Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Submitting A Proposal To Target?

Update: Laura Heller's "Second City Nitty Gritty" gives our cause a shoutout here. Feel free to add comments directly to her posting.

From the comments on the post about asking Target to sponsor the Wilson Red Line stop:

Under the Subject drop-down, I chose "Community Involvement," which I think must account for the fact that my canned response was a bit different than the ones noted above. Their response was:

Target is always looking for unique and exciting projects that support our image or give back to the communities we serve. It's great to hear you're interested in us supporting a remake of the train in Chicago.

We sponsor events that increase awareness of our store, promote Target brand loyalty with current guests and attract new guests. Additionally, the event or group seeking sponsorship must generally meet specific guidelines within the arts, education and the family.

For more information, please call our automated Sponsorship Hotline at (612) 696-6000. We've recorded a special message for you with detailed information about eligibility requirements and how to submit your request directly to Target.

Thanks for shopping with us. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

I then called the number, and my "special message" encouraged me to submit a proposal to Target with the following guidelines:

- No more than 2 pages
- Explanation of "event"
- Timing and location
- What we're requesting / what we will provide Target in exchange for the request
- Size and demographic information about our audience
- Other companies involved and the level of their involvement
- Contact information

The e-mail they listed was: They said there was a 2-3 month review process for all proposals.

What do you guys think, is it worth putting together a more detailed proposal and passing it around for signatures?

So readers, what do you think? Do-able? If this is to fly, we think a small committee of people need to meet and get it going for real. Volunteers?


  1. This idea is more of a business component to the development of a Target store as opposed to a charitable event. If this is going to be effective, someone needs to get in touch with the Target employee in charge of this particular development. Typically they will have an executive level real estate development person handling and overseeing the project. This is the person that either makes the decisions or runs them up the ladder. I think it is also important that the local Alderman be involved and back the proposal.

  2. I and my family would definitely sign this!!!

  3. Just as another suggestion ... in reading the Trib this morning I noticed this little blurb:
    Help the CTA -- Last call for entries for the help-the-CTA-make-money-other-than-by-hiking-our-fares contest. Winners will be featured in Sunday's column.

    We'll give awards for the most practical idea, the most creative idea and the most often suggested idea that is, in fact, quietly being done.

    Melissa Harris, who was surprised to learn that the CTA already has solar panels on some of its roofs, can be reached at or 312-222-4582. Follow her on Twitter@ChiConfidential.

    If we all send in the suggestion that Target sponsor (pay for) the updating of the Wilson stop, maybe the Trib will begin to pay some attention to us!

  4. What an great task for anyone looking to become the next Alderman. I think that would show a huge number of people in this ward that they are committed to making the area better.

    Helen/Denise....wanna get involved before your next opponent decides to show you up???

  5. Helen/Denise....wanna get involved before your next opponent decides to show you up???

    Phpt. Denice is livin' large tooling about in that sweet-a**ed Cadillac of her's. What does she care about public transportation?

    Regardless, I kicked over an email to Melissa with my suggestion.

    Heck, Target could score huge marketing points by paying the CTA to use their logo on maps.

  6. Whoever starts this up and puts up an e-mail address for contacting, count me in!

  7. I actually sat on the other side of the desk reviewing requests like these for another company in past job and advise that you SHOULD take a look at their published "foundation" reports for previous years and see not only if Target has given funds for a project similar to the one proposed but also if there have been funds available for a project this costly outside of Minneapolis (their hdqtrs where they have lots of employees). I am guessing that Target would rather make a donation out of foundation funds rather than from its large advertising budget for tax purposes.

    While I stress need to be honest, please make sure you talk about how much of an improvement the Target station will bring to the neighborhood. If you can realistically qualtify any improvements you're smarter than me but be careful- they'll check your math so to speak.

    I would try, if possible, to note how similar this request is to other grant requests funded by the Target Foundation. Fix Wilson Yards wasn't about opposition to Target generally so I'd not focus on the contentious issues which do not involve Target.

  8. Maybe Target could even open a mini-mart kind of thing in the rest of the Wilson stationhouse, open 24 hours.

  9. Why not contact Chicago Gateway Green? They mostly work on landscape along expressways with corporate sponsorship - but this might be an interesting challenge to focus on transit instead of highways. The reason I mention them is they have 20 years of experience mediating between businesses and goverment in getting beautification projects done.

  10. The new Apple store is adjacent and pretty much attached to the CTA station. The Target store is located at Montrose which is about .2 miles from Montrose. Why would a retailer want to sponsor it? Should they sponsor the Roosevelt red line station as well since they have a store on Roosevelt?

  11. Why would they sponsor it?

    Welllllll, let me count the ways:

    - it would make anyone who took the Red Line past Wilson aware that there's a Target right there.

    - it would be a huge draw to anyone getting off at Wilson to do some shopping

    - it would get great press, as Apple is for the North/Clybourn station

    - it would ingratiate Target as a good neighbor [and great place to spend money locally] to Uptown residents

    You have to walk a block or more to get to 75% of the entrances to Wrigley Field from the Addison stop, yet the Cubs sponsor that one.

    Keep on thinking of reasons things new ideas won't work, and we'll have the "crustiest L station in Chicago" for years to come.

  12. The whole reason they are there is to take advantage of the train traffic. It's built on former CTA property, it's not exactly far, and Target would do well to build the association that Wilson Red Line=Target in Chicagoan's heads.

  13. Why should Target sponsor the Wilson Stop? That's easy: it would be to their benefit (and ours eventually).

    And the argument that it's crazy to 'sponsor' just because they're not connected physically to the station, well, they don't sell Cellular phone contracts at Cellular Field, do they?

  14. Actually, they do sell U.S. Cellular contracts at that field. Oops!

  15. While i think all of this discussion is great, in reality, no one but the CTA /City Council has the authority to authorize Target to sponsor the Wilson CTA stop. While I think the motivation is sincere and well thought, in actuality, perhaps effort should focus our attention on the CTA and encouraging them to make contact to Target Corp. based on their soon to open store adjacent to the Wilson El or an anticipated Montrose El station.

  16. North Edgewater Citizen makes some interesting points... per his/her suggestions, I am going to look into past "foundation" reports to find out whether Target has any history of this sort of thing. Regardless, it's worth a shot. I would be willing to serve as a point-person, for the time being. It shouldn't be too hard to draft a two-page proposal. It's making it a really good, winning proposal that may take longer, and will require help from others on this blog.

    In any case, I'd be happy to take a stab in the next week or so. When I have a draft, what next? I suppose I'll mail it to Uptown Update for distribution / comments?

  17. While i think all of this discussion is great, in reality, no one but the CTA /City Council has the authority to authorize Target to sponsor the Wilson CTA stop.

    Yeah, I'm sure there's a whole bunch of red tape to cut through with this idea, but if Target has the ability to take a few million dollars in taxpayer charity to open their store, I'm sure they have enough clout with the 5th floor to at least try to do this.

    The difference is this is about spending their own money, not taking taxpayer money.

    I think it would take a whole lot of pressure to get them to do this, plus the ability to actually keep that station in a condition they can feel secure about probably is not very good. Would they take a chance on sullying their corporate logo and image with the "crustiest L stop"?

    Nonetheless, it's a good idea and worth of effort.

    Here's another that I think you'll find interesting, and has a "feel good" that Target could get behind:

    Have them sponsor a new "Boys and Girls Club of Uptown" right across the street from their brand spanking new store!

    I can picture it in my mind's eye now.

    - Computer labs where kids can play Club Penguin after school or better yet, do some homework or structured and fun online learning.

    - Maybe team up with Microsoft and Dell since Apple is getting so much love for their bit at North and Clybourn. They can provide all the computers that would run that spiffy new Windows 7 operating system.

    - A library with all the latest and greatest books for kids.

    - A media room so kids can watch the latest Disney flick or the Discovery Kids Channel instead of having to walk the big, bad streets of Uptown after school.

    - Staffed by local volunteers from the community.

    This would be just perfect for students that go to Graeme Stewart Elementary school.

    If only there was a suitable location close to the Target and the school. If only. I can't think of a single building right across the street from Target and the school that isn't already slated for some other use.

    If only.

    Well, it was a damn good idea anyway. Oh, well.

  18. This seems like a complex process that'll take real coordination rather than a simple well-placed letter or two. It also seems like a very worthy idea. How about someone taking the lead and organizing a group to coordinate this? Getting together and plotting out the right campaign--especially someone with some experience in this sort of thing.

  19. I think we should do this to improve our L stop first and make a mockery of Helen second. Let's show her what a bit of hard work with the people of Uptown can do. After all, she has no idea....