‘How To’ for Corporate Partnership and Sponsorship Proposals


Our sponsors are truly partners in the business of us presenting arts and generally have an interest in what we do.

In recent times there has been a positive move away from the language of ‘Sponsor’, towards the terminology of ‘Partner’.  A Corporate Partner is a business who pays in cash and/or in-kind to our arts organisations in exchange for recognition, acknowledgement and promotion of their business.

While our Corporate Partners usually take a genuine interest in our shows, events and venues it is our job to excite them about what we do and to ‘sell’ our ideas in a way that aligns with their corporate objectives, while retaining integrity and authenticity.

It is important to remember that partnerships are always a ‘transactional relationship’ and in a lot of ways is a ‘fee for service’, with many corporate organisations needing to be able to measure the sponsorship / corporate partnership dollars as ‘return on investment’.

Sponsorship works really well for many organisations, and there are many excellent corporations and others in private enterprise that believe in investment in the arts and local communities. When we are approaching businesses for sponsorship, we also need to be aware of the nature of the transactional relationship. This means that sponsors/corporate sponsors want and need something for their investment and this needs to be factored into negotiations. We also need to be clear about what benefits we can provide in return for the sponsorship package we are offering.

Some tips for creating your own Partnership Proposal.

  • Use pictures from similar events in your venue or with your organisation. This gives your proposal a ‘human face’ and the potential partners can see the real-life effect of their sponsorship dollars in action.
  • Make sure you are clear about the benefits to the partner organisation. Is it tickets to shows and if so how many? How many publications will their logo be seen on and will they be able to speak publicly at your events? These are all questions that should be answered in your proposal.
  • Make sure you provide hard figures, facts and statistics if you have them, that support your case for funding.

To use this template for a basic Corporate Partnership Proposal:

Creative Partnerships Australia is also a great resource for developing sponsorship, private giving and all sorts of fundraising. Check out their website: www.creativepartnershipsaustralia.org.au

Their document ‘creative-partnerships-australia-sponsorship-101’ is incredibly helpful. Click Here for the full article. In the document they cover many of the basics of corporate partnerships, as well as note the following trends (as an excerpt from the full document below):

What are the trends?

  1. Competition – First thing to know is it’s a jungle out there, full of monkeys. And now that funding is getting harder to come by, it’s full of artists too. Sponsors can pick and choose who to support, and artists have to be much better at selling themselves and managing arrangements. Everything is measured against its commercial return. There really is no such thing as a free lunch.
  2. Less cash – Deals are shifting to in-kind support instead of money. This can be very valuable, as long as it’s something you actually need.
  3. Focus shift – Established companies are supporting fewer groups but for longer. Make sure you’re one of the few.
  4. Projects – Emerging companies are testing the market with support for short-term projects. Like a blind date, they don’t want to commit too early. But if you can keep a sponsor involved beyond the initial deal, you might be heading for a trip down the aisle.
  5. Digital – It’s all about the tech. If you know what geotargeting and geofencing are, you’re in the right game. Sponsors want to target the right people at the right time and you can help them do it. And with your creative brain you can get your sponsor’s brand noticed, or even send it viral.
  6. Cool to be “co” – Co-create, co-fund or co-work, the trend is to get people participating in and collaborating on projects. More engagement equals more value.
  7. The search for unique – Some brands want a cool and independent vibe and you could be just the person to give it to them. Small, local, underground or grassroots events are an opportunity to stand out from the corporate crowd.”