April 22, 2014
Banff, AB –The Banff Centre Board of Directors has announced its reaffirmation of the 2013 Strategic Plan and that it is being fully implemented and represents an exciting direction and new opportunities. This plan was prepared in conjunction with the Board by the President and his team. It represents many changes for the Centre as it embarks on a bold vision, designed to create a great place for sharing art and ideas with the world.
The Board recently announced the resignation of its President Jeff Melanson. Board Chair Brenda Mackie notes, “The Board is disappointed to see Jeff leave but understands the personal matters driving Jeff’s decision and acknowledges that his tenure has set an exciting direction for the Centre.”
Jeff will work with a team to create a transition program over the next number of months along with focusing on donor relations and to onboard the newly appointed Vice President of The Peter Lougheed Leadership Institute.
The Board will issue a Request For Proposal to secure an executive search firm that will be mandated to conduct a comprehensive and transparent process in recruiting the next President of the Centre. A Board committee has been struck and will guide this process.
The Banff Centre’s Strategic plan includes five institutional priorities:
1. Securing funding to enable tuition-free access for participants of arts residencies and programs;
2. Re-imagining leadership development offerings as The Peter Lougheed Leadership Institute;
3. Increasing general access to the art and ideas created in Banff through a digital and events-based dissemination strategy;
4. Renewing the campus, including working with our partners to create public presentation and education facilities in downtown Banff; and,
5. Advancing our contribution to applied research with our Campus Alberta partners and additional partners including BIRS, CIFAR, and others.
“We are delighted to be moving forward with all of these priority initiatives with our talented team of artistic and management/administrative staff members,” concluded Mackie.
The future is very exciting. Board and staff members are unified in our bold vision. Dedicated to sharing the art and ideas created at The Banff Centre, we are all still dreaming big, and working on behalf of, and with, artists, researchers and leaders to make the impossible possible.
New York Times, by Jeremy Rifkin, March 15, 2014
WE are beginning to witness a paradox at the heart of capitalism, one that has propelled it to greatness but is now threatening its future: The inherent dynamism of competitive markets is bringing costs so far down that many goods and services are becoming nearly free, abundant, and no longer subject to market forces. While economists have always welcomed a reduction in marginal cost, they never anticipated the possibility of a technological revolution that might bring those costs to near zero.
The first inkling of the paradox came in 1999 when Napster, the music service, developed a network enabling millions of people to share music without paying the producers and artists, wreaking havoc on the music industry. Similar phenomena went on to severely disrupt the newspaper and book publishing industries. Consumers began sharing their own information and entertainment, via videos, audio and text, nearly free, bypassing the traditional markets altogether.
The huge reduction in marginal cost shook those industries and is now beginning to reshape energy, manufacturing and education. Although the fixed costs of solar and wind technology are somewhat pricey, the cost of capturing each unit of energy beyond that is low. This phenomenon has even penetrated the manufacturing sector. Thousands of hobbyists are already making their own products using 3-D printers, open-source software and recycled plastic as feedstock, at near zero marginal cost. Meanwhile, more than six million students are enrolled in free massive open online courses, the content of which is distributed at near zero marginal cost.
Industry watchers acknowledge the creeping reality of a zero-marginal-cost economy, but argue that free products and services will entice a sufficient number of consumers to purchase higher-end goods and specialized services, ensuring large enough profit margins to allow the capitalist market to continue to grow. But the number of people willing to pay for additional premium goods and services is limited.
Now the phenomenon is about to affect the whole economy. A formidable new technology infrastructure — the Internet of Things — is emerging with the potential to push much of economic life to near zero marginal cost over the course of the next two decades. This new technology platform is beginning to connect everything and everyone. Today more than 11 billion sensors are attached to natural resources, production lines, the electricity grid, logistics networks and recycling flows, and implanted in homes, offices, stores and vehicles, feeding big data into the Internet of Things. By 2020, it is projected that at least 50 billion sensors will connect to it.
[...] THE unresolved question is, how will this economy of the future function when millions of people can make and share goods and services nearly free? The answer lies in the civil society, which consists of nonprofit organizations that attend to the things in life we make and share as a community. In dollar terms, the world of nonprofits is a powerful force.
ArtsPool is a project of The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York dedicated to developing a next-generation management framework that will reorganize how artists and organizations do their administrative work. ArtsPool will provide a hyper-efficient, shared system for accessing tools, policies, best practices, knowledge, and skilled labor. Governed by the organizations it serves, ArtsPool will initially support three key infrastructure services.
A team of ArtsPool managers works with your staff to ensure that the right job is getting done at the right time and in the best possible way. You will no longer waste valuable time, money, and headspace trying to keep up with best practices, changing technologies, and regulatory requirements.
A mobile, flexible labor pool allows you to expand and contract your personnel dynamically as needed. ArtsPool managers provide direct training and oversight for workers in the pool to ensure that work is completed quickly and accurately.
A web-based information and management portal provides you with a real-time, accurate picture of your finances, active projects, task reminders, and compliance status, allowing you to take action on the fly, even when on the go.
THE ARTFUL MANAGER
January 31, 2014 by Andrew Taylor on the business of arts and culture
Last week I had the pleasure of keynoting the CAPACOA conference in Toronto – a charming bundle of Canadian performing arts presenters, managers, artists, and related professionals. The topic, as assigned, was curiosity. Which led me to wonder a few things: what is curiosity, how does it work, and what might a cultural manager do differently if he or she knew some answers to question one and two?
The Oxford English Dictionary offers two current subjective uses of the word (ignoring for now the objective). One positive: “The desire or inclination to know or learn about anything, esp. what is novel or strange; a feeling of interest leading one to inquire about anything.” One decidedly sinister: “The disposition to inquire too minutely into anything; undue or inquisitive desire to know or learn.”
So, curiosity can drive us to learn more about our world and its inhabitants, sometimes things it’s not our business to know. We all want our audiences and communities to be more curious, particularly about our work and the things we care about. But we don’t want the fickle and salacious curiosity that would draw them quickly elsewhere.
For our conversation, I adopted and adapted a definition from behavioral psychology (specifically from Carnegie Mellon’s George Loewenstein):
Curiosity is the hunger that arises when attention becomes focused on a gap in what you know.
The frame offers several useful insights:
ARTS JOURNAL BLOGS
January 6, 2014 by Diane Ragsdale
Happy New Year! This is a condensed and slightly adapted version of a short talk I gave in October at an event called Blowup: Innovation in Extreme Scenarios, hosted by a hub organization called V2, located in Rotterdam.
INNOVATION TO WHAT END?
I predicted in an article I wrote in 2005 that “innovation” would become the next buzz word to emerge in US funding applications and I was right. Predicting the rise of innovation hardly required super human insight. The whole world was striving to innovate—even before the great recession. And over the past few years the hunt for the next great product for the as yet untapped market has become ever-more-desperate.
Speaking of the recession, in 2008, Paul Light, a professor of public service at NYU wrote an article in which he speculated four possible futures for the subsidized sector in the US arising out of the recession:
Stanford Social Innovation Review, By Curtis Chang | 1 | Aug. 1, 2013
The board meeting. Members secretly check their email on tablets while pretending to review documents. Those calling in offer only silence, their phones on permanent mute. Everyone feels the heaviness in the room as someone recounts minutes from the last meeting, another issues a plea to serve on the fundraising committee (yet again), and the treasurer tediously recites financial figures.
But the most important casualty of this boredom is not the time that board members spend at meetings. Unexciting board meetings are deadly because they sap the vitality of the mission.
Something is boring when nothing meaningful is immediately at stake. Yet meaning and urgency supply the oxygen for nonprofit efforts. An organization is alive when it throbs with the sense that lives are hanging in the balance. To stay alive, it must constantly renew this feeling in everyone involved.
Dull board meetings suck out this life-giving air at the very top. The board is the governing authority; when its meetings lack excitement, this dullness eventually pervades the rest of the organization. If board members are not passionately debating whether the organization is making enough progress, then the executive director must generate urgency by herself (a recipe for burnout). If board members aren’t imagining what doubling the budget could do—and throwing down the gauntlet before the others, based on their own fundraising efforts—it usually translates to staff members not feeling like they can dream big.
So how can executive directors and board chairs inject more passion into board meetings? Here are some ideas and resources to help make things interesting.
Winnipeg Free Press, By: Aldo Santin, July 4, 2013
The former financial administrator of Manitoba Theatre for Young People was sentenced to nine months' house arrest this week for stealing more than $63,000 from the local troupe.
Kathleen Owen-Hunt, 39, pleaded guilty in March to the charges and was sentenced Wednesday by Provincial court Judge Dale Schille.
A tearful Owen-Hunt stood and apologized to a representative of the theatre group, adding she realized her thefts only worsened the group’s ongoing financial difficulties.
Owen-Hunt then broke down and cried openly as she apologized to her spouse sitting in the gallery.
"I put us in a horrible, horrible position," Owen-Hunt said. "I just want to be a better person."
Owen-Hunt began working at MTYP in March 2006 and began stealing from them in March 2008 until she left at the end of October 2011.
Defence counsel Timothy Valgardson said the thefts were an attempt by Owen-Hunt to get out from under $40,000 in credit card debt that she and her spouse had incurred.
Crown prosecutor Mandy Ambrose said that Owen-Hunt, whose duties included directing a third-party payroll firm, conducted an unsophisticated scam over a three-and-a-half-year period where she overpaid herself in overtime and vacation to which she was not entitled, and she set up payroll accounts in the name of three former employees and had the funds deposited into her own personal bank account, for a total of 114 separate transactions.
"It was planned and it was deliberate," Ambrose said of the scheme, adding it was only discovered after she left. Read more
June 5, 2013 | author: Kim Fuller
Your annual report can be an amazing, multipurpose document that allows you to demonstrate the recent successes of your organization. It’s your moment to shine, your moment to dazzle stakeholders with all you’ve achieved over the last twelve months. So why must they always be so boring?
Developing an annual report is often considered to be time-consuming and expensive, but it is a worthwhile investment if it’s well-written and designed, and provides useful information.
More than a reflection of the past year, the annual report is also a powerful fundraising tool for the year to follow. In an effort to save costs, organizations are printing less and less copies of their annual report and only giving them out to board members and important stakeholders. The biggest mistake is failing to share it with future donors and corporate sponsors or partners. It can even be used for recruiting top talent.
Prepare an annual report people will actually read (and enjoy!)
Consider converting your print annual report into a video annual report. A video can reach out emotionally and create a totally different kind of impact while offering many possibilities that a printed report cannot. It can bring the commitment and emotional connections of volunteers to life, highlight the personality and dedication of your employees, show your facilities and programs in action and give donors the chance to see the human impact of their donations.
The use of video needs to be included as part of your organization’s communication and marketing strategy and like any well-done communications effort, it can bring rewards that far outweigh the investment. When used well throughout the rest of the year, your organization can reap all kinds of unexpected benefits including increased pride among volunteers and employees, and greater community awareness for your cause. You’ll also end up with several hours of footage that doesn’t make it into the final edit, footage that you can repurpose for other videos throughout the year.
The effectiveness of video content is unquestionable. An organization that is willing to creatively use video will likely be perceived as a leader and one that is moving ahead of the pack. Photos and videos should be the core of every content strategy for social media. Having 1- or 2-minute punchy clips explaining your mission, latest accomplishment or fundraising event on your Youtube channel can go a long way. The Facebook community also craves video content so it’s a great way to promote your Youtube channel and its content. Sprinkling capsules throughout the year on your social media channels is a great way to stay on the radar, stay interesting and relevant. So for your next annual report, consider the potential of video for your organization!
Reduce work, reuse content
Get the most out of your hard work by reusing elements of your annual report content throughout the year in other parts of your communications - such as social media, your blog and emails. When it comes to social media and a content sharing strategy, it is always better to come up with (and promote) original content rather than retweet or borrow from other sources. However, you are also busy communicating with donors; preparing your next fundraising event; and/or wrapping your head around your next annual report. So, don't overlook the fact that your annual report is a rich source of original content to share across all social media channels.
While charts and graphs may not be the sexiest form of content in the social media age, they still remain quite useful. Adding charts to your Facebook page throughout the year will help to keep it relevant. Since most social media fans don't have time to read a full annual report, it’s important to feed them information in a way that resonates with them. Photo and video content are great options and smaller servings of information will allow you to spread out your content throughout the year, while creating greater impact.
It’s not a chore – it’s a fundraising opportunity
Instead of looking at this project as something you have to do, think of it as something you get to do. What is more rewarding than to look back on your achievements for the year? Give yourselves a pat on the back! Highlight the success and determination of your staff and volunteers, and don’t be shy to address what your goals are for the next year. Let people know where you're heading and what they can do to help you reach your next set objectives. Have fun!
Kim Fuller is President of Phil Communications. A certified nonprofit consultant and marketing specialist, Kim has been active in branding, graphic design and internet technologies for 18 years and involved in philanthropy for more than two decades. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re new to nonprofit communicatons, fundraising or technology , here are 10 top resources you should know about:
Nonprofit Bridge website
Canopy Arts Desk
Tammy Hampel (Isaacson)
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