Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Desperate for attention, museum calls upon star power to plead its case

Eva Longoria Parker, who plays Gabrielle Solis on ABC's Desperate Housewives, was in Washington today lobbying Congress on behalf of the effort to bring a National Museum of the American Latino to our nation's capitol. This comes just a day after Tom Hanks appeared here in Cleveland in a special sold-out performance to raise money for the Great Lakes Theater Festival, where he got his dramatic start as an intern in the late 1970s. If only all worthy museums and arts organizations could find such glamorous, popular, and altogether compelling spokespeople we might not have so many institutions with lagging annual fund campaigns and dwindling endowments.

It must be really nice to find someone rich and famous to champion your cause, but if your organization is like most of those I know and you have to beg for every nickel, I have found some great common sense ideas for keeping a fresh approach to fund raising at www.nonprofitlocal.com. I particularly enjoy their "tip of the day" on the homepage, and have also found the aggregated NPO news in their "Stay Current" section to be a convenient place to start digging deeper for information on trends and tactics. If you choose to join the site (it's free) you become part of their international, online, nonprofit forum and can submit your own tips to the community.

Free news, forums, and advice may not be as sexy as Eva Longoria, but when you're desperate for inspiration, or a fresh idea it is a real-world resource.

Photo from Planet Photos/ABC

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