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From the Chairman
“Development.” The word doesn’t inspire excitement in most people, but it is a critical part of daily life for every staff and board member at any organization described by the phrases “nonprofit” and “501(c)(3).” This is certainly true for us here at the International Sculpture Center.
In my experience, one of the things that makes development so difficult is that it seems daunting to ask other people for money—even in support of an organization or cause for which we care deeply. I find, however, that what really makes this process so uncomfortable for many of us is the lack of focus behind the asking. In other words, while it may be hard to ask friends, colleagues, or strangers to provide general support for the ISC, it is dramatically easier to ask those same individuals to support a specific program or function within the ISC.
Since donors come in all shapes and sizes, it is also critically important that we recognize the different ways in which they are comfortable contributing to an organization like the ISC. For example, we have donors who have no qualms about giving an unrestricted gift of $50,000 or more to be used immediately on an unrestricted basis, while others might want their $10,000 gift to go toward an endowment fund whose income will be provided specifically to the student award program on an annual basis.
It is with such differences in mind that we soon hope to introduce new development materials focusing attention not just on the ISC and its mission, but also on the scope and goals of each of our specific programming areas. Through this effort, we hope to expand the breadth of our corporate, foundation, and individual donor base. This will allow more of each subscription and membership dollar to go into the continual improvement of Sculpture and more and better member services, while simultaneously expanding our programmatic efforts with the knowledge that 100 percent of all monies raised to support those efforts will be provided directly to that programming.
Ultimately the success of our development activities will depend on our ability to be respectful of the needs and desires of our various donors by allowing them the opportunity to give to the ISC in whatever manner is most comfortable and rewarding. To that end, we need to educate our donor base about the myriad ways they can help support the ISC by providing unrestricted or endowed funds to any of our programmatic areas, including our publications (Sculpture, ISC Press, and www.sculpture.org), our conferences, and our award programs (Student, Patron, Educator, and Lifetime Achievement).
With these materials soon to be available on our Web site, we hope to enlist you—our readers, subscribers, and members—as advocates for the ISC, spreading the development word about the importance and vitality of our organization and our programming.
Chairman, ISC Board of Directors
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