How to Write a Sponsorship Letter (with Examples)

Not sure where to start when it comes to fundraising? Start by drafting up a sponsorship letter using these tips and tricks.

Reviewed by Hayley Ramsey

How to write a sponsorship letter for fundraising

Asking for sponsorship can be daunting, but it is a necessary step if you need to raise some funds for an event, an organization or your personal development. As you’re essentially asking a stranger for money, you’re going to need the right techniques to get the response you’re looking for.

Luckily, you have an effective tool to get started: a sponsorship request letter. This type of letter is the best way to get the introductions going and become one step closer to receiving a sponsor and form a beneficial partnership.

Read on to find out how to write a sponsorship letter, what information you should include and how to structure your letter to gain a successful sponsorship.

What is sponsorship?

To effectively receive sponsorship in any capacity, it’s important to first understand what exactly it is. Sponsorship is defined as the position or function or a person or group who vouches for, supports, advises, or helps fund another person or an organization or project. So, to put it plainly, when you’re asking for money or resources to support yourself, an event, or an organization you believe in, that’s sponsorship.

It’s important to recognize that sponsorship is about marketing at all levels, including digital marketing, for those requesting the sponsorship and for those who agree to sponsor the cause. Sponsorship is taking something as simple as an idea or a brand and making it marketable, competitive, and desirable for others to support!

What you give in return for sponsorship

When you ask a company to sponsor you and what you’re marketing, it won’t just stop with a smile and a handshake; sponsors will typically request something in return, and rightfully so. There should be some added benefit for sponsoring you in any capacity, so consider that as you are asking for sponsorship and have a few ideas in mind. Some things to offer in return for sponsorship could be:

  • Sponsor logos on banners, programs or marketing materials
  • Shout-outs during announcements
  • A space to sell products or advertise services
  • Branded event swag distributed in gift bags
  • Speaking time at the event (if applicable)

Your sponsor may have requests outside of the above-mentioned items, but when it comes to what to provide in return for sponsorship, most individuals or organizations will fall in line with the above. Keep in mind, those sponsoring you will want to see some return on their investment, so think accordingly when considering what to offer in return for sponsorship.

How to find organizations that will support your cause

You don’t need to around cold calling hundreds of individuals and organizations that may be able to provide you some level of sponsorship; there’s a better way. Take the time to find organizations that will support your cause and target accordingly.

Let’s look at some steps you can take to ensure you’re going to attract sponsors that will truly appreciate supporting your cause:

Identify goals

Most importantly, establish what your goals are before you try to pitch anything to a sponsor. If it’s a fundraising event, ensure you know what the desired outcome is and how it will positively impact the organization you’re fundraising for. Taking the time to clearly identify what you’re going for will set you on the right path as you attempt to find employers who could echo your vision.

Offer a variety of packages

Once you’ve identified your goals, before you can hit the pavement, it’s important to create packages for your sponsors. You’ll cast a wider net if you’ll allow them levels to contribute that are already established. This provides your sponsors the ability to just pick and choose what best fits their personal or professional needs.

Consider creating packages like gold, silver, and bronze levels, establishing the gold as the most expensive and most rewarded package and trickling down accordingly. Each package should still provide a return on investment for your sponsors, but allowing a lower tier will help you attract more in the end.

Research potential employers

Requesting sponsorship in any capacity will require a considerable amount of research. Yes, you could send a carefully crafted letter out to 500 companies across the nation and hope that at least some of them bite, but why not take the time to research those you are looking to pitch your idea to and see if you can find similarities?

Perhaps there’s a global organization that shares your passion for wildlife, and this event would be right up their alley. Asking for sponsorship from this organization would be an easier sell than asking the steak shack down the street.

Find out if those you’re looking to request sponsorship from could share your same ideals, if they have sponsored similar things in the past, and, to the best of your abilities, their financial ability to sponsor at this time. You won’t regret doing a little research as you’re searching for organizations to support your cause.

Consider keeping it local

Nothing against global organizations, or those at a national level, they can absolutely contribute to your cause. Depending on your event, a consideration that must be made is keeping it local; the term “local” absolutely sells. Some organizations have a firm belief that they should “support local” and will only do business with organizations in their immediate vicinity.

Even the majority of consumers shop small to keep money local, so start local! This gives your cause a leg up if you’re in that location because they may have more bandwidth and finances to support your cause, as they are not supporting any at a national or global level. Capitalize on the surrounding organizations that may be looking to get in on the ground floor of a local event!

Don’t rule out the small businesses

You may think your best bet is to hit up the largest organizations you can find because they will be able to provide you with the most bang for your buck. Don’t overlook those small businesses; they might actually surprise you. When it comes to a small business, marketing can be tricky. Getting the word out about their specific business can prove difficult; sponsorship can alleviate those headaches. Small businesses will appreciate the event exposure and may be more willing to sponsor strictly because of the networking benefits.

What to Include in a sponsorship letter

As with any formal letter, you must stick to some strict layout and formatting rules to ensure that your letter is professional.

Your letter should contain the following elements:

  • Sender’s address — If you’re using a company letterhead, skip this step and move on to the next. If, on the other hand, it’s a personal letter, you should begin by typing your address at the top of the page.
  • Date —Add the date after a line space below your address.
  • Salutation —As with any formal letter, the reader you should be addressed properly. Therefore, you should open your letter with something like “Dear Mrs Smith”.
  • Opening paragraph — This is where you will express interest in the reader’s sponsorship and try to market yourself. You will need to captivate the reader and encourage them to continue reading, and the best way to do this is by listing the benefits. For example, you could say that through this sponsorship, the company will receive exposure to a broader market, which will drive more business to their organization.
  • Middle paragraph(s) — Within the body of your letter, you should further explain the benefits and explain what else you can offer if they agree to sponsor you. For example, they will get their logo printed on your tickets, a stall set up at the entrance and a flyer placed in every goody bag. Provide a bit of background information, explaining why you need sponsorship and what you plan to gain out of it and list reasons why you contacted them and not another company. You should list any final details about the event (if you haven’t done so already) and explain how you work with sponsors.
  • Final paragraph — Finish your letter by letting your prospect sponsor know how you are planning to follow. For example, you could say that you plan on calling up within the week to hear their thoughts.
  • Closing — Finish off as you started with a professional “Kind regards” or “Yours sincerely”.
  • Your name and signature — A letter isn’t complete without your name and signature. Keep it personal with a handwritten signature.

Tips for writing a sponsorship letter

1. Find out who to contact

There’s nothing worse than receiving a generic letter at the best of times, especially when a random stranger contacts you out of the blue asking for something from you. So, before you begin writing your letter, find out who exactly it is you need to reach out to and be sure to do some company research on them and address the letter to them.

2. Be personable

If you know that your cause is of interest to your potential sponsor, ensure that you include personality within your letter. For example, if you’re raising money for a charity that’s close to their heart, don’t be afraid to add this in your letter by saying something like: “I know how fond you are of XYZ and I admire your previous efforts in X, which is why I’ve decided to reach out to you and see if you can lend a helping hand.”

3. Don’t be pushy

While being personable is a must, being pushy is a definite no-no. You don’t want to put them off before you’ve even given them a chance to consider sponsoring you or your cause, after all! So, keep a friendly and polite tone throughout your letter.

4. Follow up

Your sponsorship letter is just legwork. To really “wow” your potential sponsors, you need to show that you really care. Again, this doesn’t mean that you should be pushy, but rather that you follow up with a friendly phone call or a quick visit to their offices to discuss potential partnerships in person.

5. Proofread your letter

As with any professional letter, you should read over your sponsorship request and fix any errors, misspelt words or typos. Nothing ruins an appeal for sponsorship faster than a poorly written letter, so make sure that it’s properly checked by multiple people in order to avoid mistakes!

6. Don’t attach leaflets, pamphlets or proposals

You don’t want to bombard your potential sponsor with an overload of information. Besides, who actually reads leaflets, anyway?! Instead, it’s best to hold back on full proposals until you have them on board.

Sample letters

To help you perfect your letter, we’ve created a few different sponsorship letter samples to get you on the right track. Although you shouldn’t copy them word for word, you can use these templates as a guide when producing your own letter.

Event sponsorship letter

Event Sponsorship Letter

Corporate sponsorship letter

Corporate Sponsorship Letter

Sports team sponsorship letter

Sports donation sponsorship example template

General sponsorship letter

General sponsorship letter example

Food donations letter

Food donation sponsorship example template

Key takeaways

When it comes to sponsorship letters, the entire process can feel overwhelming. Remember a few key items when it comes to physically writing your sponsorship letter:

  • Be a human and remember to be personable. Sponsors will want to know you believe in the cause too, so it’s okay to loosen up a little!
  • Don’t be pushy and force a sponsorship. You want sponsors who truly want to support your cause — don’t strive for anything less.
  • Give your letter a once over, then a twice over! Don’t send it in with simple errors; make sure your best version is going out to your potential sponsors.
  • Keep in contact with those you’ve reached out to. Just because they didn’t say yes right away doesn’t mean it’s a no; be sure to follow up!
  • Don’t get caught up in the details; while your sponsors want to know what exactly they are getting into, keep it clear and brief. You can get into the nitty gritty later!

Have you ever written a sponsorship proposal letter? What methods did you use? Let us know in the comments section below.

This is an updated version of an article originally published on 26 March 2019 and contains contributions by staff writer Shalie Reich.