Archive for the ‘Fundraising’ Category

7/14/09 – A few days after I wrote this, I happened to read an editorial by Museums President David Hillenbrand (written one month ago) about the fight to keep arts funding. Though Mr. Hillenbrand easily trumps me with his years of experience and know-how, we’re not so far apart in our thinking.

Often, I think back to a time when my parents had a dream of restoring the Levoy Theatre, an old, decaying vaudeville house in my hometown of Millville, New Jersey, to its former glory. I was young and didn’t understand why. I’d roll my eyes whenever they passed by it saying, “There’s our place,” and talked about maybe passing it along to me one day.

My parents, try as they might, never saw their dream become a reality – at least for them. Perhaps they would be leading the charge today if they had known more about fundraising and grantwriting. Perhaps I could have done something if I were older at that time armed with the knowledge that I have now. In any case, as I’ve grown older and personally invested in the arts, I’ve realized now that what my parents wanted to do was not just for their own or our family’s benefit, but to bring something back to a community that was in decline as the glass factories disappeared.

Fortunately, though my parent’s dream for the community didn’t come true (for them), it has not died as a group of individuals came together 14 years ago to make preserving and restoring the venue a reality. What’s even more important is that my hometown’s main “drag” has now been transformed into an arts district – one that made this once non-believer from afar a believer.

Millville’s story reminds me a lot of Pittsburgh, the city I now call home. Once a thriving city, thanks to the steel industry, it too saw its decline as the work dried up and the factories closed. It was the arts, in my opinion, that have helped to transform the face of Pittsburgh from the place once known as “hell with the lid off” to “America’s Most Livable City.” Many organizations have contributed to this transformation, but the two most prominent cultural institutions that stick out in my mind are The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Carnegie Museums.



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It’s that time of year once again, where we gather together to eat ridiculous amounts of food and reflect on the things we are thankful for in our lives.

Well, here’s my little list:


I’m thankful I have the opportunity to be with them again this year, after not seeing anyone since Christmas. It’s still pretty weird to know that when I’m back in NJ, it’s just to visit.


As it goes, friends have this amazing ability to get you through the best and worst of times in a way that your family members cannot. They always make life a little easier.


I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve had to develop both personally and professionally. I’m even more thankful to those who have been willing to give me a shot as I look to advance my career, and the possiblities that have yet to come.


I’m thankful that I’ve met some really awesome people through social media. Moving to Pittsburgh afforded me that opportunity and it’s something I never even thought possible. I am looking forward to meeting even more folks in the future.

It’s also important to remember those this holiday who are less fortunate and cannot count their blessings. Let us think of them and what we can do to help make their lives a little better.

As a side note –

The Macys Parade Rickrolled us all with the man, Rick Astley, himself. If that’s not an indication that social tools have such a profound impact, than I don’t know what is. It’s obvious he lipsynced, but it was still awesome.

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I don’t have much to say today other than the following:

1. Thanks to all who are stopping by and reading my little tribute to the writer formerly known as PittGirl and The Burgh Blog. I think it’s evident that we’re all pretty sad, but it is my sincere hope that people will just let it go and refrain from trying to uncover her identity. Sure, we have our times when it’s fun to guess, but at the end of the day the woman took a huge risk to allow us to peer into her mind every day and some things are just better left secret.

2. First PCPGH3 meet-up was tonight at the Firehouse Lounge. It looked like a good time was had by all and it was nice to put a few more faces to names. Hopefully, we’ll continue this next month (preferably some place with tons of heat, guys, as it will be mega cold) and have a few more come out. Blogfest 16 is this Friday, so if you’re in the Burgh and you like social media, come on down. Yes, it’s the same night as Light Up Night, but we can drink, yak, and then go watch fireworks.

3. I had my first donation for my little experiment. THANK YOU – you know who you are. I’m only $105 away from my fundraising goal. Won’t you help someone in need this holiday season?

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OK, can we make an effort to move on from this Motrin bitch fest? The online ads are being pulled and those in print will follow eventually. An apology has been issued and I’m sure the company is going to be much more careful. If this is what was wanted, congratulations, you’ve succeeded. Now what?

How are we going to harness all this power for good? There are far more important things in this world to worry about than a questionably offensive advertisement. Hell, I think (and there are others who’d agree with me) that there are far more offensive ads that have seen the light of day, yet I can’t seem to recall anyone really making a fuss over them.

I want to focus on something that is bigger than you, bigger than me, and bigger than all of the kerfuffle that is still plaguing the Twitter stream – people who don’t even have the luxury of engaging in this conversation because their worries are far less trivial. They worry about where they’re going to find the money for heat, warm winter clothing, whether they can have a Thanksgiving meal next week, or even afford Christmas gifts next month. They might sit behind an avatar online, but they’re in your neighborhood – on the other side of town, across the street, even next door. They are the people who matter most and I want to try an experiment. I want you to help me help them. I want us to help them together.

We know the economy is in a slump and people are tightening their wallets, which means many organizations are downsizing or looking for other cost-cutting measures. For nonprofit organizations that heavily depend on public and private donors, this could spell disaster.

The unfortunate aspect with a worsening economy is that the need for assistance has gone up, with those who may have never utilized help from charitable organizations finding themselves turning to them in desperation. The Salvation Army is just one example of organizations that are facing these issues right now.

I can speak from personal experience (disclosure: I worked for a TSA office briefly) that TSA, armed with a simple mission of “doing the most good,” is very much committed to making the world a better place and helping to ease the struggles that people face every day. Although its most famous fundraising tactic, the Red Kettle Campaign, doesn’t officially kick off until Nov. 27, it doesn’t mean that the organization doesn’t need your help now – many offices have already started to roll out the red kettles and bells early.

Locally, we’re seeing a shortfall (at least in my county) of at least $200,000 while need is increasing, and I’m sure if you looked at your own area offices, you’d see the same thing. Last year, I participated in the roll-out of a online initiative that would take the red kettle from the streets to the internet. I had my own kettle, but didn’t do much with it as there were so many distractions going on at the time.

I’m not giving up. It’s time to try this again.

I’d like to ask the community to put its power to good use and help me out. I’m starting small with a fundraising goal of $125, but would love to be able to give a much larger donation. As cliche as it sounds, every cent counts. You can even start your own!

If people can make noise about an ad, they can surely spare a dime or two  or fundraise to help those less fortunate … right?

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Today is the last day for the Flight 93 Memorial Fund click-through extravaganza over at Burgh Baby. (I mentioned the month-long initiative in my recent 9/11 post). I’m really trying to drive the point home because this is in the name of helping to preserve the memory of those who lost their lives on 9/11/2001.

The advertising revenue is based on page views, so please visit the site and read the posts. If you have young children, I’m sure you can certainly relate. Here’s a post about co-sleeping with spouses, kids and furry animals to get you started. No joke, I literally rolled around laughing my head off as I read it last night. (Sorry, lady)!

Help me, help M at Burgh Baby. Help us remember those who gave and lost their lives seven years ago.

Thank you.

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For more than 126 years, people around the world have joined The Salvation Army in helping those who are in need. A simple red kettle and the ringing of a bell have since become synonymous with holiday giving. This year, The Salvation Army is pleased to introduce a new initiative that takes the drive from the streets to the World Wide Web. With the introduction of the Online Red Kettle, the organization continues to promote its message of “Doing The Most Good,” while forging ahead into the continuously growing realm of online giving.

Simple to operate, safe and secure, the Online Red Kettle allows individuals, companies and groups to create and maintain their own virtual kettles without experiencing the winter chill. Registrants are able to customize their kettle pages, set their own fundraising goals and invite friends, family and colleagues to donate or create their own kettles. Donors will have the option of designating their donations to go to a specific Salvation Army Corps, organizational program or zip code.

The fundraising drive has officially started. To learn more about the Online Red Kettle campaign, visit www.onlineredkettle.org.

I have one set up as well right over here: http://sausa.convio.net/goto/jnschooley

Just remember, a little goes a long way.

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Editor’s note: OK, so I’m a little late with this. I forgot all about posting it. Whoops! Apologies. Please be sure to check it out.  Who really couldn’t use a vacation right now?! Proceeds will benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. As you will find, Ms. Small’s endeavor helped to raise money last year for LLS. ::plug, plug:: Thanks to Melissa over @ YPRP for the tip & copy!

Make a donation, take a vacation”: Travel auction benefits cancer research

Stacy Small, who operates Elite Travel International, is launching her second annual Trips for Cancer campaign, an online luxury travel auction. All proceeds from the event will benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

The auction goes live on March 1-26, 2007 at: www.tripsforcancer.com.  Major hotels/travel companies that have already donated packages to this year’s campaign, include: Continental Airlines, Montage Laguna Beach Hotel (Laguna, Calif.), Princeville Resort (Kauai, Hawaii), Park Hyatt Sydney (Australia) and Badrutt’s Palace (St. Moritz, Switzerland).

Last year’s campaign raised nearly 90k for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Please visit www.tripsforcancer.com to “Make a donation, take a vacation.”

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