woman in yellow pants

It is a universal truth that the arts are chronically underfunded. So, should yours be one of the increasing number of businesses getting involved in arts sponsorship? Most of the big hitters already are.  You probably won’t have the ambition of the investment bank, JP Morgan, which sponsored The Royal Shakespeare Company’s recent tour of China. Still, you will undoubtedly have a role to play in your local community arts scene. 

Sure, it will give you a warm glow but putting some cash into local arts projects is also great for the bottom line.  Clued up local businesses are making sure that involvement in their local community art programs is part of their marketing plan because they know that it makes them more visible to local customers. 

Linking your business name and your logo to feel-good projects involving members of the community will undoubtedly raise brand awareness. If you count the number of occasions an individual will be able to see your logo appearing on posters, banners, websites, and tickets, it will add up to a great deal of exposure for your brand. Doubtless, the event will be featured and reviewed on local TV and radio, in printed and online papers, and local blogs. All this coverage could give your business publicity that would probably cost a great deal more if you were paying for it by the inch or minute. It would be even better if there were a legacy aspect to the project, a statue or piece of outside art that will remain after the program is over. If the artwork carries your name or logo as a sponsor, the public relations benefit of your business’s involvement could last for a long time!

So, how can you get involved? Community groups often ask potential sponsors for various levels of funding.  If you have the funds, you could pay for the whole program, giving it your name.  Alternatively, you could choose to pay for specific events in return for your name or logo appearing on publicity and signage. The organizers would be very grateful if you were to pay for some printing or hire a venue for an event. They would find some useful way to acknowledge your generosity. Maybe you could help with purchasing raw materials for projects or source required equipment. For example,  you could use a supplier like Fleet Up Marketplace to hire an artist’s lift for a mural painting project.

Photo by Anderson Guerra from Pexels

It may make sense to align your contribution to your business. If you have a design company, you could do the layout of the publicity leaflets.  If you are a digital media wizard, you could offer help with the program’s website.

Don’t forget that your staff and their time are a resource that you can offer. You could allocate some staff time each day to tasks for the program. It is easy to overlook the positive effect of support for the local community on staff. Supporting local events can raise morale.  It will make your staff proud to work for such a community-minded employer!

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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