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Partnerships & sponsorship
Groups might consider creating relationships with other organizations through partnerships and/or sponsorships. These relationships can help the group do more.
- A partnership is a working relationship that requires time and working towards shared objectives.
- A sponsorship is a financial relationship based on the exchange of money or services, and hopefully with aligned purposes.
- Create clear agreements with both sponsors and partners.
- Document those agreements.
- Partnering might make sense if...
- Another organization has similar goals to your group
- You want to do a project together
- Partners have members who might also be interested in your group or project, and they can communicate to their members to promote your group or event
- Partners have access to resources like space for meetings
- The partnership includes fiscal sponsorship
- Is there an open source initiative to get involved with? A local school that could use your help and expertise? An industry organization effort that’s synergistic with your group?
- Great partners include...
- Local universities and schools
- Local companies (Working with your competitors can benefit everyone too)
- Resellers, channel partners, and consultancies
- Industry associations/ organizations
- Partnering with other groups in your local area or discipline may make each group stronger.
- Reach out to other leaders to see what they're interested in!
- Sponsors often provide...
- Money/ grants
- Technology/ services/ software
- Sponsors often ask for...
- Time to talk & present during meetings
- Recognition/ logos on your website, newsletters, event materials, etc.
- Exhibit booth, table, or some other place to distribute material about their product/ service and talk with people
- Direct access to your member lists, member's contact information (NOT RECOMMENDED)
- Some Sponsors may want to have a seat on the group's board
- For large events, you may want to create sponsorship tiers/ levels (e.g. gold, silver), with increasing benefits
Be careful that sponsors aren’t self-promoting too much in a way that becomes toxic to your members. It's not good for your members and ultimately it's not good for the sponsors themselves.
Remind sponsors that the main objective of the group is to "insert mission here", not sell their product/services.
Here's a list of professional and industry organizations that groups in the Autodesk Group Network may consider partnering with...