Sponsors are philanthropic individuals, groups or corporations that support people in various causes ranging from sports and athletics to science and the arts. Many different types of sponsor exist, and while most are publicly known, a good number choose to remain anonymous. When you are sponsored for a particular event, a creative venture or for any other purpose, kindly respond with a letter of thanks to the person or people who underwrote or contributed to the cause.
Open your letter by addressing it to the person by name. If it will go to an organisation, write to the major representative, such as "President Jones" or "Mrs. Emma Whitaker, CEO", then CC -- carbon copy -- the Board of Directors. "Dear Mrs. Whitaker and Members of the Board" is appropriate.
Write heartfelt words that express your gratitude. Directly state that you are truly grateful for the specific support the company provided, then add the name of your project or event. Many large philanthropic groups may contribute to thousands of people, so include what it was to which the person or group contributed. An example would be, "Our women's yacht racing team joins me in thanking you all for the sponsorship contribution of £32,500 toward our entry into the Vic Maui race." If items were contributed, give thanks for specifics, such as equipment, tools, supplies, gear or accommodations.
Add details about the experience and a note about what the money went toward. For example, "Your sponsorship funds went toward a full set of new sails for the yacht and new navigation equipment. The race went off with only one minor glitch during the last two hours. We did, however, place first in our division. We couldn't have done the race at all without your help. The blind women who were crew members will carry the message of becoming independent to their various communities, toward inspiring young female athletes."
Add a sentence or two indicating your next project and goals. Mentioning a future event will help set the stage for hoped-for future funding. If you achieved well or succeeded in meeting your goal, the sponsor will very likely be open to future support.
Close the letter with a "Very sincerely yours" or "With sincere gratitude," then sign it. Add the names of team members if the group is small, but otherwise yours will be sufficient. Add contact information and a website link at the end of the letter. Keep the entire letter to one page, using your authentic "voice" -- language you are comfortable with -- combined with a professional approach.
Write the letter on your own letterhead or that of the group you represent, which received the sponsorship. Always personalise the signature by hand signing it rather than typing, even if the rest of the letter is typed. If you were sponsored to write a book, send a signed copy with the letter. If you were given uniforms or equipment, send a team photo showing these. In the case of the women's racing team, a photo of the crew on the vessel would be appropriate. Framing it is optional. Send a DVD if you made a film, or if someone videotaped your event. Seeing footage of a climb to Mount Everest before the world sees it can be exciting to sponsors.
Avoid overly flowery or gushy sentiment. Keep the letter direct, clear and simple.