If You Are Raising Money For Your Local High School, Read This!

Right now, high schools have a prime opportunity to raise quick money: prom season. U.S. families whose kids are going to their prom are expected to spend an average of $1139 - per family - in 2013. 

Here's one example of how to translate that spending into fundraising capital: Make a list of all the businesses that prom-goers will patronize (e.g. florists, restaurants, tuxedo rentals, shoe stores, dress stores, nail and hair salons, car washes...). Contact these businesses, tell them how many kids are expected to attend your school's prom and how much prom-goers are likely to spend, and ask businesses to donate 30% of their profits during the two weeks before prom to your school's PTA/student council/other. Explain that in return, your school PTA/student council/other will urge prom goers to patronize their business via posters placed throughout the school and community, the school paper, community papers, social media, the school website, etc. 

Already had your high school prom? There's always Homecoming ..


A Call to Action to Call President Obama and Congress

After reading reports that on Wednesday, President Obama plans to propose cuts to Social Security and means-testing for Medicare, I have come up with a proposal of my own: I suggest an update to Emma Lazarus' poem, The New Colossus -- the poem that made the Statue of Liberty "a symbol of hope to the outcasts and downtrodden of the world." Lady Liberty's poetic message no longer describes the U.S.  

Here's the part of Lazarus' poem that needs to be updated:

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

I don't pretend to have Lazarus' skill with words, but I have penned something that I think better represents the present, sad state of affairs in this country:

Give me your unhired, your poor,
Your co-eds in classes to get a degree,
The union members whose jobs went offshore,
Send me the sick, old, and homeless-to-be:
They're good for Wendys, Walmarts, prisons, and war.

Please tell President Obama and your members of Congress how you feel about cutting Social Security benefits. Need more info? Strengthen Social Security is a coalition of senior, advocacy, and other groups that is a good resource for information about what's at stake and how to get involved in opposing cuts.


What Happens When Nonprofits Can't See the Forest for the Trees

A very smart former supervisor from way back in the day, before I moved to Seattle, shared this excellent article (link below). It is a must-read for everyone involved with nonprofit work (volunteer or paid).

The article is really much more interesting than its title would suggest, so go ahead, click on the link, and read:

Overcoming the Limits of Nonprofit Advocacy on Budget and Tax Issues