Listening to Serve

In AftA Thoughts (2013): II, I suggested a question that can aid the transition to a community-oriented approach to the work of the arts: "How can we help?" In the aftermath of the June's Americans for the Arts conference in Pittsburgh and the One State Together conference in Moline, another "way of thinking" phrase that has potential for guiding us toward greater relevance has been crystallizing in my mind. In my Mainstreaming Engagement … [Read more...]

Engaged Mission: III

I’d like to take a different approach to consideration of mission in this post from the previous two. This one is less directly about the relationship between mission and community engagement (although two of the examples deal, very explicitly, with that). What I’m interested in here is the power that can come from factoring market realities into adopting a mission. Identifying a valuable market niche and staking your mission there can yield … [Read more...]

Engaged Mission: II

In Engaged Mission: I, I suggested that service to people is/ought to be a fundamental element of the understanding of our mission, whether or not it is formally articulated in a mission statement. I think that is probably not too controversial. It’s the extent of the service and the way we carry it out that could be a little more challenging for us. In the simplistic graphic I presented last time, I tried to show that art as only service … [Read more...]

Engaged Mission: I

MissionContinuum

When I first outlined my series of posts on mainstreaming community engagement I had not intended to address mission. I did not want to (nor did I think it necessary) to “take on” the definition of our core principles in addressing modes of mainstreaming engagement. However, as the posts and associated workshops have developed, I have come to the realization that, while I don’t necessarily advocate for rewriting “mission statements,” there is a … [Read more...]

Engaged Fundraising: II

When last we met, I talked about community engaged fundraising providing the option of gaining us access to more diverse funding sources. [Engaged Fundraising: I (More Pies)] Here, I am revisiting the "math" of a former post (Arts 2.0: 40k x $25=$1M) in which I waxed rhapsodic about the potential of crowdsourced fundraising. (NB: As yet another reminder, in these mainstreaming engagement posts I am addressing only those individuals or … [Read more...]

Engaged Fundraising: I (More Pies)

Pies

There is probably no element of the nonprofit arts management structure that better understands the importance of relationships than the development department. Fundraisers spend their life initiating, fostering, and maintaining relationships with individual donors, corporate sponsors, and foundations. Especially with respect to individual donors, they have great clarity about the fact that effective relationship building takes time, often … [Read more...]

Engaged Marketing: Sales

I am in the process of considering marketing as part of my ongoing series on mainstreaming community engagement–figuring out how to be engaged without adding a lot of new "stuff" to do. Here, I want to discuss how the sales process can be "engaging." (NB: In posts on mainstreaming engagement, I am addressing only those individuals or organizations that want broader and deeper relationships with their communities but are uncertain how to begin … [Read more...]

Engaged Marketing: Research

In my ongoing effort to imagine arts management structures/practices/programs in a community engagement context (what I call mainstreaming engagement), I'm in the midst of several posts attempting to do that with marketing. In the beginning (Engaged Marketing: Introduction), I discussed (with myself) what marketing is–a task not without its own difficulties. (My conclusions, grossly oversimplified, were that 1) Marketing included but was not … [Read more...]

Engaged Marketing: Introduction

Bazaar

Talk about "where angels fear to tread." OK, I'm going to start a series of posts dealing with marketing from a community engagement perspective. I simply ask for a little forbearance. I believe my difficulty is that people have in their heads so many different ideas about what marketing is. I began some of my early comments in this blog with what I now acknowledge to be a somewhat narrow (though largely unconscious) understanding that … [Read more...]

A Board of Engagers

Previously (The Board as Engagers), I discussed considering one role of the board to be that of relationship engine. That would lead recruitment processes to include relationship capital as one criteria for membership. I also acknowledged, at the end, that that might not be immediately possible, practical, or even advisable in all situations and promised an alternative. That's what we're about here. (NB: In posts on mainstreaming engagement, I … [Read more...]