I have produced several events over the past 15 years, so I’ve become somewhat of an expert at sponsorship proposals and a lot of people ask me for help in this area. Here’s an overview of what I’ve learned. This will be helpful for those of you who are planning your social organization’s annual event and are looking for corporate sponsors or the person whose company you work for is planning to have a major event, and you’re in the marketing group, assigned with the specific tasks of finding suitable sponsors for your event. It seems like a cinch – find potential sponsors; call them up; give a sales pitch; and you’re done. Problem is… each company you called asked you for a sponsorship proposal. You sit there, brainstorming on a plan but have no idea how it should look like.
The good thing about this is that you’re not alone. A number of people and organizations may have heard of sponsorship but never thought of the process involved in acquiring a sponsor. The reason for such is that sponsorship – although now being adapted by numerous companies – has no specific document specification.
The good thing is that like every other proposal plan, a similar format can be used in proposing sponsorships. There is no perfect proposal layout, but the format below targets the two main targets that every sponsorship proposal should aim at – avoiding rejection and securing a meeting with potential sponsors.
What your sponsorship proposal should have:
Before writing your proposal plan, key points such as the type and number of sponsors should be established. These points are important considerations since they will be part of your ‘physical pitch’ in order to lure your potential sponsors.
The executive summary should be located at the beginning of the sponsorship proposal. This will provide your target sponsor a brief but informative description about the event your organization will be holding. The opportunities, benefits and gains should be included as well as the deadline for the sponsor’s decision and their investment. Keep this summary simple and easy to understand.
Like every introduction, provide the necessary information your sponsor/s would want to know. This includes details about your organization and the upcoming event. Basically provide a background that will let the sponsor know the nature of the organization; the reason for holding a major event; any relevant and important that help in garnering a positive response from sponsor prospects.
In the introduction, though the event is mentioned, it is not broken down detail by detail. It is rather in this section of your sponsorship proposal that you give a comprehensive insight to every detail the upcoming event has. Such points may include the day, date and time; the venue of the event; target market or patrons; what should be achieved in the event and the reason behind each.
Any information about similar and/or past events that the organization has had can be included. This provides the sponsor prospects to see the pattern of how the events went and if it would be ideal for them to support it.
Simply put, this area of the proposal is a break down of what you want your sponsor to support. This is your organization’s request for the sponsor’s resources which may be their service, cash, prizes, product/s, promotions/advertising, or expertise. It is vital to include a price in this part.
Taking account of the actual and realistic costs will give the sponsor the idea that your organization is ready to make such a commitment. Also make sure that the benefits you propose to offer the sponsor prospect/s corresponds to the amount or level of support your organization is asking from them.
This part of the sponsorship plan should be an outline of all benefits and opportunities that the sponsor/s will gain from supporting the event. Benefits specified should involve tangible and intangible gains.
Quantifying the benefits is also encouraged to give the sponsor/s a bracket of measurement that they can refer to when considering their decision.
Sponsor Decision Deadline
Usually, a proposal for sponsorship should not exceed two weeks. A deadline with a mean amount of ten days lets the sponsor prospect/s see that your organization is willing to wait a span of time that is reasonable for sponsor consideration. At the same time, it is also a message that sends out a time constraint so that the prospects can give it the proper attention.
This area should be clearly stated so that a timeline can be established. Also so that other scheduled activities, such as setting up a meeting and further presentation, can be followed through on time.
As with every proposal, this part should be a page of reference or sources that were used in stating facts and statistics that support the proposal. This area also includes relevant tables, charts, budget lists, background sources and the like that should help in the enhancement of the sponsorship proposal.