General Sponsorship Letter Template

Heading

Date

Name

Organization

Street

City, state, zip code

Dear _ [Name]

Subject:

Open with one of the following:

• Something you know about them;

• Your connection with them

• Something unique about your organization

Example 1:

We are impressed with [their company name]. Since [year], you have been offering your support to the community by contributing to [contributions they’ve made to the community] and generally being a positive force in the world.

Example 2:

We have a mutual [associate/connection/colleague] [their name] suggested that I reach out to you concerning a sponsorship opportunity that would be a great fit for [you/your organization].

Second Paragraph

We couldn’t manage to do what we do for [the recipient of your cause] without the help of generous people like you. This is why we are contacting you today. We are looking for sponsors to support our cause. We have various ways for you to be involved:

i. Monetary donation to support our [name of event/person/activity]

ii. Volunteers to help staff our event and [other activities]

iii. In-kind contributions of equipment, supplies, space, etc. to support our [name of activity/event]

iv. Should you have any other ideas for the event, we would love to hear them

Third and Fourth Paragraphs

What’s in for them?

In the comprehension of your generosity, we would like to offer you the opportunity to promote your company brand and [include other offers for them]

Closing paragraph

Call to action:

We count on your support to assist [add the specific objectives about the work you will do based on the ask] it would be great to discuss with you about this opportunity for both of us. You can reach me directly at [provide your contact information]

We’d love to speak to you further about this on [date and time] or whenever you are available. Please let us know whenever you are available. Thank you very much for your time.

Regards,

[your name]

Sample 1: Sponsorship letter for an Event

Hi there [name of the sponsor]

We met a few weeks ago at [event]. We talked about an upcoming event of my [organization/company name], and I remember talking to you then about your interest in [event/activity] opportunities, hence why I thought it would be best if I reached out to you now.

We were thinking of the [theme] or [budget] for the event, and we would like to know what you think about them. We are currently planning to host the event on [date and time] at [location]. Our [company/organization] … [an explanation of what you do].

We believe that we could attract an [audience data] through this event, but we are looking for some financial backing from [your sponsors’ company]. If you help our [company/organization], you will receive the following perks in return [list all the perks they will receive]

We would love to converse more about this on [date and time] or whenever you are available. Please let us know whenever you are available. Thank you very much for your time.

Regards,

[your name]

Sample 2: Sample Sponsorship Letter for Athletes

Dear [sponsors name]

I was recently in touch with [contact name] about an upcoming athletics competition for my [organization/company name], and they mentioned that you would be good to reach out to.

Our company/organization is a [sporting event/team] and would love to secure a sponsorship opportunity from [sponsor/sponsor company name]. Our team is very talented and excited to play [provide a brief explanation about your teams’ virtues], but we require the backing of a company/organization like yours since [ talk about the few things that make the sponsor a perfect fit for you].

By helping us out in your athletic pursuit, our team would be able to [talk about what’s in for them and how the sponsorship would help your team]

We’d love to speak to you further about this on [date and time] or whenever you are available. Please let us know whenever you are available. Thank you very much for your time.

Regards,

[your name]

Sample 3: Sample Sponsorship Letter for a Golf Tournament

Hello [sponsors name],

I was referred to you by [name], and they mentioned that you would be good to reach out to since you are an avid golf fan and supporter.

Our [organization/company] would be hosting a golf tournament on [date, time, and location]. As one of the leading [organizations/companies] in [location], [your organization/company name] has … [a brief description of what your company does].

This [name of the tournament] will attract [provide the audience data], which we noticed overlapped with some of your company/organization goals. Thus, we though a sponsored partnership would well-suit us both.

We will love to deliberate with you more about this, maybe at [date and time], if that works for you. If not, please let us know the more appropriate time for you.

Thank you

[your name]

Sample 4: Sponsorship letter for In-kind Sponsorships

Good morning/afternoon,

We met at the [event]. We talked about an upcoming event of my [organization/company name], and I remember talking to you then about your interest in [event/activity] opportunities, hence why I thought it would be best if I reached out to you now.

Our organization is currently seeking in-kind donations, and we’d like to ask if you would consider helping us out. Our [organization/company name] required [however many donations you need] to [your goals] and believed that you could be an essential help with that. If you donate [talk of where and how the donations will be used and how the sponsors would benefit from their donation]

We will love to deliberate with you more about this, maybe at [date and time], if that works for you. If not, please let us know the more appropriate time for you.

Thank you

[your name]

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Things to Avoid in Your Sponsorship Letter

There are several things that you don’t have to do or include in your initial outreach. They include:

  1. Specific financial request
  2. Focusing on need
  3. Assumptions about their target audience
  4. Sponsorship contracts the first time you reach out to them
  5. Sponsorship grids and levels
  6. Leaflets or proposals
  7. Words like “To whom It May Concern”

Follow Up Time!

After drafting and sending your letter to the prospects, take a few days or a week before you follow up with them to ensure that they got the letter. Remember that they get lots of letters every day. The way to do this is to make sure that you follow up on the day that you told them that you would if you don’t get any reply from them after a while, follow up again.

Write a Thank You Letter for the Sponsorship

A thank you a letter, also referred to as a fulfillment report, outlines all the things that you had earlier promised the sponsors, how much they paid for those benefits, and then it reports on how well you delivered those perks along with the revised value of what you delivered. You must thank the sponsors within the first three to four days at the end of your event.

One of the ways to soothe your potential sponsors into accepting your sponsorship proposal is by ensuring that you send them a professionally designed sponsorship letter. While a sponsorship letter can go a long way in landing you a potential sponsor, you just can’t ask for money right off the bat. There’s an art to writing the sponsorship letters. With the templates and the information provided in this article, you are on your way to nailing your next sponsorship letter.