How to Write a Letter Requesting Sponsorship
Knowing how to write a letter requesting sponsorship can make or break your endeavour. Although you will have to tailor this guideline to the nature of your request, here are some basic tips to follow.
1- Tier your targets; strategise who will you be asking and in what order. Target the most viable company who may spend the most first and then work down the list. Research the person in the appropriate position. Does one professional there have a more personal relationship with you? As much deliberation should be put into choosing the appropriate reader as you would put into the actual letter. Find balance between their level of influence and the chance of them being more inclined to grant sponsorship.
2- Prepare long in advance. Any serious piece of writing should be written and then slept on and re-visited.
3- Write formally as even if you know this person or want to come across as a friendly character, ultimately this letter will be kept on file and the payerr will have to justify the expenditure. They will be more likely to ‘put their neck on the line’ for you should your request be delivered in a professional manner. Should you wish to add a friendly personal touch, perhaps follow the receipt of the letter with a telephone call.
4- Write a short introduction outlining why you are writing. Something along the lines of “I am writing to inform you of a sponsorship opportunity for person/charity/event and wish to explain the nature of the sponsorship and how it could benefit …… (name of the ircompany)”
5- Explain who you are (if appropriate) and what you need the sponsorship for.
6- Note why you have specifically asked this company/individual for sponsorship. Highlight how their values (which you should be able to find on their website) align with your values. The only type of flattery appropriate here is factual, ‘formal flattery’ i.e. “since your company is a leader in the field of ____, I feel that you sponsoring this event/charity/individual will provide us a strong public profile”.
7- State what the company/individual will get in return. Should you not be able to quantify a direct financial return on their investment, suggest an intrinsic benefits such as strengthening the company’s corporate reputation through the public’s appreciation of their corporate social responsibility (CSR).
8- Give them sponsorship options. I.e. “Should ….. wish to sponsor us, there are the following negotiable options available to you”. Then bullet point various figures of how much they may like to sponsor and what you can promise in return i.e. maximum figure for sole sponsorship with the company’s branding displayed on all materials, to minimum figure for mass joint sponsorship with their company named included in press releases.
9- Properly thank the reader for their time in reading and consideration. “Thank you for your time and consideration”, and also invite them to contact you for any further information or to refer your inquiry to any other interested parties.
10- Close with your full name, the name of your company/charity/management team (if you’re an athlete), telephone number, and email address.
11- Should you receive a reply, be in positive or negative, ensure that you respond once again thanking them for their time in consideration (but do not beg!).
Have several people proof read the letter and make suggestions on improvements.
Perhaps deliver the letter in person for a personal touch?
Follow formal letter writing techniques.
Include a sponsorship form should you have one but be sure to refer to it in your letter if you do.