Fundraising Meeting 1/30/07 and Report for Meeting

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Fundraising Meeting 1/30/07 and Report for Meeting

Post by Jules »

I met Wes Bain, Michael McGill and Shannon McCormick today for a meeting regarding fundraising and its role in the AIC.

Here is the synopsis and my report for the Feb 4 meeting:

1) We discussed AIC's relationship to ACOT and Shannon plans on talking with Bob Apthorpe and Andy Crouch as the originators of the AIC/ACOT relationship and also set up a meeting with the ED of ACOT to make sure we are utilizing our relationship to the best of its abilities. We have the ability to use ACOT's mailing list for example and we should be developing a stronger relationship with them. Wes and Julie are eager to meet with ACOT to continue developing that relationship.

2) As the AIC continues to define its role in the community (producing body or supporting body or both) the fundraising will change and adapt. We all want to be a part of that discussion.

3) All of us firmly agreed that a more sophisticated system for capturing addresses/phone numbers/emails/demographic data needs to be in place for many reasons-fundraising obviously, but also for marketing, public relations and outreach. We all talked about the various lists that exist from troupe lists, to ACOT's list to lists that Andy might have.
Michael volunteered to begin investigating and creating a comprehensive database so long as it would not go against agreements troupes have with customers. There is no actual action being taken here, just an investigation.
In addition, having the demographic data will help us determine where we are reaching people and where we need to work. Having good emails or addresses will allow Julie to solicit for funds once a year directly.

4) Shannon and Wes will continue talks with COA folks and Shannon will prepare for COA grant season, coming April. Wes is committed to providing community outreach through the City meetings etc.

5) We discussed a potential fundraising event tied to Wafflefest. Should this idea come to fruition, we are going to be aggressive about corporate and business sponsorships for that event or for the fundraising part of it. Julie will talk with Andy Crouch about this event and if given a green light, will work on a sponsorship packet for businesses.

6) Our feeling was that the most important thing to raise money for at this time is scholarships/outreach. Imagine the following:

a) an improviser wants to take a class series that costs $250 but cannot afford it. A scholarship could pay up to 75% and allow the student to proceed.
b) AIC wants to bring a well known teacher in to Austin to teach and has the ability to help pay for housing and food as well as the stipend.
c) new troupes can apply for seed money for their publicity or training
d) a troupe could apply for funding to travel to a festival
e) an improviser wants to offer improv in the schools as outreach but needs extra training in educational models.

All of these things would help the improv scene immeasurably and help cement the AIC as the ACOT of Improv. As we offer outreach into schools especially we want to be able to offer the best trained performers possible.
Conversely, doing that outreach to schools only makes us more attractive to funders-individuals, businesses and COA.

The fundraising committee would help create a process for that money to be distributed and would require some form of oversight to review how the money was spent and how the improviser/troupe received a benefit.

This does not preclude us from using funds raised for physical items to help shows, but we felt firmly that we didn't want to purchase items solely for the Hideout. Items bought by AIC money would belong to the AIC.

8) The garage sale is still being planned for spring.

Please feel free to comment and offer suggestions. We will be working on these goals concurrently with the developing structure of the AIC and expect adjustments.
"Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won't adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet." Tom Robbins
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