I've succesfully secured monetary sponsorships for corporate events and the first time I tried to adopt the same methods for charity events or events with a cause, I failed miserably. The same techniques doesn't work for both types of events.
I was high from leading corporate conferences and I've just recently secured monetary sponsorships for many of my corporate events. I was in the manufacturing industry and our events got a pretty good turn out of 150 attendees upwards. As I was ending my tenure there, I decided to organise an independent event to raise awareness on the issues of domestic abuse. Also 150 attendees and I have absolutely no money for the venue, food and fun services like a photobooth. So I get to work to find sponsors. After 1 week, zero replies and I was confused, to say the least. My proposal is strong and I know the potential sponsors I shortlisted should definitely jump on board.
It was not until later that I changed my entire approach that I finally have sponsors calling me to enquire about participation and sponsorship sign-ups. I got the cash that I needed, got that free venue and almost 10 different sponsors for my lucky draw prizes to boot! And get this, I didn't event send them a sponsorship proposal! Just one heartfelt email.
If you are doing corporate events, you are targeting their business and marketing budget. You are appealing to them based on how much exposure you can get for their brand. You will go down the route of official sponsorship proposal and how much return of investment you can get for them. The tone is professional and your proposal will need to include a lot of facts and figures.
Events with a Cause
If your events is to advance a meaningful cause, you can still follow the usual corporate sponsors route. But here's the disavantage, your sponsors might get on your back if you don't fulfill the numbers. Your sponsors might want that full page post event report or all that business transaction stuff that I'm not a fan of while doing these kind of events.
But if you want higher success, I recommend you to ditch the sponsorship proposal route. Start with having a conversation with them first. Share with them your vision, your personal story for doing it and appeal to the side of them who believe that what you are doing is important. What you want is the right people who wants to jump on board because they want to crusade along your mission. And when this happens - they don't care how many people show up or not at your event. They are not asking for reports. They just want to know if your event made the impact that you wanted. All of my sponsors for events with a cause cared just that - what kind of impact are you making?