S P O N S O R   G U I D E

Interested in hosting an Urban Consulate space or event in your city?

Here's an introduction for champions & sponsors about what we offer, who we serve, and what we need to get started—including a menu of programs and a sample budget & timeline to open a new location:

 

W H A T   W E   N E E D

1. A HOME

A historic house, storefront, parlor, salon, gallery, library, hotel lobby or other "old-school" city space in a walkable neighborhood with public accessibility and capacity for 50-100 guests.

2. A HOST

A smart, kind, socially-conscious & civic-minded human who loves people & ideas and has deep community knowledge. S/he will work directly with the Consulate founder to curate & host conversations.

3. A CHAMPION

A visionary leader of a foundation, institution or organization who understands the value of talent retention & attraction, leadership development, and an empowered & engaged citizenry.


W H A T   W E   B R I N G

1. A NETWORK

We keep good company. We've hosted over 5,000 guests for 150 conversations across 3 cities—working with dozens of community partners to make it happen. Through the Knight Cities network and our work for Urban Innovation Exchange, we know all the best people doing thoughtful city-building across the U.S.

2. A POINT OF VIEW

Our founder & team bring two decades of experience hosting civic conversations, activating city spaces, showcasing urban innovators & elevating emerging leaders. We have strong views on how to make cities more inclusive, equitable & participatory—and we're not afraid of asking hard questions. We lean in.

3. AN IDENTITY

From our Consulate logo & branding to the interior design of our parlors, we put a lot of thought into presentation & environment. We've developed a design toolkit to be creative & resourceful within a tight budget. We care about quality. We like things to be nice, but not pretentious. Between a potluck & a country club.


P R O G R A M S  +  S E R V I C E S

We've hosted all kinds of programs, from one-off events to longer-term series. 

What does your city need? Here are some ideas—

BRANDED CONTENT

Interested in reaching an urban-minded audience? Let's talk about a sponsor-branded event or series. Our à la carte menu of programs includes parlor talks, dinner & dialogues, tea & wine tastings, film screenings, book clubs, travel study & fellowships, urban exchanges, storefront pop-ups, neighborhood conversations, community storytelling, video & podcast recording sessions, focus groups, workshops & more.

urban intel

Our antenna is always up for trending topics, user interests & market needs. Just one example: Our guests often tell us they are hungry for more curated travel & exchange experiences for civic-minded, socially-conscious, adventurous humans—is that your target market, too? A branded trip or fellowship would rock their world—and we can help make it happen with you.


W H O   W E   S E R V E

GUESTS

The majority of our guests are passionate urbanists & localists eager to shape the future of their city. We also attract regional, national & global visitors looking to go deeper than tourism.

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DEMOGRAPHICS

We strive to represent, in both our speakers & guests, the racial demographics of the city we're in. Sometimes we don't, often we do.

TOPICS

... and more.


B U D G E T

Sample first-year budget for a small-scale pilot location*

 

Program Management (Team of 2) ......................................  $ 75,000

Space Rental ..................................………………….....…  $ 25,000

Design/Build ……………………………………......……  $ 25,000

Communications ………………………………….....…… $ 10,000

Travel Stipends …………………….…….……......……… $ 10,000

Supplies & Materials …………………………............……. $ 2,500

 

Total:  $150,000

*Notes & details below


 

T I M E L I N E

Sample timeline for a two-year pilot program*

 

Outreach & Engagement .............................................. 3 Months

  • Invitation from local champion
  • Identify local needs & priorities
  • Determine format, scope & budget
  • Secure pilot sponsor(s)
  • Convene local advisors
  • Identify & contract local host
  • Scout & secure location

Design & Development ................................................ 3 Months

  • Secure lease agreement
  • Interior design & build-out
  • Identify initial guests & topics
  • Branding & marketing
  • PR & social media
  • Launch event planning & promo

Public Programming ................................................... 12 Months

  • Weekly parlor talks
  • Monthly special events
  • Regular visiting/open hours
  • Partner content

Review & Refine .......................................................... 3 Months

  • Evaluate strengths & weaknesses
  • Review host & guest feedback
  • Identify missing audiences
  • Retire weak programs & introduce new ones

Evaluation & Sustainability .......................................... 3 Months

  • Review community interest & need
  • Scale up, scale back, sunset?
  • If more, then fundraising & development
 

N O T E S

*More detail on budget, time, space & team—

TIME

Our ideal engagement is a 2-year pilot hosted by a local nonprofit, foundation or institution.

We are also open to shorter-term "pop-up" activations and event series under the right conditions—with proper time for outreach & engagement.

What we won't do: pop-up in a city or neighborhood uninvited. We must work in partnership with local stakeholders. In urban diplomacy, trust is everything.

SPACE

Space rental and design/build costs are widely variable, depending upon the space & location.

Ideally we would create our own environment—but are also open to activating an existing space that is under-occupied, furnished or unfurnished.

Spaces may include: a historic house, storefront, gallery, cafe, hotel, library, museum or university. Not too big, intimate is good—1,500-3,000 sf will do!

TEAM

Currently, our founder & local host work closely together as a team.

The founder is the "back of the house"—managing all administration, program scheduling, design & branding, PR & marketing, social media, partnerships & cross-city exchange opportunities.

The local host is "front of the house"—welcoming guests, managing hospitality, scouting talent & topics, and collecting guest input & feedback.

STRUCTURE

The Consulate is currently applying for 501(c)3 non-profit status. For the last two years, our pilot has been operated through a fund held by our fiscal agent, the Miami Foundation, thanks to support from Knight Foundation.


Q U E S T I O N S ?  

I N Q U I R I E S ?

A R E   Y O U   N I C E ?

 

(WE LIKE NICE)

 


LOST?

If you landed on this page and are totally confused about what the heck the Urban Consulate is, never fear—

read our introduction here.