WBEZ | fundraising http://www.wbez.org/tags/fundraising Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Obama’s lame letters don’t help as Romney out-fundraises president, again http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-07/obama%E2%80%99s-lame-letters-don%E2%80%99t-help-romney-out-fundraises-president-again <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP120710141785.jpg" style="height: 290px; width: 400px; float: left; " title="President Obama at a recent rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (AP/file)" /></div><p>You&rsquo;ve probably heard by now that Mitt Romney and the Republicans have swept the fundraising floor with Barack Obama and the Dems for the second month in a row, beating them this time by&nbsp;<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-campaign-shrugs-off-reports-of-romneys-fundraising-advantage/2012/07/10/gJQAlcvTbW_story.html">a whopping $35 million</a>.<br /><br />&quot;People understand that the path that President Obama is taking us on is one of socialism,&rdquo; said Daniel Dumezich,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/romney-surpasses-obama-in-june-fundraising/2012/07/09/gJQA6RMZYW_story.html">one of the Mitt&rsquo;s Hoosier fundraising co-chairs</a>. &quot;If he keeps advancing the causes of illegal aliens and those kinds of issues, then I think, yes, Gov. Romney will keep raising more money.&rdquo;<br /><br />Lord knows we&rsquo;re in deep trouble if that&rsquo;s why&nbsp;<a href="http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0712/78319.html">Romney&rsquo;s beating Obama</a>&nbsp;so badly.</p><p>Personally, I think it has something to do with Barack&rsquo;s fundraising letters. There&rsquo;s just something really whiny and flat about them. Just look at this one:<br /><br /><em>&nbsp;Friend&nbsp;</em><em>&mdash;</em><br /><br /><em><em>We&#39;re getting outraised -- a first for a sitting president, if this continues. Not just by the super &nbsp;PACs and outside groups that are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into misleading ads, but by our opponent and the Republican Party, which just outraised us for the second month in a row.</em><br /><br /><em>We can win a race in which the other side spends more than we do. But not this much more.</em><br /><br /><em>So I need your help. If you believe that regular people should decide elections, then please chip in $3 or more today.</em><br /><br /><em>This isn&#39;t about me or the outcome of one election.</em><br /><br /><em>This election will be a test of the model that got us here. We&#39;ll learn whether it&#39;s still true that a grassroots campaign can elect a president -- whether ordinary Americans are in control of our democracy in the face of massive spending.</em><br /><br /><em>I believe we can do this. When all of us chip in what we can, when we can, we are the most powerful force in politics.</em><br /><br /><em>But today is the day to prove it. Donate now:</em></em><br /><br />&nbsp;</p><p>Or this one:<br /><br /><br /><em>Friend&nbsp;</em><em>&mdash;</em><br /><br /><em><em>Today is one of the most important fundraising deadlines of this campaign so far.</em><br /><br /><em>We might not outraise Mitt Romney.</em><br /><br /><em>But I am determined to keep the margin close enough that we can win this election the right way.</em><br /><br /><em>To do that I need your help today.</em><br /><br /><em>Please donate $3 or more before tonight&#39;s deadline.</em><br /><br /><em>The stakes in this election are real. Thanks for all your support so far.</em><br /><br /><em>Good week.</em><br /><br /><em>Barack</em></em><br /><br />What a bunch of tripe, no? (&quot;Good week&quot;?&nbsp;<em>Really?</em>) These are as uninspired and cliché-ridden an effort as I&rsquo;ve ever seen. Take out &ldquo;Barack&rdquo; and it could be any Joe running for any office.<br /><br />Here&rsquo;s a suggestion, for free, to the Obama campaign: Try being a little more honest and a little less proud.<br /><br />Consider, for example, acknowledging that the economy is not great right now, and that you know that even $3 might be a bit much to ask for. You can follow it up with some poetry about how it&rsquo;s an investment in the future, that you need four more years and a Democratic congress to get us to a better place but&nbsp;<em>&mdash;</em>&nbsp;for God&rsquo;s sake, man&nbsp;<em>&mdash;</em>&nbsp;just say you know it&nbsp;<em>hurts</em>.</p></p> Fri, 13 Jul 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-07/obama%E2%80%99s-lame-letters-don%E2%80%99t-help-romney-out-fundraises-president-again The five faux essentials to a successful nonprofit, and the necessity of boards http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-24/praise-having-board-directors-93380 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-October/2011-10-24/boardofdirectors_flickr_Metro Transportation Library and Archive.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A new <a href="http://www.ssireview.org/opinion/entry/five_investments_you_can_skip">piece in the Stanford Social Innovation Review</a> argues that there are five things&nbsp;considered essential to the success of nonprofits that are, in fact, wastes of time. The author is&nbsp;wrong about every one of them (Don’t use volunteers? Skip social media?) but he’s especially&nbsp;wrong about Boards of Directors, of which he says,</p><blockquote><p>There is a tremendously high fixed cost to training your board to facilitate donations (in kind or cash). If your board can’t generate a large part of your budget (say, 20 percent), you are likely to find them getting in the way of fundraising success...</p></blockquote><p>I started thinking about this in connection with theaters when I chatted last week with the chair of&nbsp;a local theater Board, who was extolling the virtues of the master-carpenter Board member&nbsp;who’d built the theater and the advertising-executive Board member who’d created its awareness campaign. “We started out with all attorneys and CPAs,” he said, “and then we figured out that we needed people who could actually do something useful.”</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" height="350" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-24/boardofdirectors_flickr_Metro Transportation Library and Archive.jpg" title="A very old board of directors. (Flickr/Metro Transportation Library and Archive)" width="500"></p><p style="text-align: left;">Very funny, and he’s right, of course, that Boards should include a diversity of skills. But here’s&nbsp;the deal: if you regard any member of your Board as unable to do something useful, or the Board as a whole as a waste of time, that means you’re wasting your Board. These volunteers who can represent your performance group to the wider community, and who’ve pledged to help you secure the resources you need to go on performing, are absolutely essential to your success. Does anyone imagine Chicago Shakespeare would have a space on Navy Pier without its Board’s efforts and connections? Or that TimeLine would be raking in the accolades without a group of people devoted to providing the infrastructure for the company’s excellent work? There are dozens of other examples, and very few counter-examples–because the companies with lousy Boards simply aren’t around anymore.<br> <br> Yes, of course you have to train them–no one is born knowing how to be a nonprofit Board member, and you can’t just say, “Raise money” and leave them to their own devices. But training them is remarkably easy–most Board members, after all, want to do a great job–and if you think you don’t have the expertise to do it yourself, ask the Arts Work Fund for a grant to bring in a trainer. (I have nothing to gain from giving this advice: though I do this kind of work, I don’t do it for theater or dance companies.) Every member of your Board can do something useful; it’s your job (Managing/Artistic Director) to make sure they know what it is and how they’re supposed to do it.<br> <br> Some years ago the Whitney Museum received a remarkable gift from its Board of Directors: a significant painting from each of their private collections. I was praising Boards to a skeptical theater manager using this particular example, and she said, “Why didn’t I think of that? We’ll just run downstairs and haul out our Monets.” But whether your Board is big money or just big effort, it’s the shoulders you're standing on to reach the stage.<br> <br> So: have you hugged your Board today?</p></p> Mon, 24 Oct 2011 11:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-24/praise-having-board-directors-93380 What the Mayor might have said at the Goodman http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-16/what-mayor-might-have-said-goodman-92109 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-September/2011-09-19/goodman theatre_flickr_mikewarot.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Dueling Critics and a whole crowd of those who are otherwise night folks assembled at the Goodman at dawn (well, 8 a.m.) last Thursday for what was billed as a major important announcement, complete with mayor. (These days no announcement is major-important unless the mayor is there. Conversely, if the mayor is there we're all primed to think that the announcement is major-important. Presumably this Pavlovian response among the press will wear off soon.)&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-19/goodman theatre_flickr_mikewarot.jpg" style="margin-left: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: right; width: 304px; height: 400px;" title="(Flickr/Mike Warot)">Jonathan and I spent a considerable amount of time speculating about the nature of the announcement: was the mayor going to give the Goodman a supplementary site--maybe the McDonald's across the street? Close off Dearborn to turn the downtown theater district into a pedestrian mall? Announce a plan for the Goodman to co-fund the CityArts program so smaller theaters could thrive with city help as the Goodman has?</p><p>But the announcement was nothing more than that the theater is two-thirds of the way toward its goal of raising $15 million and is therefore confident enough of being able to do so that they're ready to "announce" an endowment campaign. An endowment will make sure there's perpetual support for the theater's work in developing new plays, encouraging non-white artists, doing outreach and education, keeping the building up to date and so forth. Professional practice in these matters is not to mention that you're trying to raise money until you've already raised most of it, at which point you can do what Rahm did at the Goodman: point a finger at the audience and say, "Finish the job!" As far as major-important announcements go, I coulda stood in bed.</p><p>But imagine a different scenario. (Spooky alternative-reality music here.) Say the Goodman calls us all down there to hear Rahm announce the city's latest generous gift to the theater: the land on which its building sits. Rahm the Liberator frees the theater from its onerous $1-a-year rent payment to the city, and simply hands over the land. What generosity! What public-private partnership! What a deal!</p><p>But then imagine that Rahm goes to the Illinois Department of Revenue and asks it to decide that the now-property-owning Goodman should be the now-property-taxpaying Goodman. No matter that the theater is a nonprofit: if it's not a "charity" under the Illinois Constitution, the Goodman's trustees will need to turn their attention from raising endowment to raising money to pay taxes on one of the most valuable chunks of land in the city. Imagine Bob Falls in a gorgeous velvet dress made out of theater curtains, pleading with Rhett, uh, Rahm: <em>"I need $300,000 to pay the taxes on Tara!"</em>&nbsp;Yet the mayor would appear amazingly generous, giving this poor little theater its home.&nbsp;<em>"I can't pay the rent!" "But you must pay the rent!" "I'll give you the deed and you won't have to pay the rent</em>," says Dudley Do-Rahm.</p><p>Most likely no such scheme was ever contemplated. But perhaps the press event's emphasis on outreach ("Look at how many tickets we give away!"="Look how charitable we are!") was designed to protect against something like it. Falls and Roche Schulfer didn't get where they are by being fools; they'd know enough to look this particular gift horse in the mouth if she ever came trotting over from City Hall.&nbsp; On the other hand, declining a donation is a complicated thing, and crossing a Mayor who's used to having his own way is no joke.&nbsp;</p><p>Stay tuned for future developments--which will almost certainly (spooky alternative-reality music here) look nothing like any of us can imagine. &nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 16 Sep 2011 22:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-16/what-mayor-might-have-said-goodman-92109 Rahm and the Illinois DREAM ACT http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2011-05-16/rahm-and-illinois-dream-act-86606 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/dream_act2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-December/2010-12-09/dream_act2.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 338px;" title=""></p><p>There’s an excellent chance that Illinois will pass its own DREAM ACT when it goes to the state House now that the Senate has sent it on with bipartisan support. The thing is – it’s important to understand that this bill has very little to do with immigration.</p><p>In effect, if and when it passes the House (Gov. Quinn has already committed to signing it), the state will loosen eligibility for state-sponsored tuition savings programs (that is, previously ineligible folks will be able to put their own money – not state revenues, not new taxes – into special savings accounts for college), school counselors will get some training in actually doing their job better, and the state will help administer what, in the end, will be a private scholarship fund.</p><p>Of significance is Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s support on the matter. During the mayoral campaign, Emanuel proposed a very similar program. If and when this bill becomes law, here’s how Mayor Emanuel can help: By using all that fundraising prowess of his to kickstart the program with significant contributions, perhaps even one of his own.</p><p>This is a financial program, after all, that will only help immigrant students &nbsp;-- most of whom are ineligible for any other kind of college aid -- if there’s money in the kitty.</p></p> Mon, 16 May 2011 18:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2011-05-16/rahm-and-illinois-dream-act-86606 Film explores effects Chicago’s Plan for Transformation on former Cabrini Green residents http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/film-explores-effects-chicago%E2%80%99s-plan-transformation-former-cabrini-green-residents <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Cabrini Scott Olson Getty.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>At the end of last year, the final residents living in Chicago&rsquo;s most famous housing project moved out. And building by building, the demolition of Cabrini Green continues. The community that was created there, just west of the Gold Coast, has been well documented.<br /><br />Filmmaker <a href="http://www.ronitfilms.com/" target="_blank">Ronit Bezalel</a> first began filming residents in the '90s. &quot;<a href="http://ronitfilms.com/films/voicesofcabrini.html" target="_blank">Voices of Cabrini</a>&quot; was the first result &ndash; a half-hour long documentary that took a candid look at Cabrini through the eyes of its residents. Now, more than a decade later, Bezalel and her team are working on a follow-up film, &quot;<a href="http://ronitfilms.com/films/mixingitup.html" target="_blank">Cabrini Green: Mixing It Up</a>.&quot;<br /><br />A key voice in both films is co-producer and former Cabrini resident <a href="http://mixingitupfilm.blogspot.com/p/people.html" target="_blank">Mark Pratt</a>. Pratt and Ronit are nearing the end of a fundraising project for the film, and joined &quot;Eight Forty-Eight&quot; in studio to talk about their film in progress.</p></p> Thu, 20 Jan 2011 15:28:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/film-explores-effects-chicago%E2%80%99s-plan-transformation-former-cabrini-green-residents What Does Daley's Campaign Cash Say About 2011? http://www.wbez.org/shudzik/2009/07/what-does-daleys-campaign-cash-say-about-2011/4877 <p>Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has not yet said if he's running for reelection in 2011. And don't look for an announcement anytime soon. The mayor officially kicked-off his last four campaigns (see chart below) in the December before the election, around the time ballot petitions are due. If history's any guide, that gives us about 17 months before the official word. So to look for clues, we look at the cash. How much did Daley's campaign raise in the past six months compared to the same time period in his last four election cycles? (Note -- I didn't include the 1991 race, because it was a shortened cycle. Daley won a special election in 1989.) <style type="text/css"> table.tableizer-table {border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 11px;} .tableizer-table td {padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc;} .tableizer-table th {background-color: #8C1010; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold;} </style> <table class="tableizer-table"> <tr class="tableizer-firstrow"><th>For election year:</th><th>Daley officially announced his campaign on:</th><th>We looked at the mid-year report from:</th><th>Daley's campaign reported receipts totaling this in the previous 6 months:</th><th>And had this much cash-on-hand at mid-year:</th></tr> <tr><td>2011</td><td>N/A</td><td>2009</td><td>$21,001.78 </td><td>$2,202,089.05 </td></tr> <tr><td>2007</td><td>11-Dec-06</td><td>2005</td><td>$32,052.09 </td><td>$2,571,310.67 </td></tr> <tr><td>2003</td><td>9-Dec-02</td><td>2001</td><td>$195,496.46 </td><td>$1,867,189.08 </td></tr> <tr><td>1999</td><td>8-Dec-98</td><td>1997</td><td>$1,509,167.82 </td><td>$2,098,252.77 </td></tr> <tr><td>1995</td><td>8-Dec-94</td><td>1993</td><td>$999,451.40 </td><td>$1,505,592.44 </td></tr></table> Source: Illinois State Board of Elections A big number for fundraising in the last six months could have indicated Daley was gearing up for something. But the tiny number his campaign reported yesterday doesn't mean he's not running. The $21-grand in receipts over the past six months (none of it from contributions; all of it in interest payments from banks) looks a lot like the same time period in the last election cycle. Keep in mind, the big Daley money rolls in closer to the election. Take a look at <a href="http://www.ilcampaign.org/blog/2007/02/contributions-to-mayor-daleys-campaign.html" target="_blank">this archival gem</a> from the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. What do you think? Is the mayor going to run in 2011, and who would challenge him? And how much does the outcome of the city's bid to host the 2016 Olympics figure into the decision?</p> Tue, 21 Jul 2009 10:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/shudzik/2009/07/what-does-daleys-campaign-cash-say-about-2011/4877