A sponsorship proposal is a fundraising request to prospects that offer the recipient incentives in exchange for cash or other in-kind donations. Writing a sponsorship proposal for your event or organization can seem like a daunting task. One of the essential keys to getting a sponsor is your ability to create an excellent sponsorship proposal. Your sponsorship proposal can literally break or make the deal.
Sponsorship proposals are significant for anyone looking to host a fundraiser. The donations secured by sponsorship proposals help increase fundraising at events like runs, walks, and more at the same time strengthening the organization’s community ties. By learning the different steps of writing a sponsorship proposal, you will be able to see the task as more approachable and less intimidating.
Before approaching a prospective sponsor with your proposal, you should first understand what you have to offer. This will help you know the types of organizations to target or focus on.
Four key areas will help you understand what you have to offer:
- Your qualities and skills: what will you be bringing to the table that will be of value to your sponsor? These may include social media skills, sales and marketing skills, or the ability to talk in public, among other skills.
- Your target audience: do you clearly know who your target audience is and how they coincide with the sponsor’s target audience? It is essential that you dedicate your time in knowing your audience and what it is about them that will attract your sponsor
- Unique marketing initiatives: what is the thing that sets you apart from other marketing channels that will appease the sponsor?
- Outcomes and value for the sponsor: what will the sponsor benefit from partnering with you? Distributors, increased sales, staff morale? Anything that will be of value to them
Step 2: Research your potential sponsors
After you have understood what it is you have to offer, it is now time to do some research on your potential sponsor(s).
Even a well-designed, well researched, and reasonable price sponsorship proposal won’t work if it is sent to the wrong person! Researching on the potential sponsors will give you a great idea of who they and whether you may be able to land a deal with them.
Here are the four main things to do when researching a potential sponsor:
- List down all the potential sponsors
- Research on each of the sponsors listed down
- Record all the details you get on them
- Perform a reality check to see how compatible you are
Step 3: Contact the Sponsor(s)
After conducting a reality check and creating a list of compatible sponsors, it is now time for you to contact those you believe will say yes to your sponsorship proposal.
It is normal to be rejected, and only a few will say yes to your proposal. The best thing to do is to go straight to the sponsor and not waste time with people who have less or no authority to approve your proposal.
There are several techniques one can use to reach the right person, ordered by efficacy, and how well you already know the sponsor.
- Cold Calling: this is the least effective method to contact a potential sponsor, but it also requires the least investment on your part. However, this option is only available if you know the sponsor. The main reason to cold call is to create a rapport with the sponsor and maneuver your way from cold call to a position where you will be able to get them to discuss their objectives.
- Lump mail and follow-up: after highlighting potential sponsors that would make a good fit with what you have to offer, sending a mail would be more effective than cold Calling alone. Lump mailing is a more expensive method compared to cold Calling; therefore, it is best to limit them to only those who you genuinely believe you’ve piqued their interest.
- Networking with the sponsors: one of the best ways to build your business and land a sponsor for your proposal is good old-fashioned networking. Networking, in this case, is all about making direct connections with the potential sponsors. If you have conducted your research, it shouldn’t be hard to find suitable networking opportunities.
- Word of Mouth and Referrals: the best, effective and the easiest way of landing a sponsor is when your proposal is directly referred to the sponsor by their trusted advisors as an opportunity worth investing in. Getting direct referrals isn’t easy; first, you must develop good relationships with the facilitators and leaders within your niche; people who have deep-rooted connections with the sponsors, upper management, and marketing departments.
Step 4: Establish the Sponsor’s marketing objectives
After you have managed to get a sponsor for your proposal, the next step is to investigate and explore their set marketing objectives. This step is significant. Why? Often most people fail at this step as they usually prepare their proposals without consulting with the sponsor to determine their objectives.
By writing a sponsorship proposal without consulting them, you will clearly be indicating to them that the process is about you, what you want and what you insinuate the sponsor wants.
Step 5: Success Factors
The next step is to establish and agree on how you will measure sponsorship success. Two main methods can be used to measure the success of any sponsorship:
- Quantitatively: these are the tangible results that one can count on
- Qualitatively: these include the less tangible results that improve the sponsor’s circumstance or position
Step 6: Develop the sponsorship proposal
With the hard task behind you, putting together a great proposal shouldn’t be difficult. Your proposal should be short, sharp, and direct to the point.
Seven sections must be included in your sponsorship proposal for it to be complete:
This is an executive summary or synopsis that focuses on the benefits and outcomes for the sponsor. This section should be clear and to the point with a few paragraphs and liberal use of bullet points. By reading this section, the sponsor’s manager should be able to read and understand who you are, what you do, and what is in for them.
The next step is to note down the marketing objectives as agreed upon by the sponsor. For example:
- “The marketing objectives for the sponsorship program are:
- Develop a social media fan base of 7000 by the end of the financial year
- Increase the gross sales by 8% related to ticket sales at the event in the southern division
- Encourage distributors and suppliers to stock a variety of products
Measures of Success
List down both the qualitative and quantitative metrics you will use to measure the success of the sponsorship program, as discussed with the sponsor. For example:
“The measures will include:
- Follow up surveys of event attendees to establish brand awareness
- A noticeable shift to positive reviews on social media platforms
- Weekly analysis of direct sales and how they coincide with our objectives
Value to the Sponsor
This is possibly the most substantial part of the proposal. Every sponsor would want to know what’s in for them when they agree to sponsor your proposal. By following the steps listed above, you will already have this information straight from the sponsor. You’ve already discussed it with them and agreed on the details, so it’s only a matter of stating the facts.
“The value of the sponsor will comprise:
- A stronger relationship with fans which will, in turn, lead to high conversion rates and more repeat/new sales.
- Increased sales will enable you to invest more funds into product research and development
Unique Marketing Initiatives
Most of the elements that are usually included in the proposal include information that has already been discussed and agreed upon with the sponsor. Looking back through this information, dive deep, and propose several unique marketing initiatives that are specially designed to meet the sponsor’s objectives. Include any information about the target audience that is relevant to the sponsor, including:
- The total audience numbers
- Psychographics: any attributes that relate to personality, attitudes, values, interests, lifestyle, etc.
- Demographics: include the demographics, i.e., the statistical vies of the target audience, including their gender, age, income, occupation, etc.
Terms and Conditions
You must make sure that both you and the sponsor are protected. In this section, make sure to include:
- The duration of the sponsorship proposal
- The cost per sponsorship option
- Your terms and mode of payment
- Details of any insurance you have, e.g., public liability insurance
- Any other terms and conditions or any special features the sponsor should be aware of.
Call to Action
The last thing to do when writing the sponsorship proposal is to call the sponsor to action. Include the following information:
- Your contact information, i.e., your phone number, email, social media pages, and your website address
- A thank you message directed to the sponsor for taking their time to consider your proposal
You can use the examples provided below to help you in structuring your sponsorship proposal to help bring your organizations’ narrative to life.
Free Templates, Samples and Examples
Template: Event Sponsorship Proposal
[Letterhead of Kansas Rugby Club]
City, State, Zipcode
Dear: _______ [Sponsors Name]
Introduction (100-150 words)
• Introduce Kansas Rugby Club
• Outline the type of sponsorship proposal
Sponsorship Outline (150-200 words)
• Write down the type of sponsorship you are seeking
• How the sponsor(s) will benefit
• The different levels of sponsorship
Outline Options for Sponsorship (200-300 words)
For example, you may classify the options as
ii. 1-year partnership
List ways in which the sponsor will benefit/recognized:
• The sponsor(s) shall be recognized on event-related media
• Recognition in all post-event reports on the club’s websites
Closing Paragraph (50 words)
We look forward to hearing from all potential sponsors as to how we can work together for_________
The Kingwoods Players Association is proud to announce the annual tournament competitions. This tournament shall be held at (Location) on of . The tournament will attract professional teams from all over the country. We would like to grant you the opportunity to be a part of this amazing event. Sponsorship of the Kingwoods Players Association offers a great marketing prospect for your__. In addition to all the exciting and unusual sporting entertainment, there will be a large audience presence and onsite media attention that is good for your_______. This is an excellent occasion for your company to gain positive publicity with an entertaining athletic event that promotes not only youth participation but also co-ed competition. This tournament is set to attract 5000-15000 spectators throughout the tournament.
Positive Youth Inspiration
As members of the Kingwoods Players Association, we occasionally offer educational outreach to educational institutions and charitable foundations. We major in youth education, looking for new alternative ways to interest the youth in positive outdoor activities.
Who Are We?
The Kingwoods Players Association is a globally known non-profit organization formed in 1990 to promote the sports culture, encourage growth, and manage competitions. Our events are not geared to profit off tournament organizers. They are hosted solely to provide a quality event for the community, the youth, and the introduction of these fun activities to everyone.
How to Join us
Below we have outlined three sponsorship levels. We invite you to look into each level and choose any or all of these requests. We highly appreciate your participation as a sponsor and particularly in identifying benefits that our association can provide in return for your support.
Levels of Sponsorship
This is our highest package. For sponsorship value of $6,000, you will receive the following in return:
• Media coverage
• Logo promotion
We would like to acknowledge you for taking the time to consider our sponsorship request. Feel free to contact us with any questions or comments that you may have. We sincerely appreciate your time and interest, and we are looking forward to hearing from you.