Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A&BC Workshop - Board Basics - April 24

Tues, April 24, 2012, 5:30 – 8:30pm
Columbia College, 623 S. Wabash, Hokin Hall, Room 109
Developing a robust, engaged board begins with your recruitment and orientation process.  We’re going back to basics with this board development workshop.  You’ll hear from board and staff members of small-to-mid sized arts organizations about what has worked well to position their new board members for success.

At this workshop, you will learn how to:
  • Define board/staff roles & responsibilities
  • Recruit new board members in creative ways
  • Orient new board members to maximize their effectiveness
Price: $45/65 (nonrefundable) -

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Nonprofit Technology Conference

Go to a technology conference from your desk: the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) is holding their annual conference, and you can attend from your very own office. The Nonprofit Technology Conference on April 4-5 will be streamed live so you can set up a computer in your conference room and let your whole staff attend.

Normally $300 for non-members, if you register by March 23 you can get the NTEN Member rate of just $150. Learn more HERE and enter the Blue Avocado discount code 12ONTC-7NMEMBA during checkout. An outstanding resource for Accidental Techies and Super Techies in your organization.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Join us March 31 to celebrate Ella Fitzgerald's 95th Birthday

Orbert Davis' Chicago Jazz Philharmonic presents
"Through Ella's Eyes: A 95th Birthday Celebration"
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Auditorium Theatre
Tickets $30 - $69

For more information visit:

Monday, March 19, 2012

Thank You!

Thank you, everyone, that attended today's  Data Management Workshop.  It was a great pleasure to speak with so many of you, and - as promised - I'll be posting materials from the session here as well as monitor the posts to answer any follow-up questions.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with this bit of technology news (oh the times they are a changin'):

Citing Twitter or Facebook in MLA

MLA now has instructions on how to cite a tweet:

Include this information:
  • Author and/or editor names (if available)
  • Article name in quotation marks (if applicable)
  • Title of the Website, project, or book in italics.
  • Any version numbers available, including revisions, posting dates, volumes, or issue numbers.
  • Publisher information, including the publisher name and publishing date.

Join Kartemquin Films on April 12 for Rock the Doc: Tunes and Trivia

Please join Kartemquin at The Whistler on April 12th for "Rock the Doc — Tunes & Trivia"
Test your knowledge against Chicago's finest brains, and then throw down some dance moves to DJ Zak Piper spinning vinyl. Prizes and pride for the winning team.

Free Entry! Trivia: $15 for a team of 6, or $4 a person.

All proceeds from trivia and a portion of the bar will go towards supporting Kartemquin, your favorite nonprofit Chicago filmmakers of The Interrupters, Typeface, Hoop Dreams and more, enabling us to continuing producing and distributing social issue documentaries and nurturing independent filmmakers – emerging and veteran.

This is the 4th event in our "Rock the Doc" social series. They are lots of fun and you'll meet all our staff, filmmakers and associates. Come along, and bring friends!

Salesforce for Nonprofits webinar - 3/28

March 28, 1:00 - 2:00pm

Does your organization rely on antiquated methods for tracking contacts, clients, and donors? Do you use different databases that don't communicate with each other? If you are considering moving to a unified database system, login to HandsOn Tech's webinar on, a leading cloud-based CRM and database tool that offers five free enterprise licenses for nonprofits. This webinar will walk nonprofits through how they could use Salesforce to organize their data in useful ways.

This training will be conducted via webinar. You will receive a link and instructions upon registering. Please go to regis

Google+ Workshop - 3/21

March 21, 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. Google’s Offices 20 West Kinzie Street Chicago, IL 60661

Google has recently launched its new social media platform Google+, which aims to make sharing on the web more like sharing in real life. Google+ offers a brand new way to connect with people, including through features such as contacts organized into Circles that make it easy to send relevant messages to different groups of people, integration with Google Chat and Gmail, and a fantastic new way to “Hangout” in a live video conference with up to 10 colleagues and friends. The goal of this workshop is to give you with the tools, knowledge, and know-how to use Google+ in your nonprofit. Come learn how Google+ can help your agency connect with your audience in a new and interactive way that fosters deeper relationships!

Taught by Googlers, this workshop will take place at Google's offices in downtown Chicago at 20 West Kinzie Street. Please go to to register!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Registration Closed for Data Management Workshop

Registration for the Data Management Workshop is closed.  If you didn’t receive a reminder & confirmation email today then you did not register for the workshop on Monday.  Thank you!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A&BC Workshop - Strategic Brand Development - 3/27/12

Learn how to be more strategic in building and maintaining the brand of your arts organization.  Your brand is fundamental to your visibility and your ability to stand out from the crowd, and thus your ability to create a value proposition for ongoing support. Register Online.  Tues, March 27 from 9:30 - 12:00pm at Columbia College, 623 S. Wabash Ave, Hokin Hall.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Data Management Workshop - March 19

Here’s the questionnaire regarding your data management needs so that we can focus the March 19th workshop with Brian Worrall: CLICK HERE .  The questionnaire should only take you 5 minutes to complete.  If you’re planning on attending, please complete the questionnaire and RSVP to Katie Kurcz at by next Friday, March 9.  However, this workshop is NOT mandatory; attend only if you feel you need assistance with this area.  FYI, only one person per organization can attend due to capacity issues. 

As a reminder, the workshop is scheduled for Mon, March 19 from 9:30 – 11:30am at CCT (111 East Wacker, Suite 1400).        

Capitalizing Your Organization to Achieve Artistic Vision and Impact

Interesting article by Susan Trapnell, Senior Consultant at Arts Consulting Group.

Capitalizing Your Organization
to Achieve Artistic Vision and Impact

Susan Trapnell, Senior Consultant

The current economic and cultural climate is clearly difficult for the arts. In response, some arts and culture organizations will spiral downward in the losing battle of seeking some "sustainable," but often unachievable, levels where revenues always exceed expenses. Many other organizations, however, will stay on course, sharpen their focus on mission, vision and values, keep their long-term health in mind, and adapt thoughtfully and strategically to changing external conditions. The freedom to think and act strategically, to take big risks, or to make big changes depends upon the organization’s underlying financial health, not its annual operating budget, and upon its reserve funds rather than the annual fund.

In this issue of Arts Insights, we will look at the significant benefits of capitalizing your organization and how to go about it. The undercapitalized organization is at a huge competitive disadvantage no matter how strong its artistic work. And organizations that look to solve their financial stresses through the annual operating budget alone will, at best, simply persist but to no real community benefit, or at worst, spiral downward to the ... Read More

FREE: How to Make Your Grant Proposal Stand Out from the Pack

FREE: How to Make Your Grant Proposal Stand Out from the Pack

Monday, March 5
Register Now
1:00PM - 2:00PM EST
Webinar Description 
With more than $40 billion in grant money given away each year in the U.S. by
private foundations alone, you know that there’s competition for those dollars.
But how can you make YOUR organization stand out from the crowd and make
that grant funder want to fund YOU?
What can you do to find favor with grant funders and how do you even make them
notice you – much less fund you? Your proposal is normally the first impression a
grant funder has of your organization. Learn how to make the best impression you
can so that funders will sit up and take notice. This is finally your opportunity to learn
valuable tactics that will take your grant proposals from so-so to great!

The following questions will be answered during this free webinar:
  • What are the ten things grant funders always look for?
  • What words should be avoided in proposals?
  • What should be included in a stand-out cover letter?
  • How can a proposal be formatted for maximum chance of funding?
  • What steps can be taken to ensure grant continuation?
Presented by Betsy Baker, MPA Betsy Baker is President of
She is an author, trainer/coach, public speaker and grant writing consultant having
raised $10 million in grant funding for her clients. Betsy has spent her entire career in
the nonprofit world and understands both the rewards and the challenges that grant
writing presents. She is dedicated to demystifying the process and encouraging fund
raisers to write winning grant applications. She also coaches fellow grant writers in
becoming grant writing consultants. Betsy is a regular presenter for the The Foundation
Center, the Grant Professionals Association, Centers for Nonprofits and United Way
agencies and is a regular contributor to Opportunity Knocks! and CharityChannel.