The Number One Job of a Sponsorship Proposal (and It’s Not What You Think)

The Number One Job of a Sponsorship Proposal (and It’s Not What You Think)You spend a lot of time crafting your pitch – what you are going to say to pique a sponsor’s interest and the proposal you leave behind. I know you do – particularly as so many of you ask my advice about proposals every single day!

I’m all for creating a great proposal, and there are some resources below, but before you even think of preparing a proposal, you need to know what its primary role is:

The #1 job of a sponsorship proposal is not to sell to your contact.

The #1 job of a sponsorship proposal is to help your contact sell it internally.

Your contact may have lots of clout and a big fat budget, but what they don’t have is the ability to integrate a sponsorship across multiple marketing initiatives run by different business units. To do that, they need buy-in and commitment from a range of stakeholders. Great sponsors don’t commit until after they’ve got buy-in.

So when I’m asked about how many pages a sponsorship deck should be, my alarm bells ring. A PowerPoint deck does not have the format or scope to provide the level of detail your key contact needs to sell the concept internally. Go ahead, present with a deck if you need to, but leave behind a proposal that makes the full business case without you.

For more on how a sponsorship proposal is structured, see my tutorial, Sponsorship Proposal Basics in About 15 Minutes. And if you need a sponsorship proposal template, you can find a good one in The Sponsorship Seeker’s Toolkit.

The most important part of a sponsorship proposal

The very most important part of your proposal is the section outlining leveraging ideas. When you brainstorm those ideas, be sure to provide ideas that work across business units. Include ideas for sales, social media, HR, customer retention, intermediary markets, VIPs, and whatever other divisions who could benefit. This gives your contact the hooks to get those internal stakeholders interested – to create vision for them.

So, as flashy and slick as you want your presentation to be, understand that’s not what the decision will be based on. The decision will be based on the document you leave behind – the full proposal – that will create the relevance, the power, and the business case for the investment you are seeking.

If you want to understand the process of finding those ideas and formalising them into a compelling proposal, I strongly recommend my online sponsorship training, Getting to “Yes”. The course goes through the whole process, including a mock leverage idea brainstorm, stacked with ideas you can borrow for your proposals. The Sponsorship Seeker’s Toolkit is also a great resource for the process.

Need more assistance?

You may be interested in my white papers,  “Last Generation Sponsorship Redux” and “Disruptive Sponsorship: Like Disruptive Marketing, Only Better“. I’ve also got self-paced, online sponsorship training courses, covering the whole sponsorship process, with lots of inclusions. Interested? Check out the Corporate Sponsorship Masterclass for sponsors and Getting to “Yes” for rightsholders.

If you need additional assistance, I offer sponsorship consulting and strategy sessions, sponsorship training, and sponsorship coaching. I also offer a comprehensive Sponsorship Systems Design service for large, diverse, and decentralised organisations. Please feel free to drop me a line to discuss.

Please note, I do not offer a sponsorship broker service, and can’t sell sponsorship on your behalf. You may find someone appropriate on my sponsorship broker registry.

© Kim Skildum-Reid. All rights reserved. To enquire about republishing or distribution, please see the blog and white paper reprints page.

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