In this article the Transmission Project contests the convention of collecting “best practices” and offers in its place a narrative approach to assessing nonprofit organizations’ efforts to build their capacity. The Transmission Project calls this approach Honest Practice.
Full Disclosure: I’m a political video remix artist and writer blogging at PoliticalRemixVideo.com. At this year’s Open Video Conference, I participated in the panel, Remix Theory and curated the video remix program which ran throughout the FIT venue. My participation in the conference began last year as a curator and panelist and I’m involved with the open video movement because of their continued support for remixers, Fair Use and online digital rights.
It's true. Most of the CTC VISTAs who apply for projects are fresh
college grads. While there are some folks (Boomers, even some Gen
X'ers) who apply, the majority of us are fresh outta college and eager
to jump in to our first 'real world' jobs. With this in mind, here's some tips in selecting an appropriate candidate for your CTC VISTA position.
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Capacity means the ability to accomplish, change, remodel, or act on something that is a necessity, but often invisible because it is part of the operations or architecture of an organization. Since nonprofits must focus so intently on the work that becomes their public face, they do not have an easy ability to re-engineer the infrastructure hidden below. Since 1999, NAMAC has offered modest capacity building grants -- much like capital infusions to either start or complete a much-needed home improvement project.
Fundraising Toolkit Case Study: Frameline/San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (San Francisco, CA)
A couple of years ago, I managed a fundraising event for Frameline (San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival) that proved to be quite successful. In my eight years of fundraising, I have learned how difficult fundraising events can be. Often nonprofit staff, volunteers, and Board members are drawn to these "moneymakers" because they believe an event is a sure bet for bringing in the revenue, especially when annual goals have not been met for the year.
After years of applying to The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for support of San Francisco Cinematheque's public programs, and after years of receiving polite rejection letters, we finally earned the foundation's support in late 2003. We received a two-year grant totaling $50,000 ($10,000 more than we requested), with one-half delivered in late 2003 and the second half to be delivered in late 2004.
The day before I started to do my search for a donated building, I attended a Michigan Association of Community Arts Agency's Kim Klein fundraising convention in Dearborn, MI. Our organization is in the seed stages of funding so we are working on a volunteer basis. A lady I met at the convention told me that her group rented out a donated building at a rate of $1 a month the whole year. This seemed like an impossible request for the Art Café to ask for. She told me that because her town was run down the arrangement had been easy to work out.
he Media Arts Project (MAP) represents over 250 regional media arts practitioners, enthusiasts and students in Western North Carolina. A nimble grassroots organization, the MAP operated for over two years as an unfunded, all-volunteer effort. At the behest of the local Community Foundation, MAP presented an informational forum on the creative economy and the multimedia industry in Asheville. That meeting spurred a local philanthropist—without any application or solicitation—to offer six months of operating budget, and staff funding. That allowed us to continue our work with a single paid staff member and numerous ad hoc volunteers.