As we consider what the next four years have in store for nonprofits, we imagine Abe Lincoln strapped into the Apollo 13 spacecraft hurtling toward disaster and repeating his famous saying, “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” Continue reading
We were delighted by the recent splash heard on local and national news this week. President Obama announced that West Philadelphia is one of just five communities nationwide selected to be a “Promise Zone.” This is a new federal initiative to target resources to areas with significant poverty in order to transform the lives of area residents without displacing them. Continue reading
What is the meaning of a Marathon? 30,000 people of all ages, sizes, colors, and shapes standing on the Parkway in the near dark on an early Sunday, November morning. Total strangers in common bond as far as the eye can see. So what? Continue reading
I heard Toni Morrison speak at last night’s opening of the First Person Arts Festival. She compared the relationship between a novel’s character and the reader to the call and response in an African-American church. It’s a conversation. Continue reading
Punk rocker Amanda Palmer makes the point that by asking her audience for their support she creates an exchange that builds community and gives her listeners the opportunity to participate in something of meaning to them. Compare this to selling a product, a purely financial exchange. Her music is free to anyone to download, while she asks her fans to pay what they want. The result is far more money than she would have raised through sales and a stronger connection and sense of trust between her and her audience. She also makes the point how vulnerable it feels to ask, but how gratifying it is to both parties to establish the resulting relationship.
Lessons learned for nonprofit fundraising?
Every January, the same scene: the gym locker room crowded with determined New Year’s Resolutioners. While not unwelcome, us long-termers know that 90% will be gone by March. What separates the 10% from the rest of the pack?
In February, Fairmount Ventures quietly celebrated a milestone: we turned 20 years old. In sentimental moments when no one else was around we’ve had occasion to cast our minds back to what things were like for nonprofits in the ‘90s, who our clients were, our old addresses on Walnut and Chestnut Streets, and the fact that we had one email address and a staff person who had to read, print and distribute each message to its intended recipient. Tiny phones that fit in your pocket? Really? Continue reading