From the Executive Director

Dear CultureSource Members,

As I'm reading Haruki Murakami's classic and enchanting The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles right now, I find myself referencing the work in meetings, thinking about it while in transit, and craving more time with the text generally.

There’s nothing like a great story.

You all have great stories to tell too, and you're probably thinking deeply about these as you mail year-end fundraising appeals and annual reports. Toward your success, I offer thoughts on messaging and impact I've gleaned from a series of arts conversations these past several weeks:

Know Your Impacts
At the workshop about fundraising strategies CultureSource recently presented, David Ripple encouraged attendees to be focused and avoid hyperbole in stating benefits of our work. What might a patron's $50 gift really do? What can you actually say your organization was responsible for changing? Be realistic in your messaging to create a clearer connection for stakeholders.

Know Your Audience
It can be difficult to speak to both long-time and first-time patrons in the same way. Instead of creating multiple messages, consider strengthening a story by scrubbing it of coded language. Using jargon in our already-abstract field alienates allies, creates clubs of insiders, and erects equity barriers whether spoken by woke progressives or arts experts. With a cue from William Zinsser, consider emphasizing simplicity, brevity, and clarity.

Trust Your Message
Find a point of relevance in a story about your work and speak to that, letting a cute anecdote or conflict-rich narrative grab someone's heart or stimulate their curiosity. Facts and pedigrees are more interesting to those in the sector than they are to the leisure patrons we are trying to cultivate.

Additionally, consider the following resources:

Best Wishes,