One of the things I love about working in this community is that a lot of organizations are willing to play in the same sandbox to help the community at large.
We work a lot with several different organizations such as Rotary clubs, school districts and nonprofits like the Betty Kwan Chinn Day Center and Waterfront Recovery Services. Don’t get me wrong, there have been certainly been a few organizations that we’ve come across that make it known that they don’t play well with others, but that doesn’t stop us from trying.
It’s important we all work together. Recently, I attended the city’s strategic visioning, and one of the priorities that came up was to develop some sort of plan to work together with some of the local community organizations. We thought we’d get the conversation going by offering a free workshop.
Free is important, because everyone who works in the business of serving people is always needing money to do so effectively. I’ve written before about the challenges of fundraising. They’re either too small to be worth the effort or it has such a huge impact on staff time that it’s taking away from the work that you’re trying to raise money for. There’s also only so much money to go around, aside from Lemonade Day, where you should stop at every lemonade stand that you see. There are only so many lemons out in the community to squeeze a buck out of and nobody’s cause is really worth more than anybody else’s cause, especially if its goal is to work for the better of our community and the people in it.
The Community Access Project for Eureka, a project that I oversee that works with disadvantaged members of the community, has always been funded outside of the city’s general fund, so we’ve had to get real creative to find funding while also not impacting staff time or the quality of the work we’re doing.
I’ve always been proud to say that simply out of default and a desperate need, we wound up developing innovative and effective strategies to raising funds. These include partnering with outside organizations, getting donations and coming up with new models that have very minimal impact on staff time.
This is where we want to share our learning lessons with other organizations, or even people in the community who want to get the benefit of our trial and error process and lessons we’ve come out with on the other side.
So, I’d like to invite you to our workshop, “Innovative Fundraising Solutions.” It takes place Monday at Eureka City Hall in the council chambers at 531 K St. at 6 p.m.
I’ll be on hand, as well as other CAPE staff, going over some of the things that have worked for us and sharing strategies for things we think can work for everybody. Then, hopefully we’ll get the ball rolling so we can all collaborate as a community. Hope to see you there.
Brian S. Millett is a project manager for the city of Eureka, and can be reached at email@example.com.