Community Partnerships & Donations
There is a big difference between partnerships and sponsorships. We love partnerships, and we love giving credit to people and businesses who are in it for the right reasons.
CHIditarod does not accept sponsorships, because that crosses the line into commodification. It’s tricky. We do accept donations. We just don’t allow advertising on our pure hearts and noble deeds.
And remember: Non-commodification is a valuable principle. But, it’s a value, not a commandment. Test your decisions against the value, but don’t take too absolute and simplistic a view. Our cause is hunger, not proving moral superiority.
As for partners, your local food pantry is an obvious one. The food has to go somewhere. And please make sure it all gets there, no matter how appetizing some volunteer thinks it looks.
You can also partner with stores that have supplies of shopping carts. They not only garner good will, but in towns with only a couple of stores, you do not want to be victimizing your local merchants.
You can accept donations in-kind (e.g. for the breakfast) or in cash, if appropriate. Make sure you track the money and that it goes to a bona fide hunger cause. People will check.
As for recognition, an honor page on your web site is wholly appropriate, and feel free to link their logos to their web sites. You can always put language on the page that explains this is recognition of good friendships, never paid advertising.
There’s nothing wrong with giving managers t-shirts or patches, or “Certificates of Epic Participation.” They can display these proudly on their walls right next to the certificate that says they are cockroach free.