Original Query from Eileen Duggan, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, George Mason University, VA
Our LLI is exploring the idea of seeking one or more sponsors to underwrite the printing costs of our catalogs. A credit would be given to the sponsor whose name would appear in the catalog in small print on either the front or back cover. We are curious as to whether any of the other LLIs in EIN have tried this approach and if they were successful.

From Sandra Kerr, Seniors' Education Programs, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
While we do not do this for any of our seniors' education programs in The Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University, I do know of one local seniors' group that does do that. Or at least they DID do that. For a couple of years their newsletter was sponsored by a local insurance company that catered to seniors. However, I notice that their name is no longer on the newsletter, so I assume they no longer do so. I suspect that the problem is, the sponsor will need to see some kind of 'recognition' other than their name in print, for them to continue to do this -- i.e. new seniors' signing up, etc. Hope this helps.

From Pat Mielke, Coordinator, SPARK, University of Missouri-Kansas City, MO
No, but it sounds like a great idea. I personally would like feedback on how to begin. WE need financial help.

From Nancy Kress, Quest: An Institute for Learning in the Third Age, Walla Walla Community College, WA
No, we have not done this, but it sounds like a workable idea.

From Noreen Frye, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, University of Miami, FL
We used this approach for our newsletter - allowed a Business Card ad on the back of the newsletter......didn't continue with it. I believe it's a good idea. Check with your university as they probably have guidelines as to how the money is accepted and used. Hope this helps.

From Anita Revelle, Senior Professionals, Illinois State University, Normal, IL
Yes, we have had sponsors for about five years. They get a small business size ad in the catalogs, both spring and fall for a $ 500 donation. They also get recognition at the classes in the form of a poster that has our sponsors on. We also acknowledge the department we work out of and a senior citizen endowment fund that helps us when we go into the red. One of the selling points is that we send out over 3,500 brochures each spring and fall. The one thing that we also have done is to choose sponsors wisely. We only go after one sort of business so there isn't any competition. You can take a look at our current brochure at www.exu.ilstu.edu/seniors. Hope this helps.

From Diane Goodrich, LLI, Clark State Community College, OH
We haven't tried that--but please let us know what others have done! Thanks!

From Rose Arthur, RISE Program, Rivier College, Nashua, NH
RISE at Rivier College in Nashua, has a sponsor for part of the cost for its spring brochure each year but he/she wants no mention in the bulletin.

From Rosemary Earle, MILE Program, Middlesex Community College, CT
Interesting thought! Maybe the old companies of some members might underwrite! Here at MILE we are researching buying a laser printer and doing our own printing since the 3 x a year master comes from Microsoft Word anyway. Haven't figured out yet if it would save any money, but see the problem as being recruiting enough volunteers to keep the jobs moving!

From Michael I. Markowitz, Institute for Retired Professionals, New School, New York
For many years, IRP Voices, our literary magazine, was financed by a member and was acknowledged in the publication. I understand that her now-in-probate will provides funds for this purpose. We had no problem with this kind of support. However, an Institute should have a definition of the kinds of sponsorship that they will seek and accept.

From Mardi McDaniel, Leisure Learning Society,
No, Leisure Learning Society has never tried this.

From Ara Rogers, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, University of South Florida, Tampa
We just finished our first year of publication sponsorship and we felt we were relatively successful. We established an amount that would cover the costs of printing and mailing a year's worth of our publication; that became our fund goal. We established levels of giving to meet that goal and developed a draft sponsor package that included an "ask" letter, a mock-up of how sponsors would be recognized in the year's worth of publications, and included several editions of our bulletin.
We met with the university Foundation to ensure that this project passed muster, because funds would be deposited there. We also wanted to ensure that we would not jeopardize our non-profit mailing status, and that we could establish a separate account to ensure these monies did not get co-mingled with other funds. We raised 85% of our target. We learned a lot through this process and are now in the process of renewing and hopefully, upgrading, those first sponsors while we continue to seek others.

From Connie Vecerkauskas, Old Dominion ILR, VA
Our ODU-ILR group has not tried this method of sponsorship but we did discuss it at our November long-range planning meeting. Please share the responses you receive on this and I will share it with our Board members. It may be worth a try to help with printing costs.

From Joe Scorpion, A.L.L., Carnegie Mellon University, PA
We have "floated" this same idea previously. However, it was voted against as it smacked of "commercialism" and might open the door to all kinds of requests. We want to remain neutral.

From Wendy Kerr, PLATO at University of Wisconsin-Madison
We have not tried it.

From Mary Gardner, Wabash Area Lifetime Learning Association, Inc. Purdue University, In
No, we haven't tried to accomplish that--we absorb the cost of printing our brochures--a cost of doing business.

From Marty Kaplan, OLLI, California State University, Channel Islands
Till I read this email, I hadn't thought about this. Great idea! Are you referring to a sponsor, who gets recognition in the catalog, or advertisers? I'd like to hear of the pros and cons for the latter.

From Barbara Reinish, ILR, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
I don't have any experience with sponsorship of catalogs, but I think it could work well if done tastefully.

From Trish O’Leary, ILR, Albertus Magnus College, New Haven, CT
The Greater New Haven ILR at Albertus Magnus does not have a sponsor for the catalog. Our catalogs generally run around 20 pages. Ballpark cost for each is $1.




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