Community Business Partnerships Help Sheets

In Writing

Examples of Written Partnership Approaches from a Community Group to a Business.

An important part of your community group's approach to a business to develop a community-business partnership is the introductory letter, or cover letter, you write. Many groups will first make contact in person or by phone but a letter helps to ensure that both sides know exactly what is being requested.

Because of the number of approaches from community groups for support that businesses - particularly small and medium sizes ones - receive, it is crucial your letter not only covers the basics of introducing your group but works to win it over to the idea of a partnership with your group.

The main point about sending out such an approach to a business is to do it professionally - the business you are approaching will react positively to it, and it will put forward an aura of professionalism around your group.

Following are two examples of introductory letters from a community-based group to a business. More information on the subject is contained in the Help Sheet Approaching a Business for a Partnership, which can be found at the Community Business Partnerships Brokerage Service section of the Our Community website.

Examples

Example 1 - A sporting club approaching a local business:

Mr John Nicholls
Manager
Diamond Way Good Sports Stores

Dear Mr Nicholls,

My name is Simon Atkinson and I am president of the Timbuktu Trojans Junior Football Club.

We are writing to you because we believe that you, through your Diamond Way Good Sports sporting equipment store, share our belief that junior sport can play a positive role in the community and in the health and welfare of the young people in our town. We also believe that football has been a unifying force, drawing crowds of people from across the community to watch the boys and girls in action.

The mission of the Timbuktu Trojans Junior Football Club is to increase the number of young people actively playing junior football in the area. At present we have six teams and 140 players in the Outer Smithville Junior Football League, playing against seven other teams from the district. Our Under 11 and Under 13 sides won the premiership this year, with our Under 15s runners-up in their age group.

Our reason for approaching you is that we are seeking partnerships with like-minded businesses in the area, businesses that also have a goal of seeing more young people taking part in active sport. In trying to identify those businesses that share our goal it was hard to go past your store, which has been an integral part of the sporting lives of young people in Timbuktu for the past 20 years.

While I will call you to discuss directly, we are seeking to establish a sponsorship with a strong local partner. The benefits for your business of signing up as a partner with Timbuktu Trojans Junior Football Club would be that we would:

Actively promote your business through such exposure as:
  • A strong presence in our regular round-by-round newsletter that goes out to our 140 players, their families and our supporters with an endorsement for people to shop at the store that supports our club
  • Your logo placed on all club jumpers
  • Signs placed on the boundary at our home oval
  • Your name and business name placed up on our sponsors' honour board
  • Participation in our team dinners and recognition in all speeches
  • Participation in our pre-season jumper presentation
  • A certificate of appreciation to hang in your store.
We have developed what we believe is a great value-for-money package for a local business partner, which I would like to discuss further.

We think this arrangement would provide your business with a real profile boost through our successful club. We think this arrangement could also benefit the community through strengthening our club and continuing to give local youngsters an outlet to play team sport within our town.

Please find enclosed some further information about our club, including a brochure and press clippings.

I can be contacted during business hours on 5555 5555, or on mobile 0414 000 000, while our marketing manager Billy Barrett can be contacted on 5554 5454. I look forward to discussing this opportunity with you.

Thanks for your time. Yours sincerely,

Simon Atkinson.


Note that this letter - as well as the one following in Example 2 - is addressed to a specific person within the business. This is important, as it shows your community group has taken the time to find out who operates the business, as well as personalising the letter to ensure it reaches its target and is not just interpreted as ``junk mail'' and thrown out.

The letter is up front and straight to the point. It:
  • Quickly introduces the community group, in this case a junior football team.
  • Then directly outlines the reason for the letter:
    • That the football team is seeking, through a sponsorship arrangement, the in-kind provision of goods from the sports store.
The letter outlines:
  • What benefits it is willing to offer the business in return.
  • Talks about the wider benefits to the community, and.
  • Invites the business to call the club by providing contact details.

It also flags the inclusion of supporting material featuring the club - this time a brochure and press clippings - which allow the business to learn more about the group.


Example 2 - An adult education centre approaching a law firm for a partnership:

John Irving,
Senior Partner,
Irving and Mallory Lawyers

Dear Mr Irving

My name is Frank Walsh and I am the co-ordinator of the Greensdale Adult Education Centre.

Each year we work with more than 100 adults from around the Greensdale area to offer them a chance to gain educational qualifications through providing courses and learning opportunities they may not have been able to take up at secondary school or at an earlier stage of their lives.

Our work has seen many adults gain not only knowledge, but confidence, self-esteem and allowed them to gain employment in positions they would not previously have been able to.

We are writing to you because the adult education centre is seeking partnerships with local businesses to provide work experience opportunities for some of our students.

The centre currently has three students interested in pursuing legal careers after successfully completing their secondary school education with us. Each would be appreciative of the opportunity to learn more about the legal profession through spending a week with your firm on work experience.

In return we would be more than happy to add you to our list of "Centre Partners" , meaning:
  • We would promote your practise as one who supports our efforts.
  • Your name and logo would be featured in displays of our "Centre Partners" in our office, and.
  • Your name and logo would be included in pamphlets and quarterly newsletters we produce.
Our existing "Centre Partners" have reported a positive profile boost through our partnership, as well as an increase in business opportunities.

We have also found that work experience arrangements build on the knowledge base of the community, empower individuals to contribute in a positive way locally and provide residents with a chance to see what they need to do to gain employment in the profession of their choice.

Included with this letter are some brochures and newsletters from the centre for you to look at.

If you wish to discuss this proposal further, I can be contacted at the centre on 5999 1111 during business hours, or on my mobile 0101 010 010 at any time.

Thank you again. Yours sincerely,

Frank Walsh.


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