Posts tagged ‘fundraising’

August 22, 2012

From Toronto to Detroit

Couple of articles I read yesterday – both to do with arts organizations, both to do with fundraising, with very interesting results. First, in Toronto:

Now playing at smaller theatres: the handyman special

“Bricks and mortar – the ball has been dropped across the country, there’s no doubt,” said Bradley Moss, artistic director at Edmonton’s Theatre Network, a company that was forced by rising construction estimates, changes in its board membership and the recession to shelve plans for a major expansion of its building, a 1938 movie house.

“[The venues] are all tired and waiting to be renovated – or torn down.”

I agree. unless you’ve got folks behind you with vision, it’s sexier to make something new than patch up what already exists. I worked in a theatre where I walked in one day and my desk chair was gone. It was on-stage because it was of the era the play took place in.
I always say if I ever win the big jackpot, I will have my own arts foundation that funds things like new computers, office supplies, decent chairs for staff and I’d call it the Avery Foundation after the labels.

Now let’s go south of the border –  to Detroit?

Why Arts Managers Short of Cash Are Looking at Detroit

Mr. Beal went to the voters, asking the residents of Michigan’s Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties to pass a modest 10-year-long dedicated property-tax increase known as a “millage.” It would supply up to $23 million in public funding each year for the next decade—91% of the DIA’s annual operating budget—thus buying time for Mr. Beal and his colleagues to build up the museum’s operating endowment to the point where it can bring in sufficient income to pay the bills.

Read the rest of the article to find out if it worked. And have a good day.

October 31, 2011

I hate nickel and diming.

Online with a friend today who shall remain nameless, but suffice to say they are in the middle of planning the dreaded gala for insert-charity-here. They wrote this. I promised I wouldn’t use their name, but I can bet any number of my readers will sigh, sagely nod their heads and go back to trying to get fifty feet of free ribbon from the local ribbon store.
I think you should pay artists and people what they are worth and if you want nice things you need to pay for them sometimes.  And I will never ask a performer to come provide entertainment at an event for free and tell them “it’s good exposure for them” –  it’s not, so don’t even make me ask.
You can’t have a fancy posh event and have spent $2 – $2 events look like $2 events.
Sometimes in terms of staff time and energy it’s just better to pay for an item rather than calling/emailing 100 vendors to get it for free and then get it shipped to another location so some friend of a friend can silkscreen it for a discount.  My time is too valuable for that nonsense.
Nickel and diming and micro managing doesn’t make you a good manager – it just makes you annoying to the people trying to get it done. 
You need to trust that you hired the right people and they are getting the best deals and spending money where it counts.
Years ago there was a fantastic event evaluation form – I am pretty sure it was on Charity Village and now I can’t find it no matter how hard I look.  Most event evals are like the one here and focus on having hit the target for fundraising and awareness etc.
I loved the other one because it was in quiz format, with point rankings, ie 1 point if you hit the money target. It was a very real evaluation, with all the hard target questions, but the questions I remember 10 years later are “Lose three points for every person who cried because of this event” and “calculate the dollar amount saved in sourcing the free ribbon vs the dollar amount of staff time used to source the free ribbon”.
People say time is money – but sometimes they forget it actually is. Or that the sponsor package you put together for the ribbon store folks is actually –  in time and materials – worth more than the ribbon itself.
If anyone knows the evaluation I’m talking about, will you send me the link?
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