A sponsorship packet is an important part of the sponsorship process. Communities will send these packets to all their potential sponsors, either via mail or hand-delivered during a personal meeting. When sending out sponsorship packets, it’s best to first send them to prior supporters, and then broaden distribution to include potential new sponsors identified from research. The five things all sponsorship packets should include are a sponsorship letter, information about the event, demographic information from previous years of the event, sponsorship levels and a commitment form.
The sponsorship letter is the first item in your sponsorship packet. It’s best to keep letters to one page or less, and they should have three parts: highlight the event, provide sponsorship options and get to the point.
The letter must convince the sponsor that it’s worth contributing and clearly outline the benefits the sponsor receives. Writing a proper sponsorship letter can make the difference between securing the sponsorship and being ignored.
The event information that you should include in your sponsorship packet is the purpose of the event, event dates and times, and an activity list. It is important to explain to your potential sponsors what the event is and the reason you are having the event.
For events that take place annually, it is important to provide key demographic information from previous years—such as the previous year’s attendance, attendee age range, where attendees live, and what portions of the event were most popular—for potential new sponsors. This allows them to evaluate whether the event fits their target demographic. In addition, potential sponsors usually appreciate seeing success metrics from previous years.
The next part of the sponsorship packet should be sponsorship levels and what is included at each level. The most common sponsorship levels are title sponsor, presenting sponsor and event sponsor, but sometimes events incorporate additional levels or their own unique categories. Typically, the benefits for each higher level include benefits from the lower tiers plus additional benefits.
The commitment form should be the last piece in the sponsorship packet. This should be a simple form for the sponsor to list information about their company or organization and the sponsorship level that interests them. Be sure to include specific details about how to return the form.
There is no set timeframe for reaching out to sponsors; instead, this can be determined based on budget planning cycles and peak sponsorship times of your specific event’s potential sponsors. Most companies only do event sponsoring at certain times of the year, while others may sponsor events year-round but have a more limited budget during certain seasons. Budgets may run in line with a fiscal year or a calendar year, but either way, a sponsorship is most likely to be approved during the budget planning process, and not after the budget has already been approved and finalized. In some cases, discretionary funds may be left over at the end of the year and asking at the right time can actually result in a higher funding amount. It may be beneficial to reach out to potential sponsors ahead of time to inquire about the timing of their budget cycle and their preferred timing for sponsorships. Once you have this information, you can better schedule when you make your ask. If you are not able to obtain this information, it is best to plan ahead and ask a full year in advance of the event. This way, the potential sponsors has ample time to determine their budget and see if this sponsorship opportunity fits.