30 Jan 2009

Sponsorship Proposals: 10 ideas that will get you cash in this recession

You are organizing a big event. It can be an AIDS awareness event or a rock festival in your college. You can be a student, a NGO or a society. To organize any event you require sponsorship money. And where will the money come from? It comes mostly from companies.

So you start approaching them and keep making sponsorship proposal presentations. As you know, it’s never easy to get cash out from a company, that too in this recession.

What can you do to increase your hit rate?
How can you make your pitch more attractive and lucrative to the person evaluating your presentation? How can you get him to shell out cash happily?

You can manage to get cash easily if you spend some time thinking and preparing over the following points. I have drawn this list from my personal
experience of evaluating more than a hundred such proposals as head of marketing in my job. I once got a proposal to sponsor a sports event where the presenter kept explaining me how many types of games are going to be played, how many teams will play and what are the rules of each game. I, as a sponsor, did not want to know all that. The sponsor wants to know the following things:

1. Why should I sponsor this event? (benefit)
2. Who is going to come for the event? (audience)

3. Why will they come?

4. How do I target the audience?

5. What is the credential of the organizer?

6. Who else is sponsoring the event?

7. What is the cost? Does it justify the benefit?

Take cognizance of these before you start making your presentation slides.

1. What is the benefit?

A company sponsors an event for either brand awareness (also called brand building), lead generation or as a corporate social responsibility (CSR)
initiative. You have to pitch on which of these objectives get fulfilled by sponsoring the event. If you are organizing a college rock event and want Pepsi to sponsor it, you have to show how your event will create brand awareness on campus.

2. Who is the audience?

This is perhaps the most important thing for your sponsor. Tell him who is going to come, how many will come, what is their demographic profile (age,
education, profession, income group). The chances that a premium real estate builder will sponsor a college rock event are very low. That is because the company does not want to target teenagers.3. Why will the audience come for the event?
You are promising Pepsi that 5,000 students will come for your event. Why should Pepsi believe it on face value? Show them how you will pull the crowd.
How are you planning to promote the event? What is your media plan? How many ads are you giving, how many colleges are you approaching. Be specific, talk numbers.

4. How do I target the audience?

After you have assured Pepsi of 5,000 students you need to come up with options of doing brand building. Most of the proposals talk vaguely on what can
be done at the venue. Be specific. Generate good ideas and put it up in the presentation. If you have 10 good ideas, share 7 and keep 3 to be used during negotiations stage. When he is lowering your price, show him some additional branding options and clinch the deal.

If you are offering to brand the stage, T-shirts and tickets with the logo of Pepsi, why not have some morphed image of how they will look in reality. Get it
done in Adobe Photoshop. This will go a long way in showcasing the benefits.

5. What are the credentials of the organizer?

After getting convinced about the benefit and the audience, one question will still remain in the sponsor’s mind. Will the event get executed the way it is
being promised? What is the experience of the organizer? To build credibility, you can share images from the same event last year, mention how successful it was and why, who were the sponsors last time and how many people came. If you are a first time organizer, this is going to be the toughest nut to crack. Be prepared.

6. Who are the other sponsors?

The sponsor would definitely want to know who else is going to sponsor the event. As a good practice, do not have two companies from the same industry.
I have never sponsored any event where my competitor was already a sponsor.

7. What is the cost?

Bring up the cost at the end. If your value proposition is not very strong, then you should be ready to justify the cost. Do your numbers before you go for the
pitch. If you are asking a sponsor to spend Rs. 500,000 to target 500 people with the objective of lead generation, then realize that the cost of a lead works out to Rs. 1000. The marketing manager will evaluate your proposal on this number and you need to justify the value you are offering in return.

Once you have addressed the aforementioned questions, you will be in a very good position to get the cash. In addition to the 7 points, you should also
consider the following 3 points:

8. Know your competition

You are not the only college in town which is organizing an event. Observe what benefits other organizers are providing to their sponsors. How are they
marketing their event? You should be in a position to convince that your offer is better than others.

9. Generate ideas to help the sponsor

You know more about your event than your sponsor. Hence, come up with innovative ideas to genuinely help your sponsor get the maximum bang for his
buck. What places can be branded, what activities can be done at the venue, and so on. It would be a good idea, to spend some time understanding the business needs of the sponsor before you present to him. You can call the marketing manager and understand what his needs in the current markets are. You only get the money when you solve a problem.

10. Market your event
You genuinely thought that Pepsi should have sponsored your event in 2009. But they did not. So what do you do other than waiting for 2010 to approach Pepsi again?You send a CD full of images, videos, and highlights of how successful your event actually was. What were the ways the sponsor companies benefitted from the event. Add a few testimonials. Add some PR clippings (if you got any). I am very sure next year Pepsi will come to you.

Follow these guidelines when you start making your next sponsorship proposal. Share your experiences with me. Leave a comment.

Are you looking to raise sponsorship? I offer professional help. My email ID: vivek @ all about presentations dot com


  1. this is very helpful, wish i had seen it before i had my first presentation. but it's ok, it has prepared me for the next one. thank you.

  2. Thanks Pancy.
    Let me know how your next presentation goes.
    Best wishes.

  3. It is good rather the best way to make people like me aware and present a new face of presentation... and Sponsorship options..

    Thanks Bro..


  4. vimal
    this is extly right things
    i have experiance about this one

  5. i realy love this but its a pleasure to me if some one sponsored me in the production of my album and eduction
    am silas from uganda

  6. This site is realy good. It empowers youth and other inventors to be more innovative since their projects can be financed. Keep it real and help people. God bless. Am Misoi from Kaiboi-Kenya

  7. puneet:thnks for giving helpful suggestions. next time before making presentation i ll remember ur words.

  8. @PuNEet You are most welcome. I would appreciate if you share your presentation experience with all of us here.

    1. Sir this side Ashish Tyagi there is a technical fest in my college on 22nd and 23rd of march.....
      A-Bazz n M.O.H are coming nw from where will i get a sponsorship plz help me out its urgent......
      My id is it08610.sbit@gmail.com

  9. hey... could you please help us out with any contacts for sponsorship. Ultimately we proceeded exactly as per u have said, but unless there's a nice reference or we approach the right person, it doesn't work out. I'm a student of NIT surat.
    mail me @ venkat.iyer2007@gmail.com
    will really appreciate ur help...:)

  10. Hi Venkat

    It's nice to see you have followed the instructions. Knowing crucial people will be of help when seeking sponsorship, but you can never have contacts in every company you approach.

    I am sorry I cannot give in any contacts. I don't even know what are your organising and who are your targetted companies. My suggestion would be to approach your faculty (because they would know businesses in town), your seniors (who have made similar proposals earlier) and all your college students (ask them to share any contacts with companies as their relatives or friends of relatives must be working somewhere.

    If you wish to discuss further, feel free to email me. Best wishes with your sponsorship presentations.

  11. hey could any1 provide d information of sponcering events at clg
    m dng ma btech at aith at hyd!!!!!
    reply immedaitely to ramkrish17@yahoo.com

  12. we just opened a event management firm, our first event is real small could you plz help our team to get sponsors from fm stations. plz rply soon at aushim.gupta@live.com

  13. Hi Aushim

    My best wishes to you on your first event.

    I can definitely work with you in one manner. You can send me the presentation (or pitch) you are working on and I can help you improve on it. Do send me an email.

  14. the sponsor would not response, so easily that u r thinking

  15. @Anonymous
    Your point is fair. But I never said it was all very easy. Following the above tips will ensure a) you go prepared and b) you dont overlook things which are important to the sponsor. You need to talk in the language the sponsor understands. This post is an attempt to prepare you for that.

  16. Hi, I was hoping I could as you for your help in a project I'm going to be starting. As part of a program I'm in at my school, I have to create a personal project. I would like to do something nobody here has done before that will also do some good. I want to organize a concert where all the proceeds will go to breast cancer. I'm hoping you might look over my initial proposal letters, and help me improve on them and maybe help me step by step in the process of getting a sponsor. Do you have an e-mail I can send them to? It would be very helpful. You can reach me at paigehosie@hotmail.ca

    Thanks so much for your help.

  17. @paigehosie

    For any emails to me you can write at vivek [at] all about presentations [dot] com

  18. Thanks a lot....it was very helpful...i will b remembering all the bullet points before i go for a sponsor.... hope i will b successful in convincing the sponsors n make our event a successful one... :)

  19. I am putting together a movie screening and dinner in celebration of a great film which just celebrated its 25th anniversary and there will be a raffle to benefit a local foster and adoption agency. I need to make a great proposal for sponsors my event happens on the 20th of feb and i need to act fast any help you can provide me with?

  20. This is simple but powerful....thanx for the help

  21. Hey we are planning to organize a huge event in Delhi...with a mega artists..:this event would be a mega event...we need big brands sponsors for our event...can u pls guide me how can I impress the companies for the sponsorship

  22. this one is great..got lots of ideas from it..thanks man

  23. It's really oustanding!!!!!!!!!!
    Thank You very much!!

  24. This looks great.. I'm a core member of the organising committee of an inter-collegiate fest coming up. Hope your tips will help me to pull in some sponsors ! :)

  25. I like what you said, but there is SO MUCH MORE to say. Seriously. I've written a book about fundraising and teach about fundraising as well, and I'd love to tell you more, but there isn't space here.

    However, if you want to learn about sponsorship, you could take my popular webinar, called Wildly Successful Events, on sponsorship! http://charityhowto.com/upcoming.php

    I also have a free 3 part e-newsletter on Sponsorships if you sign up at http://wildwomanfundraising.com

    Thanks for collecting these resources about sponsorship! Good luck everyone in getting sponsors for nonprofits and charities!



  26. This is a great resource. I had my sponsorship letter prepared, but I completely edited and updated it after reading this information. I am trying to get sponsors on a weekly basis for nightclub events. Yeah, it's a lot of work, but I think I have a unique approach to it. Once I succeed, I will let you know how well it went. I understand that everyone won't have money to put towards this, but I am marketing to a very specific niche, and fortunately, there are lots of companies that would want to reach my customers. So,hopefully, they will pay for it! Wish me luck! :)

  27. @Barbie

    I wish you all the best.
    I am glad my tips were of help to you.
    Do let me know what 'unique approach' have you taken. Waiting to hear your success story.

  28. hey vivek can you do a case study on sponsorship proposals it will really help us college students

    who dont know how to start a conversation with a executive and keep them interested.

  29. @Devjyoti
    Why don't you throw some more light on what you want from the case study. What answers are you seeking? Write to me on my email id.

  30. @Barbie. Do you have an E-Mail I can contact you @? I have a few Questions about the events you host at night clubs. I'm getting ready to do a huge event in Las Vegas and would like some pointers... Please Email Me @ Mo.Marceau@Gmail.com Thank you. Mo Ruthless, Ruthless Ent.

  31. it will be very helpful for me.............

  32. Its really helpful. It is the first time I am Making a proposal to get sponsorship for a huge event with 20000 people

  33. @Ankur I am happy the post was of help to you. Do let me know how it goes.

  34. thanks for sharing helpful information

  35. hey my friend thank for the awesome post thinking of running an event soon and didnt know where to start thank you for the insight. God Bless

  36. Awsome proposal tips, it would be very helpful those who making proposal first time.

  37. Hey can u please mail me a sample prposal so that i can make the changes in ti and prepare a new one... here u have given the ideas of how to prepare a presentation.. but if u have any presentation ready then please mail one to me..I am planing a Inter Corporate Band competition in Pune.. my id is sagar.purpletree@gmail.com

  38. @Ashish

    Please write to me in detail and we will discuss.

    There is no fixed template for a sponsorship presentation. Make a presentation which covers all topics mentioned in the post. That should help.

  39. Thanks! It's too good & very informative!

  40. This information is excellent, I really appreciate your assistance!

  41. It was very useful, Thanks to you !Would follow these for my annual event..

  42. this should help me a lot at this moment. I trying to do some sponsoring letter to approach few of the companies for my event. I hope everything's go smoothly. However, in my town, all the businessman is DAMN STINKY and I don't even know I can make it or not.

  43. Thanks for the information, it would be useful.
    Trinidad and Tobago

  44. Vivek,

    Good advice, I wish I had found it a few months ago. If you have the time, please drop me a line. I'd like to illicit a few more suggestions specific to my case.

    Thanks again for the informative article!


  45. Hi Sean

    You can send me an email and we'll discuss.

  46. Am having my first presentation soon and i thank god i got this info earlier cos i would have messed up badly. am a new player in the event managent game i realy need some tips on my way forward especially on convicing potential sponsors than am just as good as all thecompanies that ahs been operating for years, i know fopr a fact that my ideas are better than the others i have seen around.Help.

  47. @Nelson Feel free to write to me for any help.

  48. Hello sir my name is vikas goel.I am plan for a show.but i need ur help for sponsorship of our show and for the presentation making for sponsor ship.please contact me on my cell no +918909910791.plz sir.

  49. Great post! I appreciate the clear step by step approach!

  50. your points are truly helping i didn't put them to use but when i read those points i realized what mistakes i had been making when i went out for sponsorship when i spearheaded the sponsorship team of my college. hey can you help me a bit more i am looking for sponsorship can you tell me how can i contact the marketing of the region?

  51. I have a business that has bg profits, butit all goes towards covering home expenses. I joint a cycling tryathelon. I meed a roadbike. How do I get a sponsor for this event I signed up for. I have less than 7weeks. I training on a beach cruser. Can someone help me.

  52. this article actually helped me rope a sponsor for my college.I'm so thankful to you. he actually smiled and gave away the cheque. i followed ur ideas blindly n i was able to collect 200000 for my fest. i owe you a treat,for sure.

  53. what all a bank can benefit from a college event??
    if the budget is more than 50lakhs....cn u suggest me how can i achieve that?

  54. @Anonymous
    Great to hear you roped in a sponsor. How about sharing your story with me. I would take that in place of a treat :-)

    Do write to me at
    vivek [at] allaboutpresentations [dot] com

    1. Vivek Singh....Im throwing my first event for my non-profit organization and I really need tips on proposals do you have an email

  55. @anmol

    Three quick benefits I can think of:
    1. Open new savings accounts
    2. Sell student loans
    3. Sell credit cards to students

    Students are more likely to not have a bank account and they can be attracted to open one offering mobile baking, net banking features.

  56. Hello! Great Article! I am a student, it is not my first time to handle an event in our school, but it is my first time to invite sponsors that will cash out for us. i don't how much should i ask, that's my problem. Our event will be attended by students also (300 - 700 persons), how much should i ask?

  57. @Christian
    The amount you ask depends on what's your cost. If you are spending 1000 and want to recover 1000 and you go to 2 sponsors, you ask them 600, 400 or 500, 500. If you want to recover 1500, you ask a bit more.

  58. thnx allot...i'm goin fr a sponsership presentation 2mrw....hope this will help...do pray fr me...:)

  59. Hi dear vivek
    I'm helping to organize a poker tournament. We will have 3 professional models selling raffle tickets. Which type of companies would like to be involved on that? There will be 150 players, mostly business man betwenn 25 and 60 yeard old. I know we gonna raise $, because girls are articulate, my question is which kind of products/ companies
    Please help. Event coming in November.

  60. Thank Vivek for this insightful article. I am in the process of pitching my proposal to various sponsors. From what I pick from the article is that no two proposals or presentations should be the same based on the benefits highlighted.

    I have the following questions:

    1. If this is the first of its kind event, how do I make-up for not having a portfolio of past events?

    2. How do I work out the number of people who will attend?

  61. @Anonymous

    It would be easier to answer if you share more details about the audience. Income levels? Specific interests? Since the age group is very wide many companies can be targeted. Three names which come to mind instantly: Beverages, Cars & Real Estate.

    1. You are a genius!!!
      ( I asked you about the poker)
      My email: vejarose@yahoo.com.br


    2. Me again: Rose
      So in your opinion we should ask some car dealership to give a rent of a car for 3 months let say.... and them sell that to the players?
      Real estate, what could they do for us? I understand that we need to gave mutual benefits....
      The people attend are business people, with good income. Interest golf, poker, restaurants... I guess the good life. The younger crowd is more like "working class" but still enjoy all the above.

      Thanks for yyr help!!!!!

  62. @Brandy

    Q 1. If this is the first of its kind event, how do I make-up for not having a portfolio of past events?

    Ans 1. It is always tougher at the start. Once the event is established, past performance makes it easier. One way to make up is to talk about the expertise of the organisers and event managers.

    The sponsor will have these doubts: a) Will you be able to organise the event as promised? Will the execution match upto my standards? b) Will you be able to draw in the crowds? c) Am I alone or there are other sponsors? If you can get one big sponsor, others will come in easily.

    Focus on the people and the company behind the event.

    Q 2. How do I work out the number of people who will attend?

    Ans 2. You are the best person to answer this question. No one else can without knowing all the details about the event.

    While committing the number to the sponsor, remember the mantra; 'under-promise and over-deliver'. Be conservative when you commit how many people are going to attend.

  63. @Anonymous

    Since I am not aware of anything about the poker event I was talking about only about passive role of sponsors. You are in a better position to plan the sponsorship.

  64. @virendra

    What are you anxious about virendra? Let me know it before I can give an appropriate answer.

  65. @Vivek
    How to manage with anxiety or the butterfly in the stomach when we present in our own class of 60nstudents? One of the measures is taking deep breathe. Its very simple aids but works alot. Suggest some more.
    Thanks in advance.

  66. @virendra

    Here is one simple trick to fight the attack of butterflies:

    Practice: Play the PPT in slideshow mode. Stand up and rehearse as if you are really presenting to the class. Keep doing it till you are comfortable with your content. It might take 7 rehearsals or 17. Keep doing till you are in total command.

    One big fear we all have is of 'forgetting the content'. Rigorous practice will address that.

    Also check this recent post of mine:

  67. Vivek i tried contacting lot of times but no responose from ur end. I have gone though all ur post but need a refernce to approach Sponsors. I think you should write a blog on how to search sponsors?

  68. @Strange

    I have no emails from you off late. My id is: vivek [at] all about presentations [dot] com

    About references, I am not sure I can help. I am not , in the business of helping people get sponsors.

    About writing a post on how to search for sponsors, will definitely cover it in the near future. Thanks.

  69. Dear Vivek !

    I was surfing the net, when i incidentally came across your article, and Iiii.... must say, that it's indeed w'ful n amazing.

    You're doin a great job buddy. keep it up.

    I was looking for some good templates for a good sponsorship letter.
    Apparently we are coming up with this idea of organizing an event/activity witnessing around 2 - 3 lacs odd.
    I'm actually skeptical about the fact of elaborating it on a public portal.

    So,I wish if you could help us with one.

    please revert at info.starglitzz@gmail.com

    Take care n stay blessed.


  70. @Vishal

    Thanks for writing in. Drop me more information on my email id: vivek [at] allaboutpresentations [dot] com

  71. Wow!! I believe this will definately help me since its so powerful. Thank you. But I would also like to know about what is you dont have a previous event that could help you make a portfolio for yourself. My email adress is ntombidladla6@gmail.com.

  72. @Bambi

    You are asking what needs to be done when you dont have past events to talk about. Well its tough but the solution is to ensure you talk about yourself (the organiser) and give the sponsor confidence that you can execute the event as planned.

  73. RhymeStunt Sinatra30 October 2012 at 12:27

    Dear Vivek,
    I am a first time event organiser and your article has been resourceful and productive. I am creating awareness for HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis in my campus. What are your suggestions on sponsorship acquisition.
    The event is geared at youths in the diaspora and I'm anticipating 800-1000 in attendance.

  74. hey am planning to have campaign in my country,not for politics but for youth for 2013 peace before elections in kenya,we are YOUTH FOR PEACE 2013,we dont need bloodshed anymore after eliction.any well wishers conduct me ktowwet@yahoo.com

  75. @RhymeStunt Sinatra

    Why don't you write an email to me with more details and let me see how I can be of help.

  76. I am working on a sponsorship proposal to ask sponsors for sponsorship for the 2013 Professional Bull Riders tour i wish to ride in,Estamated cost arrond 75 to 80 thousand dollars to cover air flights, entry fees, motel rooms, rental cars, food , etc. How can i convince sponsors to turn lose of that kind of money by 1/1/2013 ?
    Thanks for your help

  77. I am the manager of a motorcycle race team,everyone in the industry is fighting over the same industry sponsors,my team holds the current national championship,the championship is televised but every company I email just reply with the same old reply,any advise on who to get past this or anything else would be very greatful, jasonthomasracing@msn.com

  78. Thankyou very much Vivek.. I've read all that you have written and is very helpfull.. I wish i had seen this a few days before.. ;D This is a pretty awesome and genuine way to invite sponSors..
    Thanx mann...

  79. hey Vivek my college name is singhgad college we ar organising our college fest but we dont have any support even our college is also not supporting us so can u plz arrange for some sponsor for us.
    Gufran Chaudhary

  80. Nice article. I am looking for sponsorship for the first time and was totally blank about how to approach and proceed. But, I think now I am confident enough at least to present myself.
    I have an event (Elocution competition) in a rural area. Do you have any specific suggestion ?

  81. @Ajit

    Depending upon the student's age you can reach companies. Approaching companies which sell products for children should be the first bet. Stationery, health drinks, soft drinks, chips, etc.

  82. This has been very helpful for my presentation. Thank you! :)

  83. @Vanessa I am happy that my article was of help to you. Do click on this link for more articles on this topic: http://www.allaboutpresentations.com/search/label/Sponsorship

  84. It was just simply good to read your tips....It had helpd me alot thnku

  85. Diss z very...very..helpful dude...
    Thnx alot 4 mentioning all d major points 4 grabbing sponsorships...
    Thnxx alot 4 ur very essential n basic 10 tips..

  86. Thank you Vivek. Very useful..But i have a few doubts.
    I am an engineering student.I am part of a technical project related to aerospace.We go to international Aero-design competitions every year and have a good track record.Can you please guide me in approaching companies to sponsor this student project?
    We dont get much support from our own college.

  87. Awesome & fantastic. Thanks Vivek

  88. It was very helpful.. thnx a lot
    Can u provide us a format of this letter?

  89. @Humaira Did not get your question. Please explain.

  90. Hello Vivek sir,
    We are going to organize a technical festival in our college in Arunachal Pradesh. This is the first time we would be approaching for some big sponsorships. We would like to know how to approach the companies like Pepsi, ITC etc.

  91. How can I convince a real estate company to sponsor my event?..It is an economics based event....plz reply fast

  92. hi, vivek I have recently started my Event organisation Co. and planning my fist event on new year eve for which I want to make a attractive Proposal for Sponsors. Please guide.

    1. Hi. Do send me an email. Let's talk.

  93. Hello Mr. Vivek...i am a student in delhi university. My department has planned a festival in february. The budget is around 80-90 grand. This is our first time. How do we attract sponsors???

    1. You have to sell what you have. Talk about how many students will you reach (through event + through promotion). Target brands which are about youth. Telecom, mobiles, watches, mobile apps, etc.

  94. Hai my name is shanmukha i have a medical shop near kukatapally BJP office what i want to tell is i am going to plan for a medical camp near to my shop so any body willing to sponcer for medical camp plz contact 8885228598 and give me a valuable suggestions to about a camp on 4th jan 2015 sunday

  95. Hey, could you help me get sponsors for a sports person? He's a famous sfl international fighter who's trained under Royce Gracie, Amir Khan, coaches of various UFC fighters as well. Since there is not much of a competition for MMA in India , it'll be beneficial for the sponsor in all ways. The investment I'm looking for is 25k to 1lac (including travelling cost and training) I wanted to target corporates, people with a sports background, politicians etc. Anyone who wants to have a business guaranteeing profit here.
    It'll be of great help if u can send me the details @ nidhisharma.ns11@gmail.com