Underwrite

By request, we’re opening the door to underwriting and sponsorship opportunities. This is an unadvertised, discounted soft rollout; if you’re reading this web page it’s because you found it on your own.

In a (biggish) nutshell:
  • The underwriting program is new, and being introduced beginning with the 2021/22 season.
  • The underwriting program is intended for businesses and foundations, but open to personal philanthropy. We also accept freewill donations in any amount.
  • Underwriting terms are annual, and coincide with our fall-through-spring season. Any post-season summer events that may get scheduled will be included in the term.
  • If the pandemic prevents delivering a full 2021/’22 season, which seems likely, the term will be extended to fully include the following season as well.
  • Post-pandemic, after a season starts, mid-term sign-ons will be accepted. Acknowledgements will be immediately deployed to the extent possible, but not fully deployed until the following season.
  • Underwriters will receive display acknowledgement in the seasonal program and in the venue; on all collateral including posters, playbills, our newsletter, social media, our website, press releases, etc.; and permanently embedded in all web-posted clips of documentation taken during the underwriting term (at this writing, our YouTube channel view count has exceeded 17,000).
  • Display sizes and placements will be commensurately weighted among all underwriters.
  • This underwriting does not include broadcast acknowledgement. Broadcast media acknowledgement will be a separate program when we begin broadcast production. Federal law and public broadcasting rules regarding underwriter acknowledgement is complex and restrictive. Broadcast acknowledgement opportunities will be limited.
  • This may be worth noting: A fair percent of the live attendees travel in — one memorable show had people from five states; and the online audience is far larger and dispersed. The reach is wide.
  • Introductory minimum: $1,033
  • Recommended: $3,300
  • Details are subject to change without notice, but all agreements will be honored.

We were waiting to offer underwriting opportunities until after we launched the radio-and-tv part of the plan so we’d have proof of concept. However, we received a couple queries about underwriting — and the valid point was raised that all the nonprofit venues in the region have underwriting programs, and none of them have a documentation prong.

So we’re opening the door. We anticipate that early underwriting adopters will be few, but that will make them all the more visible and appreciated.

Email us: stage33@stage33live.com

The pitch, such as it is:

A halo is nice, but putting bread and butter on your table is important. As a practical exercise in capitalism, underwriting demonstrates to potential customers that you’re the kind of place they’ll want to get to know… and it builds loyalty with the customers you already have.

There are studies that show underwriting works better than advertising; it may well be true. Underwriting is sort of like advertising without the desperation.

While a big part of why we do what we do is to support our immediate community, a number of our live attendees travel in from other places. At one memorable show there were five northeastern states represented. And the online aggregate view count is far higher and more dispersed. We emphasize local, but we’re bigger than local.

Email us: stage33@stage33live.com

Details

When we can start doing shows again, we plan to have printed season programs; we’ll put one on every chair for every performance, have them out fulltime for pass-through pick-up, and make them available in the wild at various locations. Underwriters will be generously displayed in these programs, as well as acknowledged in all ephemera and collateral: posters and playbills, our newsletter, social media, every page of our website (not just one page, every page), press releases. Additionally and most significantly, acknowledgment will be permanently embedded in all web-posted clips of documentation taken during the underwriting term.

Acknowledgements will be presented in sizes and placements relative to the underwriting amount across all underwriters. At this time we’re not offering specified sizes or placements.

Acknowledgement details:

  • Program, newsletter, social media
  • logo
  • name if not in logo
  • value-neutral description of products and services in 10 words or fewer, if desired
  • established short slogan that identifies but isn’t promotional, if desired
  • contact / location info (web, phone, village/town), as desired or appropriate
  • disallowed: price information, calls to action, superlative / qualitative / comparative descriptions, inducements, and endorsements
  • Posters, playbills
  • logo
  • Website
  • linked logo
  • Press releases
  • name
  • value-neutral description of products and services in 10 words or fewer, if desired
  • established short slogan that identifies but isn’t promotional, if desired
  • contact / location info (web, phone, village/town), as desired or appropriate
  • disallowed: price information, calls to action, superlative / qualitative / comparative descriptions, inducements, and endorsements
  • Web-posted clips
  • logo permanently embedded at end

Underwriting terms coincide with our regular fall-to-spring season, plus any post-season summer shows. At this writing we don’t have confidence that we’ll be able to run our full 2021/22 season because of the pandemic. If it ends up being a partial, the 21/22 term will be extended fully through 22/23. Heckuva deal.

Some organizations offer discounted or free tickets as an inducement to underwrite. We don’t. Ticket money goes to the performers, not us, and we’re not willing to take food out of their mouths.

Email us: stage33@stage33live.com

Notes

Broadcast law restricts underwriting acknowledgements to be noncommercial public recognition by a grateful nonprofit for support given. Outside the FCC’s jurisdiction there’s miles of latitude… but the on-air guidelines are a pretty good way to keep things classy across the board, so we follow those.

At this time, no incoming funds go toward payroll. Everything is invested in costs, maintenance, and upgrades. As soon as there’s any “extra” dough, we’ll be starting a Performer Guarantee Fund to make sure that performers at least get a minimum amount if there’s a bad turnout. We do hope to also get paid for our work one day, but that day isn’t this day.

Stage 33 Live is a nonprofit (EIN 82-2349941), and all support is tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed. But businesses can deduct advertising expenses anyway, and for tax purposes underwriting is considered advertising.

We’ll never forget that it was local people who built up the project with time and muscle, experience, small donations, and more; what’s been accomplished would never have happened without them. But we’ll always welcome all comers as family. Bellows Falls is rich in culture and nature, but has the lowest median household income of any incorporated village in southern Vermont, and the second-lowest in the state — more than $23,000 less than the national average. The poverty rate tops 25%. In addition to maybe helping launch a star or two, we hope to eventually be able to provide at least one paid position in our community.

Email us: stage33@stage33live.com

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Run and done by volunteers, stem to stern.
Donations are what keep this thing going.
We squeeze every penny,
and we'd be so happy to squeeze yours.
Or drop off cash / checks at any event.
You can surface-mail checks to:
Stage 33 Live (admin)
8-A Atkinson St
Bellows Falls VT 05101

Donated equipment or services are welcome!
Tax deductible to the fullest extent.
Stage 33 Live LTD is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, EIN 82-2349941.



Stage 33 Live
stage33@stage33live.com
www.stage33live.com
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VENUE:
33 Bridge Street
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ADMIN MAILING:
8A Atkinson St
Bellows Falls VT 05101