Donation Sponsorship Letter Templates

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Why is this template useful?

An eye-catching donation sponsorship letter will be a great step toward securing a partnership or donorship with a company that is mutually beneficial. In this article, you will learn how to write a sponsorship letter that’s compelling, convincing, and optimizes your chances of sealing the deal.

Who is this template for?

Editable donation sponsorship letter template that you can use to secure your next donation. Adjust the colors and fonts to match your organization's branding.

What are the main sections covered in this template?

The main sections include: Intention of the letter, the format of the donation sponsorship letter, the goal of your sponsorship letter, Identifying the best funders, and why thanking sponsors is important.

The unsung hero of any fundraising plan is the corporate sponsorship. Some companies not only have their own foundation, but will also consider partnering with a nonprofit in a mutually beneficial relationship. 

The real question is this: how to write a sponsorship letter that’s compelling, convincing, and optimizes your chances of sealing the deal? Let’s find out how (and see some great examples of sponsorship letters to inspire you.)

What Makes a Good Sponsorship Letter?

Besides being clear, concise and to the point, a good sponsorship letter needs a believable value proposition, solid metrics, and a complete description of the benefits to the potential sponsor. 

You better believe companies get letters requesting sponsorships frequently, so make sure yours stands out. 

Here are some ways to do so:

  • Know who you should approach. For some smaller companies, the CEO would be a natural. For others, especially very large companies, it may be a marketing VP or a director of corporate responsibility. Do your homework.
  • Choose who will sign the letter. This can depend on who you are sending the letter to. For instance, if the company CEO knows your board chair, you’d be advised to get the chair to be the signer. If the company CEO is an existing individual donor to your organization, you might want to get your executive director to sign the letter. 
  • Run spell check. Spelling errors, as well as grammar “whoopsies” are embarrassing and create a negative impression of your organization—the opposite of what you're wanting to do with your sponsorship letter.
  • Be intentional. Don’t just blindly send out sponsorship requests to any business. Look for alignment—geographically, mission-related, and interests. 

For instance, luxury retailer Neiman Marcus’ sponsorship of the Humane Society of the United States’ annual To the Rescue! Gala is a good example of alignment. Neimans has long been moving away from selling furs and other animal products. To highlight this, they partnered with the Humane Society, presented an inside look at the cruelty of the fur trade, and were able to display a storefront of animal-friendly goods at the star-studded Manhattan event.

  • Be clear about the benefits of sponsorship. What incentives will your corporate sponsor receive? Will they get media coverage? Recognition on your website? Recognition from the stage during the event? Their logo on swag? Signage? Volunteer opportunities? Make it a win=win opportunity for you both.
  • Share your metrics. If you’re seeking event sponsorship, let the potential sponsor know how many people attend, the type of audience it is, and their demographics. Bottom line: they want to know how many eyeballs will see their brand, and who those eyeballs belong to.

What Tone of Voice Should You Convey in Your Sponsorship Letter?

Tone is just as important as content in any type of written communications. Just as when speaking to someone, tone in writing can convey mood, professionalism, intent and more. 

Use the wrong tone and you might confuse, offend, or turn off your reader. 

Here are some examples of different types of tone in writing:

  • Formal
  • Informal
  • Warm
  • Humorous 
  • Optimistic  
  • Assertive
  • Passive
  • Concerned
  • Encouraging 

You should base your sponsorship letter’s tone on the relationship between your organization and the potential sponsor. Also think about the reaction you would like to evoke in the reader when considering your letter’s tone. For example, an optimistic tone would create a positive impression on the reader. 

Let’s look at some examples of sponsorship letters and dig into their tone and wording.

This sample letter of sponsorship offered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is a good example of an effective sponsorship letter. It uses a warm, respectful tone that is straight to the point.

Remember: this is a potential B2B transaction (and your nonprofit is the other business!) You’re proposing an informal partnership, one that will be mutually beneficial, and hopefully, long lived. 

So be like SAMHSA. Be frank, compelling, truthful, and cut any fluff in your letter.  Everybody’s time is valuable and your reader is going to assess your request very quickly.

This sample letter of sponsorship from PTO Today is good not only for a Parent-Teacher Organization, but for any small nonprofit. Of course, you’d want to put it on your organization’s letterhead, but it’s short, to the point, and has a pleasant tone.

This sponsorship letter from the Greater San Marcos Youth Council is another good example of how to write a compelling sponsorship letter. The tone is factual and businesslike. 

Note that sponsorship levels, amounts, and benefits accompany the letter, which is another technique often used with successful sponsorship programs. 

Speaking of brief, this excellent sample letter of sponsorship for a youth sports team gets straight to the point and provides great details about the benefits of sponsorship. The tone is formal yet friendly. Notice how it mentions the team’s openness to customize benefits, as well. 

This sponsorship request from the Special Olympics is a good example of how to write an engaging sponsorship letter. 

Using a more formal, businesslike tone, the letter writer mentions the company’s support in the prior year, the number of children who participated, the number of spectators and volunteers, and reminds the reader that the event received media coverage. The price points and benefits are succinctly presented. We would suggest adding a line saying that the letter writer will follow up with Mr. Billingsley.

In general, keep your sponsorship letters brief, describe the benefits to your potential sponsor, and use a professional, yet warm, tone. Consider creating some collateral material to accompany the letter—perhaps a list of sponsorship benefits and levels. And always follow-up on your letter to make sure the letter was received, read, and considered. 

How to Define the Goal of Your Sponsorship Letter?

Since there are many types of sponsorships, determining your goal is key to success. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you figure out your goal:

  • What are you trying to achieve by obtaining sponsorships? 
  • Are you asking for money? Or a different kind of donation?
  • Do you have a set fundraising goal you’re trying to achieve? 

Overall, at the heart of every sponsorship letter is cause marketing. Cause marketing is a form of corporate social responsibility. 

Take Bombas, the sock company, as an example. They donate a pair of socks for every pair someone buys. Their network of more than 3,500 giving partners across all 50 states includes homeless shelters, Title I public schools, day shelters, and other nonprofits helping low-income individuals. 

Bombas claims to have given away 75 million socks, pieces of underwear, and tshirts.  By meeting these needs, Bombas is making a genuine contribution to the public good, while also boosting their brand. That’s good cause marketing. Think about that type of mission alignment when determining the goal of your sponsorship letter.

Another example of a clearly defined sponsorship goal is mBOLD, a collaboration between Minnesota food and agricultural businesses and The Nature Conservancy. Together, mBold and the Conservancy worked to secure sponsorships from Hormel and Target. 

The sponsorships are funding an agricultural pilot soil management program for Minnesota farmers. They hope to enroll 50,000 acres of land. If the program succeeds, the state's many lakes and rivers will improve, air quality will be better, fewer greenhouse gasses will be emitted, and agricultural profitability will grow. The environment improves, Hormel achieves its aim of being a leader in reducing carbon emissions, Target betters its supply chain of foods, all while both mBOLD and The Nature Conservancy fulfill their missions.

This type of mission alignment and clear goal-setting is one of the hallmarks of a successful sponsorship letter. 

How to Identify the Best Funders That Might Sponsor Your Nonprofit?

Identifying best-fit sponsorship candidates in your community is a vital step in securing sponsorships. You may have written the very best sponsorship letter, but if the fit isn’t there between your organization and a potential sponsor, your request won’t fly. 

How do you determine if there’s a fit? Look at the business’ constituents. Then, compare them to your best donors. If you’re both sharing a similar constituency, you may well be a good fit for a corporate sponsorship. This means you’ll need to know your donors’ demographics. 

So how do you discover the best corporate sponsors in your area? It’s easy with Instrumentl. Instrumentl is a powerful funder discovery tool, combined with the ability to manage all your sponsorship asks and collaborate with your team seamlessly. 

The first step should be creating a project in Instrumentl for your event or program that needs sponsoring. Once you’ve populated the details, Instrumentl’s smart matching algorithms will go to work on matching your organization with the best potential corporate funders. Instrumentl even provides you with a location filter so you can zero in on the best prospects in your area. 

You’ll save time because Instrumentl’s funder profiles provide deep insights into interests and priorities. And Instrumentl will even list the funder’s key contacts, helping you to deliver your letter to the right person.

Take your sponsorships and grantsmanship to the next level. Sign up for a free 14-day trial of Instrumentl today.

Why Is It Important to Write a Sponsorship Thank You Letter After You Get a Sponsorship?

So you did it. You nailed your sponsorship goals and your successful event or program came out without a hitch. And, you met your fundraising goal. 

So what’s next?

Don’t forget to send a sponsorship thank you letter to each one of your sponsors. 

This is important. 

Why? Sponsors, just like any other type of donor, want to be thanked and must be well stewarded if you expect them to financially back your nonprofit for any length of time.  

In your sponsorship thank you letter, reiterate the following:

  • Metrics, including number of attendees, age ranges, and other demographic information that you gathered—they want to understand their ROI
  • Type of people who attended (for instance, alumni, medical technologists, sales executives)
  • Mention of any highlights or surprises
  • Media coverage
  • A shout-out to any key people from their organization as well as any employees who volunteered to help
  • Your sincere gratitude, as well as that of your executive director and your board

And don’t forget to ask them for their input—you’re building a partnership after all!

Wrapping Up: How to Write a Donation Sponsorship Letter

To wrap it up, this article has looked at how to write a sponsorship letter, five examples of letters you can draw on for inspiration, how to determine your sponsorship goal, how to find the right potential sponsors, and the importance of a formal follow-up and thank you.

It’s our hope you now feel better equipped to tackle the wide world of sponsorships and cause marketing. To find the best potential sponsors, don’t forget about Instrumentl—sign up for your no obligation free 14-day trial today. 

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