How to Get Sponsors for Your Fundraising Event

Regarding nonprofit funding, regular and effective fundraising is essential to ensure your organization can maintain its operations. This can include utilizing effective copywriting in your marketing, communicating directly with potential sponsors and holding significant fundraising events. And a fundraising event can lead to greater sponsorship interest, along with an increased budget for the organization and its recipients.

1. Have a Clear Plan for Your Event

Before asking for sponsorships, you must first know what kind of event you’re interested in hosting. Are you thinking of hosting a casino night, or maybe a masquerade ball? Knowing the style of event you plan to host allows you to know best how to approach donors, sponsors and guests. If the event is more formal, your invitation should match. But if it is an informal event, you can be more fun and casual in your communication. You don’t need to have all the details ironed out, but you should have a general plan of action.

2. Ask in Advance

Too many organizations make the mistake of waiting until it is too close to the event itself to ask for sponsors. The more time in advance you ask people to be sponsors, the more likely they are to say “Yes.” At the same time, if they say “No,” the more time you’ll have to find a replacement. Many organizations need adequate time to plan out their budget and determine their leverage in seeking sponsors. One of the best things you can do is show gratitude in advance to someone who is at least willing to take the time to consider your request. Even if potential sponsors do not agree to commit to being involved with this particular event, you still have laid the groundwork to start a conversation that could lead to future sponsorship opportunities.

How much time should you ask potential sponsors in advance? Ideally, several months in advance of an event is a good standard. This also lets potential sponsors know that you value their time.

3. Personalize Each Request: Don’t Send a Template

What is considered a personalized request can vary from one individual to another. For more extensive sponsorship requests, you may want to meet in person (after arranging the meeting in advance, of course). For others, it may be okay to send a personalized email. But remember, no potential sponsors want to feel like you’re sending them a form letter. Use the person’s name in the opening, include customized details and remember to be appreciative. Gratitude can go a long way when asking for sponsorships.

4. Follow-Up And Show Appreciation

The art of following up is something that a lot of people don’t understand. This can be critical to your success and it’s vital that you take the time to thoroughly handle this task. If you’ve sent an email and haven’t heard back, waiting 2-3 weeks and then following up is considered standard practice. You’re trying to build a sponsor list for your fundraising event. Be careful about how often you follow up and be sure not to overwhelm the person with whom you’re communicating.

And remember: always show appreciation no matter what! A little gratitude can go a long way.

5. Acknowledge and Celebrate Past and Present Sponsors

Here’s something that may, directly or indirectly, lead you to get more sponsors for your event. Celebrate last year’s sponsors, while also acknowledging current sponsors. Highlight this on your website, social media or even as part of your invitations. This can be free advertising for businesses or individuals who choose to participate. And everyone loves to be appreciated!

Also, highlight all of these sponsors at the event itself. Do this throughout your event to let your donors know how much you appreciate them.

6. Be Creative

Whether it’s the communications, time working on a fundraising event, or during the event itself, you should make it enjoyable. Be creative in how you do outreach and try different things. Post on the company’s Twitter, send emails with fun graphics or GIFS, or even get on the phone and reach out. Host a pre-event for VIP sponsors and advertise this in advance.

One tool that may help you with this is This website can be a great aid in giving you the ability to create beautiful graphics without having to hire a designer. Also, utilize so you can correctly edit your communications and set the tone you’re looking for.

Looking for grants? With close to 8,000 grants currently available, is the leading grant listing directory. Give the gift of a MemberPlus+ subscription. There you can view full grant details, including eligibility criteria and application information. For more information, you can also visit the GrantWatch FAQ page. 

Leave a Reply