By MEL And PEARL SHAW
Special to South Florida Times
We eat, drink and sleep fundraising. It’s what we love. We truly enjoy and embrace the people and organizations with whom we work. We get excited when clients take the tools we develop for them and put them to work. We cherish their successes and, most importantly, we celebrate their work. At the end of the day, fundraising is all about attracting resources for nonprofit organizations and institutions that make a difference in people’s lives. While not every organization is in a position to hire fundraising counsel, there are so many people doing wonderful things who need just a few suggestions or some new information so they can do a better job and raise more money. These are the people for whom we write.
This column is our way of giving back and sharing information about fundraising, fund development and the important roles of nonprofit board members, staff and volunteers. It was almost nine years ago that our column, FUNdraising Good Times debuted in The Globe Newspaper in Oakland, Calif. There are now 30 papers and two magazines from around the country that publish this column. This commitment on the part of publishers and editors demonstrates their commitment to growing the nonprofit sector and supporting the people who give their time and energy to serving others.
We cherish our readers, though most are unknown to us. As writers you don’t always “meet” your audience. But, we did recently meet a reader who embraced us sharing “I read your column all the time.” We were conducting a workshop for the ArtsMemphis community engagement fellows when Judy Davis came up to us and shared that she raised $45,000 using suggestions from our column. That caught our attention and we had to learn more!
We learned that Davis, the membership outreach manager at the Metal Museum in Memphis, played an important role in The 10th Anniversary Gates Campaign. The museum was celebrating the 25th anniversary of the most beloved part of their permanent collection – the 10th Anniversary Gates. These are metal gates adorned with 331 unique rosettes that were contributed by more than 200 metalsmiths from around the world. After 25 years of exposure to the elements the gates and rosettes desperately needed restoration. This required removing, repairing and cleaning each rosette, and then sandblasting and repainting the gates.
The campaign raised $45,000 by inviting museum members and visitors to “sponsor a rosette” with individual donations ranging from $100 to $500. Each rosette sponsor received a credit line in a catalog published to commemorate the rededication of the newly restored gates on Mother’s Day, 2014.
This was Davis’ first professional fundraising project and she was armed with inspiration and information from our columns.
Next week: The details!
Mel and Pearl Shaw position nonprofits, colleges and universities for fundraising success. For help with your campaign visit saadandshaw.com or call 901-522-8727.