5 Types of Nonprofit Sponsorship Letters [Free Samples + Tips]

Nonprofits send sponsorship letters to gain support from local businesses and corporations. Writing a sponsorship letter gives businesses an idea of what your nonprofit provides to the community, why you need sponsorship, and how they can benefit. In this article, we’ll provide tips for writing a compelling sponsorship letter as well as types and samples.

7 minutes read
5 Types of Nonprofit Sponsorship Letters [Free Samples + Tips]

sponsorship letters

Nonprofits send sponsorship letters to gain support from local businesses and corporations. Most companies must run a sponsorship request by several employees before concluding. This is especially true with larger corporations. A sponsorship letter is your first step into their company, but by no means is it the last.

Writing a sponsorship letter gives businesses an idea of what your nonprofit provides to the community, why you need sponsorship, and how they can benefit.

This article will provide tips for writing a compelling sponsorship letter as well as types and samples of different letters as below –

  1. Event sponsorship letter
  2. Matching gift sponsorship letter
  3. Team sponsorship letter
  4. Auction item/in-kind donations sponsorship letter
  5. Acknowledgment sponsorship letter

Bonus – 6 Tips for Writing A Successful Sponsorship Letter

Before we dive into the types of sponsorship letters and samples for each, let us see why nonprofits should send a letter of this kind.

Why Send A Sponsorship Letter?

Sponsorship letters can help get your foot in the door. Most companies won’t make a decision immediately, but a sponsorship letter gives you something to call about. They also give companies a quick overview of what you want and how they can benefit. Companies aren’t interested in supporting your organization without something in it, so it’s essential to make what they can get out of it clear from the beginning.

When writing your sponsorship letter, be sure to find the right person and collect as much information as possible to contact them again.

5 Important Types of Nonprofit Sponsorship Letters [ + Free Sample for Each]

Your nonprofit will have different reasons to send a sponsorship letter, and each reason demands a different letter. The free downloadable samples below will give you a basic outline to follow along with some inspiration.

1. Sponsorship letter for events

Nonprofits contact businesses most often for event sponsorships. Companies can receive hundreds or even thousands of event sponsorship letters a year. This is why it’s essential to make yourself stand out and find a personal connection if possible.

When writing an event sponsorship letter, make sure it’s professional, but try to find personal reasons why they’d want to learn more.

Here’s a peek into the free event sponsorship letter sample we’ve prepared for you. Click here to download the full letter and use it to write your own for an upcoming event.

sponsorship letter for event

2. Sponsorship letter for matching gifts

If you already have a number of donors that work for the same company, you should take the time to find out if this company offers matching gifts for their employees. If not, sending a letter to the company with an explanation of how matching gifts can help them will be seen as helpful and may interest them in connecting with you.

We’ve prepared a free sample to give you more understanding of how it works. Click here to download the matching gift sponsorship letter sample for free.

sponsor letter sample

3. Sponsorship letter for team sponsor

Team sponsorship letters are another one that companies often receive. Small, local businesses will be more interested in this sponsorship opportunity because it’s a way to further connect with their community. The visualization companies receive at each game and the good feelings that come with their support, are a draw for local businesses.

Schools, PTOs, local sports teams, and clubs often reach out to local businesses for this kind of support. We’ve written a free sample to help you write your next team sponsorship letter. Click here to download the full sample now!

sponsor letter sample

4. Sponsorship letter for auction items/in-kind donations

Requests for auction items or other in-kind gifts get the best response rates. It’s easy for a company of any size to donate a gift certificate or small item to a nonprofit in exchange for marketing during your event or on your website.

Here’s a glimpse into our free sample for an auction item sponsorship letter. Click here to download the full version and use it as a template to write your own.

sponsorship letter sample

After receiving an in-kind gift, remember to thank them for their support and offer increased ways to help your organization.

5. Sponsorship letter for acknowledgment

An acknowledgment or thank-you sponsorship letter is the most vital letter of the bunch. Acknowledgment letters must be sent within 48 hours after their gift for tax purposes. If you want to develop relations with companies, take the time to add a personal note or even call to thank them for their support after sending the letter.

Here’s a sneak peek into our free sample for an acknowledgment sponsorship letter. Click here to download the full version.

sponsorship letter sample

6 Tips for Writing a Successful Sponsorship Letter

Companies receive hundreds if not thousands of sponsorship letters a year. You’ll want yours to stand out in the crowd. There are several things you can do to make that happen.

1. Start with those you know

Before writing a sponsorship letter, you must find companies to solicit. Nonprofits that start with the letter are working backward and wasting their time. It’s likely you already have businesses that have supported you in the past. Some may be past sponsors or vendors, have matched donations in the past, or have held volunteer events.

These companies will recognize your nonprofit’s name and are easier to reach or close a deal with. Create a list of all companies or businesses you’ve worked with before. After that, you can move on to finding more.

2. Research companies

New companies are always harder to solicit. This is especially true if you don’t have a connection. Check your donor management system and your volunteers’ details to find people with company or business connections.

Your donors and volunteers are your best chance to get the first meeting. This is why collecting employer information is so vital. Go back to your donor management system and see who’s employer already gives matching donations.

Donorbox Donor Management helps you collect donor information (including employer and occupation details) and store them securely. You can then easily find out donors with employer information and reach out to them for a suitable contact. Donorbox also integrates with Double the Donation to help you accept company-matching donations (see the example below). You can utilize this integration to find potential sponsors.

sponsorship letters

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Finally, you can move on to companies where you have no connection. In these cases, you must find businesses that fit your nonprofit’s mission and donor base. If most of your beneficiaries and donors are families, you’ll want to find companies that target kids and parents.

Once you have a list of those, look for their past sponsorships. When did they sponsor your competitors? For what type of event? How much did they give? This information gives you a solid foundation on which to base your ask.

3. Find the right contact

The worst thing you can do is write a letter “To whom it may concern.” Letters like this go right in the trash, and you’ll never get the chance to make your point.

Your donor or volunteer can help you connect with their contact in the business. You can always send your sponsorship letter to the CEO or business owner if you have no personal connection at all. But most times, this doesn’t work unless it’s a smaller business.

You may also want to connect with the company’s marketing manager. This person will be most interested in finding new advertising opportunities and markets.

4. Focus on the event

Companies sponsor events because they are excellent marketing opportunities. Either they help companies connect with potential customers face-to-face or via online and social media marketing.

This is why you must first focus on the event in your sponsorship letter. Explain the event, why it’s held, how many people will attend, and why the business should be interested. The below golf outing event makes it utmost easy for sponsors to understand the different sponsorship levels as well as the event. Since it is advisable that you keep the letter or email concise, create an online event page like this and add different sponsorship levels. In the description, you can talk about the sponsorship packages, the benefits, and the event. Finally, add this event page link to your letter, so that interested sponsors can open it and know more.

sponsorship letter

5. Offer different sponsorship opportunities

When researching the business, what did you learn about its revenue and past sponsorship activity? It’s best to offer several different sponsorship options in your letter. This way, they have a number in mind, and you can start with the top and work your way through when you call.

Make sure these amounts are company-specific. This is where your research will come in handy. You don’t want to ask for too much or too little.

Once you’ve done your research on the suggested amounts, add them to your sponsorship donation form on a fundraising page. You can share this link with your sponsorship letter and ask them to check the preferred sponsorship levels (example shown below). This fundraising page can also be utilized to share the upcoming event information and sponsorship levels with your potential sponsors.

sponsorship letters

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6. Make it short and personal

Your sponsorship letter must be professional, but it also cannot feel like a form letter that could go to anyone. The first step was finding the right contact. After that, you’ll want to include specific examples of how they supported you in the past or why their business should care about your mission and donor base.

The more personal details you include, the better your chance of gaining their attention.

Final Thoughts

Sponsorship letters are an essential piece of your solicitation. You must reach out to companies that fit your organization’s mission and find the right person to contact. Writing the sponsorship letter should be simple if you’ve done your research. Remember to keep it short and personal and give them a reason to care.

A good donor management system that seamlessly integrates with other powerful systems makes things easy when it comes to researching sponsors and finding one with a personal connection. With Donorbox, nonprofits can easily collect and segment donor information, as well as integrate the donor data with leading CRM tools like Salesforce, Hubspot, etc. There are plenty of other integrations available via Zapier to effectively use your donor data.

With Donorbox, your options are endless. Our fundraising features are simple to use and have helped 50,000+ nonprofits across the globe create a bigger impact through online donations. Some of our most-loved features include Recurring Donations, customizable Fundraising Pages, Crowdfunding, Peer-to-Peer, Memberships, Events, QuickDonate, etc.

Your nonprofit can significantly increase donations and gain more donors through expert help. Donorbox Premium gets you fundraising coaching, a dedicated account manager, high-powered add-ons, and a team of expert techies. The pricing will be personalized for your nonprofit. Get in touch with our sales team today!

Explore other blogs on sponsorships, read fundraising tips and ideas, and find downloadable resources on the Donorbox Nonprofit Blog. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a handpicked list of our best articles, podcast episodes, webinars, and more in your inbox every month.

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Kristine Ensor is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience working with local and international nonprofits. As a nonprofit professional she has specialized in fundraising, marketing, event planning, volunteer management, and board development.

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