Where do our organizations fit in? Edit
As skeptic organizations share our goal of building an articulate and engaged community of skeptics, open events will provide an ideal way to support local groups.
Sponsorship can take many forms, such as a local campus group or company providing a venue for free. National organizations can provide books, DVDs and magazines for door or trivia prizes. However, it's hard to beat "Your lunch sponsored by ORGANIZATION" as food is consistently popular.
Each event should contact these organizations directly to inquire about sponsoring:
To ensure ongoing support, we organizers should take care to enthusiastically promote the participation of our sponsors, not only in social media and on our Event Pages but also at the start and end of our events.
When sponsorship is necessary, such as to pay for a venue, there should be someone other than the Lead who is coordinating the search for sponsors.
That search can occur through contacts within your local community of skeptics. Building the skills and visibility to attract these local sponsors will gain SkeptiCamp long-term viability.
You can also apply for sponsorship through the programs of large corporations given sufficient lead time. If you need a 501(c)3 status, contact Rich at Fund For Thought for assistance.
Local college groups are great sponsors for the venue, as they have access to free (or low-cost) facilities. (The only downside of these facilities that we've found is that food service must go through an approved list of caterers.)
Ask local BarCamp organizers about venues.
Sponsorship can either be in kind or in cash. The former is more desirable as it doesn't involve any accounting for money.
This czar should be in close contact with the Lead who must coordinate the consumption of all sponsored support.
If t-shirts will be provided to participants, the Sponsorship Czar should provide logo graphics to the Shirt Czar (if it's decided to print the logos on the backs of the shirts).
The czar should also followup with the sponsors after the event to let them know exactly what they got for their generous support.
For small to medium-sized groups, the costs involved in mounting a first event will be minimal where sponsors won't typically be needed. For established skeptic groups in larger metropolitan areas, you can likely drive sufficient turnout for a full-day event. In this case you'll need to arrange for a meal and a larger venue, possibly with multiple rooms.
Sponsors make it possible to keep these events free to participants. While some barcamps have charged a fee to artificially limit the number of attendees, it's not common practice and is generally discouraged.
Where to find sponsors? Find a student group at a local college or university that can obtain a free or inexpensive location for your event. Consult with other skepticamp organizers, local barcamp organizers and members of your group for ideas and contacts. Learn from the experiences of other barcamps.
National skeptic groups might be another source for sponsorship, but don't neglect your local options. However, they can be a good source for free magazines and other swag to give away at the event. See also the Fund for Thought.
Sponsors aren't limited to covering the cost of a venue and lunch. T-shirts are a popular item. Some barcamps also offer a party the evening before. The inaugural skepticamp featured an Apollo Moon Hoax talk at the pre-party to set the tone for the main event the next day.
Study the experiences of BarCamps and other SkeptiCamps to see how they tackled the problem. If important points aren't yet documented on this page, please add them!
- reorganize page
- include section listing benefits accrued to sponsors
- contrast local vs national sponsors
- contrast informal vs corporate sponsors