Writing event sponsorship requests is a time-consuming and labor-intensive portion of the event planning process. When you send out multiple sponsorship proposals without securing any contributions, it can be easy to feel defeated.
However, finding prospective sponsors is also a crucial part of managing a successful event, as sponsors help you achieve necessary landmarks like meeting fundraising goals, securing promotional materials, and more.
If you’re struggling with writing effective sponsorship request letters for events, this helpful how-to guide will break down the necessary steps of crafting the perfect sponsorship request email, ensuring your partnership with your dream sponsors at future events.
How a Sponsorship Opportunity Can Impact an Event
It’s hard to overstate how much a sponsorship opportunity can benefit an event, and seasoned event organizers know just how much the contributions from sponsor donations can shape an event.
While the obvious type of donation that comes to mind when you think of event sponsorship is financial, sponsors offer significantly more benefits to event organizers than simple monetary donations (which is certainly not to say that these donations don’t also greatly impact the success of an event).
Organizations can also donate in-kind benefits that can dramatically impact your event, such as:
- An event venue
- Shuttle buses
Consider, for example, that one potential sponsor offered a donation of $10,000 for your event. Depending on the size of your event, this could dramatically increase your budget.
However, consider an alternative circumstance in which you found three potential sponsors willing to donate in-kind benefits to your event:
The first sponsor offered the use of their art gallery to host your event. The second partner, a local restaurant chain, offered to cater your event and provide you with the necessary service staff. The final sponsor, a local brewery, offered to donate 15 kegs to your event.
Although any monetary donation is valuable, it’s easy to see by looking at the second scenario just how valuable non-monetary contributions can be to ensuring the success of your event.
As you craft your event sponsorship letters, it’s essential that you communicate to potential partners the types of donations you’re looking for.
Finding Sponsors and Their Contact Information
While you may have a clear idea of what you’re hoping to gain from potential sponsorships, finding organizations willing to sponsor you and learning where you can send your sponsorship proposal isn’t quite so simple.
First, you need to find sponsors that have the means to donate either money or in-kind benefits to your event and who may find value in doing so. To find these sponsors, keep a few key things in mind:
- Connect with companies that have a shared target audience
- Approach sponsors of all sizes (i.e., large corporations as well as smaller local businesses)
- Reach out to sponsors early enough to budget for their donation
- Send event sponsorship request letters to businesses in various industries to maximize the potential of receiving in-kind benefits
Once you’ve identified which businesses you plan to reach out to, you’ll need to obtain the contact information of the relevant point of contact within the organization.
Begin by going to the company website to see if they have a landing page devoted to their team. If they do, find the relevant team member and reach out via the direct email address provided on the website.
However, you may need to prepare to do some research if you want to contact the right person. First, try calling the business phone number and ask the administrative professional to direct you to the right individual.
If you can’t get a hold of anyone over the phone, check LinkedIn. Start by going to the company page and looking through the current employees to see whom you can contact. Searching for employees with the following keywords in their titles is an excellent place to start:
- Community outreach
- Event manager
- Public relations
If all else fails, use the contact form or email address on the company’s website. While this method will have the least chance of success, it’s better than not reaching out at all.
How To Write a Request for Sponsorship for an Upcoming Event
Now that you understand what kinds of donations you can expect from potential partners and how to get a hold of them, it’s time to start crafting some sponsorship letters.
Follow these simple steps to ensure your request for sponsorship email is approved.
Know Your Goals
Before you write your sponsorship request, develop a concrete idea of what it is you’re looking for. For example, if you need specific in-kind donations, make sure you specify that in your email. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a monetary donation for specific programs, you’ll need to communicate that.
Not only does outlining your goals before sending event sponsorship emails ensure you ask for what you need to meet your goals, but it can help you narrow your search to only the relevant sponsors.
Craft a Clickable Subject Line
Depending on the size of the company you’re hoping to have sponsor your event, they may receive dozens to hundreds of sponsorship requests daily. Therefore, crafting a subject line that encourages them to read your email is essential to having a fighting chance.
Do some research to get a better understanding of the company’s brand and voice. For example, are they a mission-driven organization devoted to fulfilling their social responsibility? Or do they use a tongue-in-cheek tone on their social media platforms?
Understanding whom you’re trying to communicate with can help you write a meaningful subject line that will resonate with the company’s outreach coordinator.
Mention Your Mutual Connection
Finding common ground is essential to giving sponsors a reason to support your event. Making a connection is critical whether you share a mutual business connection or the same target audience.
For example, if you’re a non-profit animal shelter trying to get sponsors for an upcoming gala, you might choose to reach out to specific pet food brands. Highlight the shared connection of your business’s devotion to serving animals.
Start Out Strong
Assume that the individual reading your sponsorship request email is busy, and get straight to the point. If you take too long to highlight what you’re looking for or make them understand why they should continue reading your email, they may assume it’s spam or not worth their time.
While you don’t have to ask for a donation immediately, you should clarify who you are and why they should continue reading your email.
Explain What’s in It for Them
It’s important to remember that sponsorships are not charitable donations; they’re mutually beneficial business decisions in which a brand provides you with money or other in-kind donations in exchange for brand awareness.
You’ll need to convince them that donating to your event benefits their business and will either directly impact them through conversions or sales or indirectly impact them by improving their brand image.
Demonstrate Previous Success With Event Data
No matter how well-crafted your sponsorship proposal is, you must illustrate that sponsoring your event will provide them with a positive return on investment (ROI).
If you’ve hosted your event before, you can use event data and attendee and sponsor testimonials to convince prospective partners that sponsoring your event is worthwhile. However, if you don’t have this information on hand, consider using the following data to help incentivize sponsorships:
- Demographics of confirmed attendees
- Industry demographics of confirmed attendees
- Social media analytics
Ask To Set up a Time To Discuss It Further
Remember that your sponsorship proposal isn’t designed to give your prospective event partner every piece of information but to pique their interest. Therefore, you want to clearly outline the value of their sponsorship for both of you and state why you’re hoping to partner with them.
Then, conclude your sponsorship letter with an invitation to discuss the possibility of sponsorship further at their earliest convenience. Be sure to provide a return email address and phone number so they can get a hold of you.
Keep It Concise
Avoid sending sponsorship requests that drag on or have a giant wall of text that will immediately turn off potential sponsors. Instead, keep sponsorship proposals brief and straight to the point.
Include the essential information of why you’re hoping to partner with them, what they can gain from sponsoring your event, and indicate a desire to discuss further. Sponsors will appreciate your brevity, and you are more likely to garner a response from them if you respect their time.
Manage Proposals and Agreements With Our Sponsorship Software Solution
Crafting event sponsorship proposals can be exhausting, but managing event partnerships doesn’t have to be. By utilizing our easy-to-use software solution, you can increase your sponsorship revenue by 30% and spend a quarter of the time tracking down potential sponsors.
Request your free demo today to see how our innovative software makes sponsorship solutions effortless through custom sponsor databases, proposal management software, inventory availability, sponsorship agreement tools, and more.