Partnerships and Sponsorships: A Q&A with Chicago’s Field Museum

For established life science companies it’s a full-time job growing brand awareness and installing a positive brand perception. There are many avenues to do this; trade publications, company blogs, one-on-one meetings at industry trade shows. But what aspects of your marketing strategy connect with everyday people on the street? For publicly listed companies, that’s an important part of stakeholder relations. For private companies it can help with hiring, company culture and morale.

For all ownership models, sponsoring or partnering with a non-profit institute is a great solution. It allows your company to reach out – by giving back – and promotes science in your community. So how do you go about it?

A Case Study

Located in downtown Chicago, the Field Museum is a world-renowned cultural institution. Each year, the Museum welcomes 1.2 million visitors seeking to explore the anthropological histories of the world. Behind closed doors, the Museum houses 27.5 million specimens including “Sue,” the most complete and well-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex ever found. This famous example is just one of many original relics that both educate and inspire guests.

The museum also features exhibitions on life science topics, including the Abbott Hall of Conservation Restoring Earth an exhibit sponsored by Abbott, and the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice DNA Discovery Center where you get the opportunity to speak with scientists about their findings and work at the Field.

As part of The Field Museum’s effort to increase awareness, they build one-on-one relationships with companies to work towards shared goals.

Q & A

Curious about how partnerships and sponsorships can be mutually beneficial to companies and organizations like The Field Museum, I decided to do a good old-fashioned Q&A with two of their employees; fundraising intern Emma Walsh, and Corporate Giving Officer Julia Kittle.

Q: What types of partnerships are there and what kinds of opportunities do they offer?

A: There are two options: Corporate Sponsor or Corporate Membership (or both!)

Corporate Sponsors are the lead sponsors for an exhibition or event. This partnership provides great visibility through advertisement including signs around the city, posters in the Museum, their logo on the website, and inclusion in social media campaigns. Other opportunities that sponsors have are to be able to assist in helping important research at the Field as well as naming opportunities around the Museum.

Corporate Membership is a program that provides various benefits for employees, clients, and executives ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 donations that make it possible for the Field Museum to continue to grow. Being a part of this program offers unique benefits like free general admission for all employees, corporate family days, rental fee waivers, and behind-the-scenes tours. A few partners of the Field Museum are: Aon Corporation, The Boeing Company, Baxter International, Dover and United Airlines.

Q: How do you go about partnering with companies

A: We partner with companies and foundations that share our passion for providing world-class public education and conducting ground breaking scientific research. Corporate partners come in many forms, and we’re always excited to explore opportunities with companies large and small.

Q: How long do you usually partner with a company?

A: Many companies have been partners for years because they feel strongly about the Field Museum’s mission of science and education. Partnerships are about forming a relationship with the museum and also with the community.

For sponsorships, each one is different and they are typically based on their marketing goals and priorities. The museum has permanent exhibits and monthly or yearly exhibits. For the permanent exhibits, the museum typically has a 2-5 year agreement with the sponsor so that the company gets full exposure from the marketing campaigns that are done in the halls.

Q: What are the benefits of working with the Museum?

A: Being part of the Corporate Membership means that you receive multiple benefits due to the support and donations the museum receives. These benefits range from one-month free admission, to invitations to the museum’s most exclusive events. On the website there is a list of unique benefits for each type of partner your company is, be that Friend, Associate, Patron, Benefactor, or Leader. Some to note are discounted tickets to limited-time exhibitions, private tours, lunch-and-learns (which can be accommodated to a special interest of the company) and corporate volunteer opportunities.

[Your name here]?

So, what does this all mean for life science companies? By partnering, or sponsoring with The Field Museum, or any science non-profit, your company can access unique benefits. You’ll gain higher visibility and brand awareness, stronger ties to the community, the opportunity to showcase and impress your clients and the ability to support the museum’s mission of science and education. Through this, you can help the science community as a whole.

If you would like more information about the Field Museum and all the wonderful things it has to offer, please visit the website and plan your next visit!