Sponsorship Proposal Mistakes That Will KILL Your Chances Of Getting A Sponsor

If you’ve spent any time thinking about getting your next event, product, or service sponsored, you know you will need a great sponsorship proposal. Before I tell you 3 sponsorship proposal mistakes you need to avoid, let’s first answer the question – what is a sponsorship proposal?

What is a sponsorship proposal?

A sponsorship proposal is a formal offer you send to a business, brand, (and in some cases) celebrity to form a partnership that is mutually beneficial to you both. There are many things you’ll want to include in a successful sponsorship proposal including:

  • a compelling case for you and the potential sponsor to work together
  • details regarding what’s in it for the potential sponsor and how you will ensure they receive a ROI (return on their investment – both time and monetary)
  • exactly what you’re offering (in the form of benefits) to a potential sponsor
  • how you and your potential sponsor will work together
  • what you want from them (i.e., money, products, services, etc.)
  • the length of time your sponsorship partnership will last

Understand, these are just a few of the components you’ll want to include in your sponsorship proposal (here you’ll find a proposal checklist with more components). Now that you know what a sponsorship proposal is and a few of the things you’ll need to include in your sponsorship proposal, I’ll share 3 proposal mistakes that will kill your chances of getting a sponsor.

3 Sponsorship Proposal Mistakes

If you’re finding it difficult to get a YES from a sponsor after you’ve submitted a proposal, you’re likely making one of these mistakes.

Sending An Unsolicited Proposal

No one likes spam mail. When you send an unsolicited proposal basically you are spamming your potential sponsor. The most important thing you can do is get to know your potential sponsor. There are a number of ways to research potential sponsors. I share 5 here.

What’s important to know is that you must do enough research that you can identify the decision maker at your potential sponsor’s company. Once you’ve identified the decision maker, you can then form a meaningful relationship with your potential sponsor. It through this relationship that you will learn everything you need to know to create a sponsorship proposal that gets a YES!

Making It All About You

Sponsorship is a partnership. If you’re the only one benefiting from this potential partnership, you’re going to have a hard time getting any potential sponsor to say ‘yes’. To overcome this mistake, ensure you outline the ROI your potential sponsor will receive.

You can show ROI in many ways including:  success past sponsors received partnering with you, sponsorship industry case studies, and even highlighting how your community has grown to prove growth and sustainability. Even if you’ve never had a sponsor before, there are many examples of successful sponsorship partnerships you can include in your sponsorship proposal. Just ensure you are using examples from your potential sponsor’s industry so they can see how the case study relates to them.

Using Sponsorship Levels

In years past sponsorship levels were hot like fire! Today, they’re just another ‘thing’ a potential sponsor has to ‘figure out’. Sponsorship is a sales process. Your potential sponsor has 1 million and 1 things to think about when considering if they are going to sponsor (purchase from) you.

Make it easy for them by doing your research and then present your potential sponsor with a customized offer that includes ONE carefully developed price. That way you can get right to the point with your sponsorship proposal pricing. Plus, your potential sponsor will be able to tell your sponsorship offer was created with them and their ROI in mind.

Remember, these mistakes can be easily avoided. If you’re currently making any of these mistakes, tweak your sponsorship proposal so you can get even more sponsorship dollars.

If you find you need help creating a sponsorship proposal that sells, click the picture below to grab your copy of my free Profitable Proposals Checklist. 

Sponsorship Proposals



Speaker & Sponsorship Strategist at Bold Business Institute, LLC
Quiana Murray is founder of the Bold Business Institute, LLC where she is a Speaker and Sponsorship Strategist. For years she's been teaching industry influencers like you how to get sponsorship for your events.

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