Getting corporate sponsorships is helpful in both promoting your business and defraying promotion costs. Also, when you have corporate sponsors, people who might buy your product or service tend to trust you more. Plus, you get paid to have the sponsorship. However, you will never be successful getting corporate sponsors if you don't write killer proposals. The secret is to include several important components.

Start with a story that will make an emotional connection. Behind every corporate sponsor is a human being. Human beings determine who the corporation will sponsor and who they won't. They don't want to do business with a machine; they want to do business with a human. Thus, if your business is about helping moms find green products for their homes that will actually do the job, then tell a story about how you successfully converted your home to a green, safe and clean home while raising three active children under the age of four; or tell the story of a mom who was successful because your company helped her do the same in her home. Keep your story brief but compelling.

Give a clear description of what you do or what your company does. As in the preceding example, "We help busy moms find products that are safe for their children, safe for the environment and actually thoroughly clean. We show moms that using particular products is not only good for their families and the environment but is also cost effective and does the job moms need the products to do."

Write a clear mission statement. It should describe what you do, how and why. It should also include who needs what you do and why.

Include the benefits to the corporate sponsor. If you represent a green cleaning product company, tie in the benefit to your corporate sponsor for being affiliated with you. If you have a mailing list of more than 50,000 readers, state that as your corporate sponsor, more than 50,000 will be exposed to their brand and their name for a year, once a week or however often you do a mailing. If you are going to publish an article about your corporate sponsor on your website, state that in this section.

Include demographic information. You should already have done research on your demographics. If not, Google "statistics (your-target-population)." If you market eco-friendly cleaning products to moms, type "statistics moms." Once you do some research, you can narrow your search, adding +eco-friendly or +environment or +cleaning products — whatever are your popular keywords. If you hit on a company relevant to your target population and it offers a media kit, request one. Media kits tend to include demographic information.

Specify who is on your advisory board. If you are not an expert in your field, make sure you have people surrounding you who are. Make sure you name those people in your proposal. They will help lend credibility to your business and ultimately to the corporate sponsorship.

Request a specific amount of money. Remember, when you get a corporate sponsor, the contract should be for one year; thus, request an amount for a year. Even if it is specifically for a one-time event, you should make the statement that you are asking for a specific amount for one year. Ask for no less than $10,000, up to $100,000. Remember, corporate sponsorship does not automatically renew. Once the year is up, you will need to submit a new proposal. Again, make sure you ask for no less than $10,000.