Friday, July 17, 2009

Just Give

I just found a great resource for fundraising and philanthropic efforts. is a website that links to over 1.5 million charities and makes it easy to give by category or location. You can set up single or recurring donations and gift donations. They run these transactions privately and securely; plus they will make tax time easier by setting up a complete list of all your donations.

Additionally non-profits can utilize JustGive to collect donations for their organization. This potentially cuts a large amount of administrative work at a nominal expense. You can add a button to your website for free and it will collect donations, take care of tax information and provide online donor reports.

In the non-profit sector we are so reliant upon donations, I recently wondered about the reciprocity of others' generosity. I am determined that part of my new adventures include more philanthropy- of money and self. Interestingly the JustGive website give the following guideline on giving:

How Much to Give

What's the Average?
The average American gives about 3.1% of their income (before taxes) to charity, an increase from previous years but still well below the traditional 10% "tithe" for charity recommended by religious institutions.

Who Gives the Most?
The people that give the most actually make the least. Households earning under $10,000 a year -- far below the poverty line -- gave 5.2% of their income to charity. That's a larger percentage of their money than any other income group.

What's the Bottom line?
The average household donates $1,620 each year. That's just three dollars a day. Learn more.

You Make the Difference:
Did you know that individuals give 75% of all the money that charities receive? If we all give our fair share, no one will go hungry and no child will grow up in poverty. Sound idealistic? Everything depends on how we spend our money.

Give 5!
While 3.1% is the average, there is a movement to give more. Independent Sector, a coalition of nearly 800 corporations, foundations, and private voluntary organizations, is encouraging us to "Give 5" -- donate 5% of our income and volunteer 5 hours of our time each week.

It All Adds Up:
The amount of money and time that we alone can give may seem small but together as part of a national -- even global -- giving movement we are able to make dramatic changes in the quality of life on this small planet.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


The first three letters of these two words are the same, but rarely do these two words share much in common. Fundraising is a necessary part of a dance project or companies existence. Ticket revenue, or earned revenue, rarely comes close to recouping the costs of labor, music rights, costume and marketing a show. Growing the audience base is one component to making a show financially successful, but equally, "making the ask" is part of the equation.

I am currently working with a summer company in the beautiful blue ridge mountains of North Carolina called Terpsicorps. Under the direction of former North Carolina Dance Theater member, Heather Maloy, Terpsicorps really does things a little different....and makes fundraising FUN!

First the company is set up as a summer only experience. It therefore employes dancers who are off contract from other companies around the country. Terpsicorps' budget is smaller than a typical ballet company by the abbreviated season as well. (The dancers are generously hosted by families and dance supporters in the Asheville area.) It serves to provide dance to the mid-sized community of Asheville, NC and also attracts the influx of summer tourists.

Some of the FUN we have had this summer included a pre-release screening of "Every Little Step" a documentary on the making and re-making of A Chorus Line. And next, including commercial to promote it, the BOWL-A-THON!

Yes, dancers and fun lovers bowling together for a cause. And to prove the fun that has already been had and what other fun will come is a commercial:

And if you feel so inclined, you can support this event- even from afar- and pledge here. Check out the slick custom designed website that accepts your pledges online- another wave of the future.

Fun Fundraising really does exist!