How to Write A Corporate Sponsorship Letter: 5 Steps

For most nonprofit organizations, there is only so much you can get done without good partners. While your loyal supporter base is the best place to start, the most successful nonprofits branch out beyond individual donations. This is where corporate sponsorships come into play.

For nonprofits, corporate sponsorships provide a go-to source of financial support as well as a network of business or community ambassadors. And, for businesses, sponsorships can help underwrite initiatives, create new funding streams, and open the door to larger Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs.

Corporate sponsorships don’t appear out of thin air, however. Nonprofits must be able to reach out effectively with a compelling message to grab attention and secure funding. After all, corporations can receive hundreds of corporate sponsorship inquiries.

This guide walks through the five steps of writing a compelling corporate sponsorship letter to ensure your nonprofit can stand out from the crowd.

  1. Prepare to Write Your Letter
  2. Make Your Introduction
  3. Offer Context for Your Fundraising Needs
  4. Make the Case for Sponsorship
  5. Close Out Your Letter and Send it Off

As a bonus, we’ve included a few corporate sponsorship templates to make it easy for your team:

Corporate Sponsorship Letter Step #1: Prepare to Write Your Letter

Before starting out, research the organizations you’re reaching out to. Take time to understand their history, current philanthropic partnerships, board, leadership team, and mission. This will help you find commonalities between your cause and their business!

Once you have the research done, it’s time to hone your message. Answering these initial questions will help inform the direction and messaging of your letter moving forward.

Ask key clarifying questions, such as:

  • Why did you choose this corporation? Was it because of mission, connections, giving history, or something else?
  • What do they have in common with your nonprofit?
  • What personal connections can you leverage?
  • Who exactly will you be reaching out to about the sponsorship?
  • What kind of sponsorship are you pitching?

In this first stage, make sure you have a clear idea in place of what you’re going to be asking potential sponsors for. Forging a relationship solely for financial reasons or donations requires a different message than one focused on finding new volunteers or long-term supporters. Knowing what you’re looking for before you start writing will help you better articulate your needs down the road.

Corporate Sponsorship Letter Step #2: Make Your Introduction

Once you have a clear idea of the direction of your ask, it’s time start writing. Here’s a few high-level best practices to keep in mind:

  1. As in any professional letter, the greeting comes first.
  2. If your organization has a history with the person you’re writing to, make sure you spell this out and let them know why you’re reaching out.
  3. Introduce yourself and include a brief overview of what your nonprofit does, its mission, and its value to the community.
  4. Highlight shared connections your team has with the corporation or why this corporation should be interested in your mission.

Corporate Sponsorship Letter Step #3: Offer Context for Your Fundraising Needs

Now it’s time to come out and tell your potential sponsor what you’re actually looking to achieve. There are a few best practices to keep in mind during this step:

  • Don’t shy away from talking about your fundraising needs. Be direct and spell out exactly what you’re looking for.
  • State your fundraising goal. Are you trying to reach a certain dollar amount or working towards a long-term goal?
  • Tell your potential sponsor why you’re raising this money. Be as specific as possible, whether you’re building a house or helping to fund a scholarship.
  • Make your case about the historical impact your cause has created. Get stats that show what you’ve done with the your funding and donations and the impact delivered to your constituents or community.
  • Bring a human element into the equation. Do this by quantifying the impact and where your funding will go.
  • Include a hard donation number. Again, don’t try to be coy about asking for money.

Corporate Sponsorship Letter Step #4: Make the Case for Sponsorship

In this section, your team should emphasize the importance of this sponsorship for the corporation. Highlight CSR trends and best practices and mention the impact this sponsorship could have on the corporation’s reputation in the community.

If possible, include case studies or success stories of your other sponsors (as long as they’re not business competitors with your potential sponsor!).

  • Be sure to add information to showcase donor demographics and outline who their brand will be seen by.
  • Mention any additional details and benefits the corporation stands to receive as part of the sponsorship.

This part of your letter is crucial because it is where you have to sell the company that you’re reaching out to on the value that they’ll receive from partnering with you. In the end, you want to tie the benefits that your partnership can provide to their bottom line. Can you introduce them to new audiences? Can you give them an opportunity to publicly highlight their values? 

When you can tie a company’s corporate social responsibility to their financial health as a business, they will be more likely to enter into a long-term relationship with your nonprofit.

Corporate Sponsorship Letter Step #5: Close Out Your Letter and Send It Off

Overall, a corporate sponsorship letter should make a strong, compelling case for why a business should want to sponsor your nonprofit. In your conclusion, make a clear final statement and include the appropriate valediction.

  • Proof Your Letter: Re-read it and makes sure there aren’t any confusing statements or messaging that could come off as ‘desperate’ or ‘needy’. Be confident! Finally, end with a handwritten signature from the author or a leader in your organization.
  • Clearly State Timelines: The corporation you’re reaching out to likely has many competing priorities, so it’s important to clearly articulate your follow-up plans and dates so that their internal review team knows when to expect to hear from you.
  • Follow-up: You should expect to hear back from a potential sponsor within several weeks, depending on their internal processes and approvals. If you haven’t heard anything after a few weeks, it’s okay to follow-up with a phone call or email to see if you can answer any questions or provide further context.
  • Send Acknowledgement: Once you hear back, regardless if the sponsor turns you down or not, it’s appropriate to acknowledge their time and recognition. Send a letter, email, or small token (such as something with your nonprofit brand) to thank them for their response.

Examples of Corporate Sponsorship Letters

Writing strong, compelling corporate sponsorship letters is critical for nonprofits to drum up financial donations and build long-term partnerships.

Here are corporate sponsorship letter templates your team can use for your next sponsor appeal:

Corporate Partnership Letter

Dear [Company Name],

At [Nonprofit Name], we [brief introduction to the mission and vision of your nonprofit]. [How we serve the community and how corporate partners can help us reach this goal].

We are reaching out to [Company Name] today because [background on the company’s history with corporate philanthropy]. This involvement in social good makes your team the perfect partner for [Nonprofit Name].

We would like [brief outline of what you’re looking for from the company] and in return we are ready to do [something in return for the organization].

[Closing statement on why this partnership is a good idea.]


Event Sponsorship Letter

Dear [Company Name],

At [Nonprofit Name], we [brief introduction to the mission and vision of your nonprofit].

[How we serve the community and how corporate partners can help us reach this goal]. We are currently planning [an event that does x, y, and z]. [Outline the event and how you’re going to raise money].

In order to deliver the highest impact with this event, we think [Company Name] can help our efforts go further. In exchange for providing [whatever service or donation you’re asking for], [Nonprofit Name] would highlight your team as the corporate sponsor for this event.

[Closing statement on why this partnership is a good idea.]


Auction Item Sponsorship Letter

Dear [Company Name],

At [Nonprofit Name], we [brief introduction to the mission and vision of your nonprofit]. [How we serve the community and how corporate partners can help us reach this goal]. We are currently planning [an auction geared towards raising money for this cause or mission].

In order to raise the most money for our beneficiaries, we would like to ask [Company Name] to provide or sponsor an item to include in the auction. In exchange donating an item to the auction, [Nonprofit Name] would include your information on all marketing and promotional materials.

[Closing statement on why this partnership is a good idea.]


Church Sponsorship Letter

Dear [Company Name],

This year, [Church Name] is working to raise money for [the goal of your fundraising mission]. We are able to reach these goals thanks to the generous donations of our congregation and sponsors like [Company Name]. Would you consider being a part of this exciting campaign

We came across [Company Name] when researching organizations with similar values as [Church Name].

[Closing statement on why this partnership is a good idea.]



Wrapping Up

Choosing the right solutions for your toolkit can help make your auction a success. Looking for more information about running an auction? Check out the additional resources below: