Monthly Archives: October 2011

Must nonprofits be involved in selling?

Lenann McGookey Gardner in Philanthropy Journal Fundraising

Many nonprofits and values-based organizations face challenges – too few volunteers, small donations, budget shortfalls.

Is the answer to the problem that such organizations need to get better at selling?

No one in the nonprofit community, in my experience, wants to think of themselves as a salesman.

The thought conjures images of conniving, manipulation, pushiness – all incompatible with the principles on which nonprofits were founded.

Is there a middle ground? Does an organization have to get aggressive about salesmanship in order to survive?

The answer is no…

Click here to read a full story..


Nonprofit Employers Don’t Meet Workers’ Needs for Job Satisfaction, Surveys Find

By Peter Bolton in Chronicle of Philanthropy 

Two reports released Monday show a disconnect between what nonprofits provide to their workers and what employees say is essential to their job satisfaction.

Seventy percent of workers in two surveys said their jobs were either disappointing or only somewhat fulfilling. That might be a reason 25 percent of workers said they were considering looking for a job outside the nonprofit world.

The surveys gathered data from about 3,500 nonprofit workers in the New York and Washington metropolitan areas and were conducted by the staffing firm Professionals for NonProfits.

Among the other findings:

  • Four out of 10 workers in both cities said that the factors they ranked as most essential are not on display at their nonprofits:—“respect, trust, and support by management” as well as a sense that their organization has “a compelling mission.”
  • read more …

Paths to reading and writing through the visual arts

Arts to Grow inspiring children to love learning through Arts. This article is one of many that apply the same approach to education through the Arts. 

by Richardson Maurine V., Mary Kathleen Sacks, Mary N. Ayers

Visual Arts


The arts provide insight into the way other people think, respond, create, and provides a basic means of communication. When barriers in language cause insufficient means of communication, art serves as a universal language (Linderman, 1984). Art is a visual language with a culmination of perception, skill and imagination being merged much as the same process as practiced reading and writing develops.

Using the visual arts (illustrations, drawings, sketches, and craft such as pottery, carving, or printmaking) enables students to gain better eye-hand coordination, visual representation skills, communicate ideas, and deeper understanding of the process of discovery. Each of these areas contributes to the development of thinking, creating, problem solving and expressing thoughts through symbols.

Visual ArtsVisual Arts

The visual arts provide the opportunities for students to be involved in divergent thinking and creative design. Van Buren (1986) states that communication and self-expression are two goals that are common to art, reading, and writing. When the classroom teacher selects the appropriate strategies, a student’s interest and motivation in reading and writing are enhanced (Criscuolo, 1985). Teachers can be encouraged to integrate or have embedded, literacy instruction throughout the curriculum, (Armbuster & Osborn, 2002). The reading-writing experience connected to art can be highly motivational and exciting to students and to the teacher (Smout, 1990).

Read a full article here…

No Child Left Behind Plan Doomed to Failure

By Randy Turner, English Teacher in Joplin, Missouri in Huffington Post. No Child Left Behind

It pains me to say this, but from everything I have been reading Sen.Tom Harkin’s plan — and every other plan to revise No Child Left Behind — is destined to be the same miserable failure the original law has been.

Until politicians stop ignoring the fact that major influences on education take place outside the schoolhouse doors, no educational legislation will ever have any lasting impact.

Blaming problems in our nation’s schools on “bad teachers” and teacher unions has proven to be a winning formula at the ballot box, but one that comes at a price.

The never-ending bashing of teachers and unions has devalued the public perception of classroom teachers, the very group that has offered the only protection the United States has had against the rising tide of mediocrity that threatens to engulf us.

What we need is a No Child Left Behind act that truly addresses the problems that face education and society as a whole.

Read the whole article here…

5 Free Event to do with Kids this Weekend!

1. Halloween Festival 

Games, rides, craft projects, costume contest, hay rides, pumpkin patch and goodie bags.This Saturday October 22, 2011, FREE 12pm-15pm,
Fort Totten Park Fort Totten, Cross Island Parkway, Totten Road to 15 Road, Queens NY

2.Get out there and explore the Magic Bus!

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Magic School Bus, Ms. Frizzle and her unpredictable adventures! Meet author Joanna Cole and illustrator Bruce Degen, pose with Ms. Frizzle, perform a Frizz approved science experiment and play the new Nintendo DS game! WAHOO!

Saturday, October 22, 2011, FREE 15pm

The Scholastic Store 557 Broadway, New York NY

 3. Family Art Workshop 

Art-making workshop that engages children and adults in hands-on creative exploration. Educator-led discussions and art-making activities will encourage participants to get inspired, have fun, and make art together! No experience necessary!

Saturday, October 22, 2011, FREE10:30 am – 12:00 pm

The Drawing Center 35 Wooster Street, New York NY

4.Saturday Story Time 

Each Saturday, Greenlight hosts Story Time featuring picture book authors and activities. Visit the website for weekly titles. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011, FREE11 am, repeats every Saturday util Dec 24
Greenlight Bookstore 686 Fulton Street, Brooklyn NY 11217

5.Halloween: Parade and Pumpkin Sail

Weather permitting. Wear your costume and bring a carved jack-o’-lantern before 5:30 pm for spooky music, live entertainment, a parade, and New York City’s largest pumpkin flotilla at twilight. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011, FREE 16:00pm-19:00 pm 

Charles A. Dana Discovery Center (in Central Park) 110th Street between Fifth and Lenox Avenues, New York NY

The Intrinsic Benefits of Arts Education/Ten Lessons the Arts Teach

Arts to Grow favorite ARTblog from Americas for the Arts published on October 18 by KRISTEN ENGEBRETSEN  answering many times asked question   why arts education should be supported?


I recently authored a post titled The Top 10 Ways to Support Arts Education, but I’m finding that I get more requests from people asking for reasons why arts education should be supported, not how.

So as a companion piece to the how of supporting arts education, here I offer reasons why arts education should be supported.

Usually, when making the case for arts education, I direct people to resources like the recent Reinvesting in Arts Education report by the President’s Committee for the Arts and the Humanities. It compiles all of the classic arguments in favor of arts education: it boosts student achievement, it increases student engagement, and it helps to close the achievement gap.

My colleague Randy Cohen has also offered reasons to support arts education in his Top 10 Reasons to Support the Arts post. He, too, cites academic achievement, but he also mentions the role of arts education in preparing students with 21st century job skills, like communication and creativity.

However, this post is not about what arts education does in terms of other achievement areas. Rather, it is about what the arts intrinsically do for students.

Read a full story here…

Arts funding doesn’t show diversity

 large portion of funding goes to more traditional sources such as museums, operas and symphonies. EPA/JUANJO MARTIN in Art Daily

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP).- Billions of dollars in arts funding is serving a mostly wealthy, white audience that is shrinking while only a small chunk of money goes to emerging art groups that serve poorer communities that are more ethnically diverse, according to a report being released Monday. 

The report from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, a watchdog group, shows foundation giving has fallen out of balance with the nation’s increasingly diverse demographics. The report was provided to The Associated Press before its release. 

A large portion of funding goes to more traditional sources such as museums, operas and symphonies. But recent surveys show attendance at those institutions is declining, while more people are interested in community-based art initiatives. 

“We’ve got the vast majority of resources going to a very small number of institutions,” said Aaron Dorfman, executive director of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. “That’s not healthy for the arts in America.” 

According to the study, the largest arts organizations with budgets exceeding $5 million represent only 2 percent of the nonprofit arts and culture sector. Yet those groups received 55 percent of foundation funding for the arts in 2009. Only 10 percent of funding went to underserved populations. However, the study’s author acknowledged the report may not account for every dollar granted to help reach diverse audiences at larger institutions. 

Read more…

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.