If you're hosting a charity event, corporate sponsorships can send your fundraising goal over the finish line. The median spend by a B2B corporate sponsor is $20,000 per exhibition. But how do you capture the attention of prospective sponsors? Write a stellar sponsorship proposal!
Whether you're organizing a local charity golf tournament or preparing for your annual nonprofit gala, a polished proposal can help attract sponsorships for your event. The goal of a sponsorship proposal is to articulate what a potential sponsor gains from your event (social media impressions, local press, access to influencers, or exposure to their target demographic), so you need to make it as enticing as possible.
While it might seem complicated, we can help. Below, we explain how to write a sponsorship proposal from start to finish.
Page 1: Cover page 📕
It's time to flex your creative muscles. Always include a cover page for your proposal — not only does it help introduce your event, but it's more visually attractive. You can easily download a proposal template on Canva (free for nonprofits!) or Creative Market, then add your event branding. Or, you could find a graphic designer on Fiverr or Upwork to make you a custom proposal template.
At a minimum, your cover page should include four things:
- Title: The name of your event
- Subtitle: The phrase "Sponsorship Proposal" or something similar
- Dates: Today's date (in a bottom corner) and the date of your event (underneath the title and subtitle)
- Purpose of the event: The name of the organization, school, sports team, or good cause you're raising money for
Page 2: Table of contents 📋
Include a table of contents so the reader can easily navigate throughout the document. To make things easier on the individual, be sure to include page numbers at the bottom right corner of each page.
Page 3: Sponsorship letter (optional) ✍️
While it's not absolutely necessary, it's always nice to include a letter to the prospect (this goes for any proposal, whether it be a sponsorship or business proposal). You can use a template for this, but always personalize it to the individual.
Your proposal letter doesn't need to be long — 150-300 words should do the trick. Include the following:
- Recipient's name: Always address it to an individual. If you're not sure who the decision-maker is, the Head of Marketing or Head of Event Planning is always a safe bet. If it's a small business, address it to the owner.
- Personal introduction: Use the first 1-2 sentences of your letter to make things personal, referencing the individual or company's connection with your cause or event.
- The purpose of your event: Use the next 1-2 paragraphs to remind the individual of your event’s purpose (you're sending children to summer camp, you're raising money to find a cure for breast cancer, etc.).
- Closing: Finally, ask the recipient to take part in your event. Invite them to contact you with any questions they may have.
Page 4: Objective and team 👯
On the next page, you can easily squeeze in two sections: your objective and your team.
For the objective, share the purpose of your event in 1-2 paragraphs. Don't overthink this — write in plain language what the event is, who you're raising money for, and how your sponsorships will be used.
For example: “The Valley High School water polo team is putting on a Spring Gala on April 4, 2022. We are seeking sponsors to help fund social media ads, signage, and the rental for the community hall.”
For the team section, include the person's name, job title, and role for the event. If you have space, you can also include headshots for each teammate. Write this information on 1-3 lines (depending on formatting), such as:
- Line one: Carlyn Foster, CEO of Good News
- Line two: Community outreach & social media
Page 5: Analytics 📊
This is the most crucial aspect of your entire proposal. Here, you need to sell your event. When writing this section, ask yourself, "Why would the potential sponsor care? What do we have to offer them?" Then speak to that.
Your argument should be backed up with compelling facts. Consider using infographics or charts to back up your claims. When searching for data to include, look for:
- Attendance: Include last year's attendance (or how attendance has grown since past events) and this year's forecasted attendance.
- Demographics: Share about your event’s target audience if it matches your potential sponsor’s target audience. Focus on factors including age group, gender, geographical location, and income.
- Exposure: Where and how will attendees see your event sponsors? Include items such as web traffic hits, social media impressions, and how many influencers or members of the press will attend.
Page 6: Sponsorship levels 💎
Here's where you dream up how you want to partner together! On this page, present the different tiers for your sponsors. Lay out the scope for each level, explaining what the sponsor gets.
If space allows, we recommend presenting your sponsorship options in column format, right next to each other (kinda like pricing tiers on a website — presenting them side-by-side helps identify what a given tier does and doesn't include).
You can sell sponsorship tiers as a ticketed option right on your fundraising page. (This charity golf tournament offered 14 different sponsorship levels for their event.)
Be sure to include:
- Level name: Name of the sponsorship tier (feel free to get creative here, branching out from the typical gold, silver, and bronze packages).
- Price: The price for the level.
- Scope: What the sponsor gets, such as their name printed on the website, five social posts, and two free event tickets.
Page 7: Sponsors in action 📹
Let's showcase your awesome existing supporters! Follow up your pricing section with images of the various sponsorship packages in action. Include photos from past events with captions. In addition, include any relevant testimonials from happy sponsors.
When building this section, add:
- A visual of each sponsorship tier: Try to include at least one photo per sponsorship package. If this is a first-time event, ask a graphic designer to create a mock-up for you.
- Testimonials: Include any relevant case study data, such as testimonials from past sponsors or statistics showcasing how the event helped grow the sponsor's exposure.
Page 8: Terms and conditions 💼
Now that you're nearing the end of your proposal document, it's time to include a bit of legalese. Here, include a deadline (i.e., when any sponsorship deals expire), the terms of your contract, limitation of liability, and the obligations of the event sponsor and you, the organizer. It may be wise to hire an attorney or in-house counsel to write this section to make sure you cover all the bases.
Page 9: Call to action and closing 📣
End your proposal by thanking the recipient for their time and consideration. Include your contact information (email, phone number, and LinkedIn handle) and invite them to contact you with any questions or feedback. Lastly, sign your name and date it.
Givebutter can help fill your sponsorship requests
Nonprofits, schools, organizations, and teams trust Givebutter to help promote and fundraise for events. On Givebutter, you can add videos, engage with your community, sell tickets, and accept a number of payment methods.
Plus, with the Givebutter platform, you can sell sponsorship opportunities as tickets, which makes the process incredibly easy. Ready to get started? Create your free account today to start planning your next event.
Rachel is a fundraising and marketing consultant for nonprofits whose aspiration since she was 16-years-old is simply this: help others, help others.