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Sponsorship Acknowledgement Guidelines

Task Force Members: Charlie Stoltenow, chair; Carl Dahlen; Dave Franzen; Julie Garden-Robinson; Jason Goltz; Marie Hvidsten; Becky Koch; Lesley Lubenow; Sam Markell; Rachelle Vettern

Adopted by Extension Leadership Team on Jan. 27, 2014


  • To appropriately and consistently acknowledge sponsors of Extension programs and materials
  • To reinforce the brand of the NDSU Extension Service as the credible source of unbiased research-based information

General Guidelines

Appropriate use of NDSU Extension and NDSU logos and the 4-H name and emblem are covered by existing guidelines.

The guidelines for publications supported with USDA and other federal agency funding are in the Educational Materials/Publication Guidelines.

Advertising or promotion of a specific product is not allowed.

Donated products should be given an estimated dollar value and acknowledged.

Field Signs – State agencies and nonprofits may be included on an NDSU Extension Service sign since they don’t advocate specific products. However, most private companies should not be included on NDSU signs. The inclusion of a farm name/land donor for a field trial is acceptable if the use of the land is donated rather than rented. The NDSU Extension logo should be at least equivalent in size to other sponsor logos. Sponsors that donate product may identify themselves with their own signs in the fields, though specialists and agents should suggest a maximum size. See these examples.

Numbered Publications – State agencies and nonprofits may be acknowledged on the inside front cover or back cover with the statement, “Published with support from…” A logo and URL for the agency or nonprofit may be included.

Include “The NDSU Extension Service does not endorse commercial products or companies even though reference may be made to trade names, trademarks or service names” if appropriate and “The NDSU Extension Service (and name of NDSU Extension author if appropriate) is solely responsible for this content.”

The NDSU Extension author is responsible for getting a written Sponsored Educational Materials Agreement with sponsors. (See the separate suggested format below; email is fine.) Attach the agreement to the Educational Materials Submittal Form when materials are submitted to Sharon Lane. The sponsors are expected to provide funding for the number of publications they want plus 10% more for some publications to be carried on the Distribution Center shelves and available to the public. Authors are welcome to negotiate with sponsors if they’ll support development costs, such as student help, research, graphic design, etc. Consult with Agriculture Communication staff to estimate the costs.

Videos – The NDSU Extension Service follows the Public Broadcasting model of putting sponsorship voiceovers and logos at the end of the video. An NDSU Extension logo may be at the beginning, and a small NDSU logo watermark may be included in the corner throughout the video.

Meetings and Events – The NDSU Extension logo should be prominent and not overpowered by other co-sponsors. Possible ways to acknowledge co-sponsors include on program booklets, PowerPoint slides, poster boards and table tents.

Websites – A single to a few sponsor names and/or logos may be placed at the bottom of the main page. For multiple sponsors, create a sponsors’ Web page, and link to it from the main page’s left navigation. The sponsors’ page may include logos and may link to the sponsors’ websites. Sponsors may be categorized based on funding level.

Promotional Materials – Brochures promoting meetings and events should have an NDSU Extension logo prominently displayed. Sponsor names and/or logos may be at the bottom of the front or on the back. The NDSU nondiscrimination and accommodations statements must be included. NDSU’s leadership should be identified prominently on all giveaways with appropriate logos or words.

Clothing – As employees of the NDSU Extension Service, we are constantly in the public eye so what we wear impacts the public’s perception of our professionalism and credibility. Refrain from wearing sponsored clothing or hats when carrying out public education. Wearing clothing that bears a non-NDSU brand may send the unintended message that NDSU Extension maintains a certain allegiance to that brand or sponsor.

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