A sponsorship letter is a request for funding or supplies for a given project. Sponsorship letters can be sent to friends and family, colleagues, non-profit organizations, and even corporations to obtain funding for a variety of projects. Though some positive responses will be based on the nature of the project, writing a personal, touching, and efficient sponsorship letter may help improve chances of receiving needed funding or requested items.
When writing a sponsorship letter, it is important to do some research on the potential donors. If the recipient is a corporation or non-profit group, find out if the company has a history of similar donations, and thank the group for its already-existing efforts. Research can also help narrow down the list of potential donors to those who seem able and willing to donate; a corporation with a history of donations to disaster relief groups, for instance, might be a good match for a school or fire department trying to raise funds for emergency gear or training programs. It may also help to look into the economic situation of the recipient; if a potential donor has recently lost money or filed for bankruptcy, it may not be prudent to write them a sponsorship letter.
Try to find the name of the person in the organization who handles sponsorships and donations. This can help ensure that the letter goes to the right person, and also helps personalize the request. A simple call to the organization can usually result in the correct contact within the company. If sending to an individual, be sure to use the person's full name in the salutation, instead of saying “Dear Sir,” or “To Whom It May Concern.”
One of the most important parts of writing a sponsorship letter is detailing how the money or supplies will be used and why they are necessary. This is the place to describe all of the passion and hard work involved in the project, which will hopefully invoke a positive response from the reader. The description should be personal and honest, but not begging, passive-aggressive, or callous in any way. It may help to include touching specific stories about the project, rather than general information. For instance, in an organization that feeds poverty-stricken families, relate the tale of a specific family, rather than just explaining that food is given to people.
In some cases, a sponsorship letter should include whatever benefits a personalize or organization will receive in return for their donation or assistance. This may include tax write-offs, special mention or credit, or even a T-shirt. If the donor is passionate about the cause, he or she many not necessarily care about these bonuses, but nevertheless they can serve as an incentive.
It may be helpful to include a list of exactly what is needed from a sponsor. For outfitting a children's basketball team, this might include the specific number of uniforms, correct shoes, basketball supplies, and training gear. Some donors may be more willing to provide specific goods than simply write a check, but giving the option to donate funds is usually recommended as well. It may help donors to feel more involved and important to the organization if they can see exactly how their sponsorship is going to be put to use.