“How Long Should My Sponsorship Proposal Be?”
9th March, 2016
I am asked this everywhere I go – it seems to be the thing that most people think is holding them back from securing that perfect partner. As much as I’d love to provide a one-size-fits-all solution, unfortunately (much like most of sponsorship) this is not the case and the answers vary with each sponsorship platform. The golden rule is to keep it as short as possible, but still retaining all the information a prospect absolutely needs to know. As most people are not quite sure what information a prospect absolutely needs to know, I’ve created some tips to help you when creating your sponsorship proposal:
- Keep it short, sweet and concise. Sponsorship proposals are not the latest Grazia or best Faulkner – put simply they aren’t interesting and regardless who you send it to in whatever format, people are not desperate to read them. Sponsorship proposals are just not exciting regardless of how exciting your actual property or opportunity is. Rather than accepting this, people overcompensate the boredom by writing excessive copy hoping to draw people in. This is simply not the case – mostly because you aren’t a copywriter and even the best copywriters in the world are unlikely to make your sponsorship proposal a page turner from copy alone. Therefore, don’t try and make your proposal exciting just by writing more about it. In our digital age, if you can catch their attention and imagination – they will Google you.
- Following on from above – make sure whatever they Google is good.
- A picture says a thousand words. If you have great imagery – use it in the best format possible which is typically in a landscape format. Saying this, don’t fill the entire proposal with a load of the same pictures – if they want to look at pictures of an event or people at an event, they will go on Facebook.
- Put a price on it. Don’t waste people’s time. If you are going to go to the effort of sending a sponsorship proposal, make sure everything that the buyer needs is in there and this includes how much you expect from them in return.
- Be professional. I estimate that over 95% of all sponsorship proposals in the world are done by the person looking for the investment. You are often the Founder, Marketing Director, Event Manager or Sponsorship person. It’s not your fault you are not a graphic designer, you have other important skills. But it is important to recognise you are not a graphic designer. People like things that look good. You wouldn’t try out the new restaurant in town if they handed you a hand-drawn flyer made out of copy paper and crayons so how can you expect someone to part with budget when you won’t even invest on your own sales collateral?
In terms of a litmus test, I recommend taking your sponsorship proposal to a brutally honest friend and asking their opinion. They don’t need to work in marketing to have an opinion – they just need to not worry about hurting your feelings. Listen to them. They will definitely help.
Failing getting a friend’s sign off, get some actual professional help. Speak to a sponsorship agency for feedback and/or hire them to put together a proposal for you. Slingshot obviously does this, but there are also many other agencies who can help too. It is such a shame to see people fail at securing sponsors for their event because of a bad proposal, but not a bad property so don’t go it alone!
If you are interested in having Slingshot review or create your sponsorship proposal drop us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org