Are you looking to generate donations and build strong relationships with sponsors? A well-crafted sponsorship letter can make all the difference. Not only does it help you secure funds, but it also lets sponsors know the impact their donations have made and sets the tone for future communications. Moreover, showcasing diverse revenue streams through donor dollars is a great way to demonstrate your commitment to creating a sustainable organization.
Let's dive into the steps of writing an effective sponsorship letter:
1. Determine the type of letter: Different situations call for different types of letters. Are you reaching out to your donor base, corporate sponsors, or for an annual appeal? Knowing the type of letter you're writing will guide your structure and approach.
2. Define your goals: Before putting pen to paper, clarify what you hope to achieve with your letter. Are you aiming to create a fund for equipment replacement, or do you need support for operational expenses? Communicate your specific needs and why they are important. Highlight how having such funding will increase efficiency, save time, save lives, or reduce liability.
3. Outline your letter: Start by creating an outline of key points to ensure your letter stays concise and to the point. Remember, brevity is key. Avoid using jargon or industry-specific language that might confuse or alienate readers. When possible, use bullet points, headers, and bold key words and phrases to make your letter easy to skim.
4. Make the donor the hero: Approach your potential sponsor as the hero of your organization. Give them credit for your accomplishments and let them know that none of it would be possible without their support. Express sincere gratitude for their donations and show how their contributions have made a positive impact on your cause.
5. Research your target businesses: Create a list of businesses to approach with your sponsorship letter. But don't just send it to anyone and everyone. Instead, select businesses whose missions align with yours. Consider including businesses you have a personal relationship with, as well as smaller and online businesses. Building strong partnerships will maximize your chances of success.
6. Stay focused: Keep your goal top of mind while writing your letter. Include your desired
donation amount and consider whether volunteers or in-kind donations could also be beneficial. Clearly define what you're asking for, how you will accept donations, and what sponsors will receive in return. This return on investment is crucial for maintaining and growing your donor base.
7. Choose an appropriate format: Decide on the format for your letter based on your target audience. One-page requests, accompanied by a pledge card and a pre-addressed envelope, are often well-received. Alternatively, bright and engaging tri-fold brochures can be effective. Take inspiration from sponsorship letters you've received in the past to create a compelling and professional format.
8. Maintain a professional, yet friendly tone: Strike a balance between professionalism and approachability in your letter. Follow all proper grammar rules, but ensure your tone is warm and inviting. Use your organization's branded format or letterhead to establish credibility. Unless instructed otherwise, send your letter by mail rather than electronically.
9. Writing the letter: Start with a concise introduction, clearly stating who you are and what your organization does. Avoid assuming that the reader knows about your cause, so include a brief description and list any noteworthy achievements. In the second paragraph, emphasize the problem you're addressing, provide relevant data on your successful efforts, and position yourself as the ideal organization to solve the issue. Finally, wrap up your letter by expressing gratitude, summarizing your ask, and thanking the reader for their time.
10. Pledge Card: If the benefits of being a sponsor exceed what can be included in a pledge card, use the back of the letter to outline additional benefits. Be specific and clear about what donors will receive at each sponsorship level. Consider what your donors may want, and tailor the benefits accordingly. Whether it's networking opportunities, exclusive access, or advertising spots, focus on enhancing the return on investment for your sponsors.
Extra Tip: The Power of Follow-up
To truly increase your donor base and expand your sphere of influence, consider sending a personalized follow-up letter to each donor. In this letter, highlight the specific impact their donations have made, using bullets, infographics, pictures, and client statements. This practice not only shows gratitude but also makes your donors feel valued and part of something bigger. By consistently providing follow-up letters for every fundraising event, you'll see increased donations and a growing sphere of influence. You can even compile these follow-up letters into an annual report to share with the community, further cementing your organization's impact.
Remember, writing an effective sponsorship letter takes time and effort, but the rewards are well worth it. By being engaging, encouraging, and utilizing the active voice, you'll be one step closer to securing the support you need to make a difference.