If you are planning a concert, sporting event, or some other type of function, obtaining a business sponsorship can help achieve your goals. Whether you are organizing an event for profit or to raise funds for your favorite charity, a corporate sponsorship letter can be helpful in ensuring a successful event.
Benefits of Sponsorship
Teaming up with a business sponsor for your event can be mutually beneficial, by offering increased revenue for you and a promotional opportunity for the sponsoring business. Although such an arrangement is typically referred to as a corporate sponsorship, it can be done with business entities other than corporations, such as a limited liability company or sole proprietor.
In the case of charitable events, your fundraising can be increased by donations from the sponsor, from employees and associates of the sponsor, and from others as a result of the sponsor's increased publicity of the event. In turn, being associated with your organization can benefit the sponsor through the exposure it receives and the goodwill it generates.
Use of Sponsorship Letters
Ideally, an event sponsorship letter should not be your first contact with the potential sponsor. You are more likely to have success if you have had some type of communication before a letter is sent.
The true goal of a sponsorship letter is to lead to a meeting to further discuss a sponsorship and work out the details. Sometimes an in-person or phone conversation is the first step, followed up with a sponsorship letter to outline what was discussed.
Tailor the letter to appeal to the potential sponsor's interests. Check the sponsor's website to see if it has goals that might coincide with your organization. For example, if the potential sponsor has a mission statement that includes philanthropic objectives and your event is to benefit a nonprofit, include those objectives in your sponsorship letter. Mention if you have met any of the owners or know anyone who has, and reference any similar events the sponsor has taken part in.
In some cases, the sponsor may want to formalize the arrangement with a sponsorship agreement that specifies what the sponsor will contribute and what promotion the sponsor will receive.
Types of Sponsorship
Sponsorship can take various forms, including:
- Providing the venue for the event, either by covering the cost of renting the venue or providing the space itself at the sponsor's place of business.
- Providing food for the event, if the sponsor is a caterer.
- Paying for various aspects of the event, such as the venue fees, catering, or the event advertising.
- Donating nonperishable food, clothing, children's toys, or other items, if that is part of the purpose of the event. The sponsor can make such donations itself or collect donations from its employees and associates. Donations can help the sponsor to participate without making a monetary contribution.
- Providing services. For example, if the sponsor is a local grocery store or catering company, it might cater the event.
- Providing employees to staff the event.
How to Write a Sponsorship Letter
A sponsorship letter should be not more than one page and should be addressed to a specific person, ideally someone you have already met or communicated with. If possible, have a mutual acquaintance make an introduction.
A sponsorship letter should briefly tell the potential sponsor:
- The identity, purpose, and goals of your organization and the event. This should be done in one or two sentences.
- The nature of the event and the date it will be held.
- How the sponsor can benefit from sponsorship. You want to tell the sponsor why you chose them so they know you aren't just sending letters to every business you can think of. This is where your research of the business comes into play.
- What you would like the sponsor to do. This should be general and may include options such as contributing money, goods, or services. You don't want to ask for a specific dollar amount—that should be discussed when you meet.
- When and how you plan to follow up, such as with a phone call or a personal visit.
Within a week of the end of the event, be sure to send the sponsor a thank-you letter, which should include a statement as to how you fulfilled your promises to the sponsor. This will pave the way for an ongoing relationship between you and the sponsor, both for events and other potential collaborations.