Why Your Sponsorship Proposal Offers Little To NO Value

*Emily is a CEO of a large non profit organization in New York City. She had a large funding gap and was up for trying something her organization had not tried in the past. She officially launched a campaign to solicit funding from corporations. In three weeks time, she created a list of corporate prospects from a local Chamber of Commerce directory, crafted a request letter and proposal, and sent out 64 proposal packages to area corporations.

Then she waited.

Within 60 days:  5 proposals had been returned due to a bad address, 21 corporations rejected the organization’s proposal, and Emily had not heard from the remaining 38 corporations she solicited.

Have you experienced a similar scenario? Here are some of the reasons why Emily was unsuccessful:

  • PRECIOUS METALS AND OTHER LEVELS:  She priced and packaged levels of offerings she thought  sponsors wanted, incrementally reduced the benefits and cost, and assigned a combination of  names of metals (Gold level, Silver level, etc)  and descriptions that relates to your organizations work (Kid Heroes level). If you’ve created this type of proposal, I encourage you to: toss it out the window    find out what your sponsor wants and customize your proposal accordingly.
  • LOGO RECOGNITION: was the focus point of her offerings– but her organization didn’t have enough website traffic for a sponsor to benefit by placing their logo on her website.
  • AD BOOKS: Emily was selling ads for a big fundraising event. Ad books are expensive and “old school”.  Here’s what happens with ad books: your sponsor looks to make certain their ad is in the book, then either leaves the book behind, or files it away.  Event attendees may look at the book but given most ad books don’t have specific instructions on what to do next, ad books offer little measurable value.
  • VIP OFFERINGS: Emily offered her prospective sponsors great  VIP treatment that included preferred seating and  parking. VIP treatment is thoughtful, but it doesn’t move a sponsors objectives forward. VIP offerings should be used as a value add rather than the cornerstone of your sponsorship offerings.


P.S.: If this post makes you say: “I’ve already secured sponsorship that included these benefits”, I encourage you to know the differences between corporate sponsorship and corporate philanthropy.

PPS: Did you know—there are numerous internal teams that have budgets to partner with your organization.  If you want to know WHO these prospects are, my team and I can get you lists of full contact information for hundreds of targeted leads.

*names and other identifying details have been changed