Great thoughts by Seth Godin again. And even though you call yourself the "New Paradigm", you must prove yourself and gain the trust that you are what you claim you are. A theatre company with an agenda that includes more than just art. (Big news here: Art is not the first investment thought in most business people's minds even in a great economy)
While we have tons of theatre credits, experience and contacts, when we speak to folks that have invested in theatre before it has to be as business people with a new agenda. An agenda that makes it more of a business and community-building proposition which in turn makes business sense as a sponsor.
We have been proving ourselves this year and it's starting to pay off. We have been delivering high quality performances that allow the guests to "rub elbows with the stars", helping other non profits through our shows and marketing, mentoring students and forging ahead without an actual space to call home. All of that is in our mission statement.
Don't get me wrong, we want a space! But we can be choosey. We can date around until the right space choses us. It might not be the norm, but it's financially responsible and it's a way to find out if the community you want to serve as a "theatre" understands that you want to do more than just produce shows.
It also gives you time to create a "track record".
The people who came before you- Seth Godin
Maybe I'm not listening to your pitch because the 100 people who came before you abused my trust, stole my time and disrespected my attention.
Perhaps I'm not buying from you because the last time someone like you earned my trust, he broke my heart.
People are never irrational. They often act on memories and pressures that you're unaware of, though.