Asking for sponsorship can be daunting, but it is a necessary step if you need to raise some funds for an event, an organisation 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 what information you should include and how you should structure your letter to gain a successful sponsorship.
The structure of 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
- Inside address: The recipient’s address should be listed below the date.
- 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 organisation.
- 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. Here is where you should also provide a bit of background information, explaining why you need sponsorship and what you plan to gain out of it. It’s important to list reasons why you contacted them and not another company, and why you feel that the partnership would be ideal. 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, except 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 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.
To help you perfect your letter, we’ve created two 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
Corporate sponsorship letter
Things to remember
1. 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.
2. 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!
3. 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.
Have you ever written a sponsorship proposal letter? What methods did you use? Let us know in the comments section below.
This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 18 August 2014.