Blog Archives

Tool Box: The Arts Index

tool boxWhile I would love to tell you that I sprang full-grown from the foam of the artistic sea, I actually earned my degree in geology and English Composition. Part of that research scientist nerdiness is still with me, however, and development research makes me drool a little. Ok, a lot.

So when The Arts Index (a project of Americans for the Arts) came to my attention, I was super stoked. Not only was it a research project, but its data is readily useable by those who need it. (As much as I love research, I admit that getting relevant findings to the public in a useable way is often an issue.)

Read on for more about this tool…

Devil’s Advocate: Why I Hate Arts Advocacy Day

fight or give upDon’t jump all over me. I didn’t say I hate the Arts, or advocacy, or even Arts advocacy. I am all for those things. But Arts Advocacy Day, not so much. (Though I do have to say, this poster is, frankly, pretty marvy.)

I suppose I should qualify my statement a little bit. It’s not so much that I hate the idea of Arts Advocacy Day. Often, people go into it with the wrong mindset, and that bugs me. I used to be one of those people. I would arrive home from a day in Albany, NY (our state capital, and a four-hour round trip) frustrated and tired because I didn’t feel like I had even made a dent. It’s easy to get discouraged as a young professional who is passionate about your cause. You’ll rarely find a representative that is as passionate about it, but it’s (usually) not because they don’t care.

I used to be an advocate for environmental causes in college, and I worked as a canvasser for Citizens Campaign for the Environment for a time. I get it, I do. I know what advocacy accomplishes and why we do it.

There is a fine line between solidarity and white noise. If you go to Advocacy Day to tell your reps anything about your own organization, you can almost guarantee it will get drowned out by the sheer volume of stories that they are hearing that day. Representatives and their assistants (the good ones, anyway, of which the ones in my district fortunately are) do listen and want to help, but they’re not superhuman.

Wouldn’t you love to keep reading? Please do…

10 Tips: LinkedIn Groups for Development Professionals

i-love-linkedinIn the world of social media, LinkedIn may not be the first network that comes to mind. If you haven’t yet signed up, and value your work as a professional, it may be worth a look. LinkedIn is populated with a wide range of workers and job seekers, rookies and veterans, men and women who are seriously interested in furthering their careers and making connections.

My own LinkedIn story is probably much like that of many users. I am considered a bit of an “early adopter” by my friends, and when I heard of the network in my first year in development, I signed up. I found my mentor there (Gary, who lives in Arizona and was a huge help while I was starting out), and I joined some discussion groups and made connections with my connections’ connections. As you can expect, it didn’t take long for all those connections to add up!

In my travels on LinkedIn, I have run across several discussion groups that may be helpful to those of you who work in, or are interested in, the nonprofit development industry. Though some are more specific, many are general spaces where an individual can start a conversation about the topic of their choice. Here they are, in no particular order.

Click here for the full list.