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Beyond Gold, Silver, and Bronze: Level Up Your Sponsorship Proposal

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Anyone working in marketing, sales, and nonprofit organizations would say that the sponsorship proposal is a key player in their strategy. This document is the gateway to mutually beneficial partnerships that can make or break events and projects. On one side, the collaboration can give them the necessary resources to achieve their goals and advocacy. Meanwhile, the other organization can use the opportunity to improve its image and credibility and increase its outreach to its target audience.

According to Engage for Good, formerly known as Cause Marketing Forum, the potential is rich in these kinds of marketing, which is valued at around $2.23 billion in 2019. That is why organizations should ensure their sponsorship proposals can catch the attention of their preferred companies, and not have the pitch thrown in the trash or worse, not be seen at all.

However, most proposals follow the stock level outline, where three tiers are presented with their corresponding benefits or activities. While this method might have worked in the past, giving options like Gold, Silver, and Bronze to corporations only reveal that the sender is lazy and doesn’t care about building a relationship. It also shows that they might have sent the same proposal to many corporations, without even customizing it based on the mission and goals of the companies they are approaching.

Instead of following the mold, here are some ways to level up the sponsorship proposal for more partnerships:

Organize a discovery meeting instead of going straight to the pitch

The first step in building any relationship is to understand the motivations and goals of the other party. You can’t go straight to pitching about a project when you don’t even know if they will be interested in what you’re offering. For example, if you are thinking of approaching a savings bank, you would do well if you can present options that can bring them closer to people thinking about opening a financial account. One surefire way to know what your target businesses want is to set a discovery meeting. You can understand their goals, and they can get to know about you. In some cases, the sponsor would even tell you the kind of partnership they want, which will save you the time to brainstorm ideas.

Opt for a menu of activities with suggested partnership ideas

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In an ideal scenario, the role of the sponsorship proposal will only be as a formal document outlining the agreements already discussed. However, if this is not possible, including a menu of activities with partnership suggestions is more valuable than offering cookie-cutter packages. Attractive options include activation opportunities that can help the company increase brand awareness, grow their database, and promote their product.

Highlight the audience rather than your organization

When pitching to a company, it’s tempting to start talking about your organization’s track records, successful projects, and high-level board members. You want to communicate your credibility and strengths so that they will agree to collaborate with you. However, going this route doesn’t answer the most vital question of what they will get out of the partnership. Companies will be more agreeable if you can show that their target market and your event audience are the same. They’ll be even more hooked if data on demographics and behaviors are included in the package.

Companies are receiving hundreds of sponsorship packages daily, especially if they are multinational organizations. To avoid your proposal being sent to the trash, you must utilize discovery meetings, menus of activities, and audience data.

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