grant writing

Outreach Coordinator

VISTA Name: 
John Haffner
Program Start: 
9/2009
Program End: 
9/2010
Project Description: 

The VISTA member would conduct a three-month Community Needs Assessment to survey community organizations, members, board members, staff and community leaders for CMAP & AMP.

a) Provide in–depth analysis of what organizations currently are offering to the communities served, (services packages, community involvement, and community media offerings) and research opportunities for collaboration.

b) Report to Executive Directors on the Community Assessment Results and present recommendations

c) Develop a manual for collaborative work: “Cookbook for Regional Community Media Collaboration” that would be published in print and web form. This cookbook would inspire and create a template for other community media and community technology organizations to work more collaboratively in this new economic environment which requires and encourages new kinds of collaboration and partnerships.

d) Present this cookbook as a body of work at the ACM National Conference in July of 2010 to encourage and give specific examples of new innovative approaches to regional collaboration among community media centers.

Project Outcome: 

With the help of our first-year DASC member, we have expanded collaborations with other community media centers in the state and region, sharing technology, marketing, educational content and curriculum to media centers and non-profit organizations.
-Increased communication with between two media centers to enable collaboration on several key projects including growing capacity of both organizations to fundraise, use technology tools, and manage staff and members.
-Increased communication enabling the implementation of new technology resources, including access to other center’s technical staff, new equipment for CMAP’s institutional network and engineering expertise from other centers.
-Increased CMAP’s ability to fundraise/build community awareness
-Helped to initiate new strategies to develop and share community content between centers.

Based on the success of the first year of this project, we are now in the second year, expanding to a statewide collaboration. For the first year, both organizations expanded our capacity through seeing the need to hire staff for fundraising, collaborated on grants that resulted in funding and staffing, and created an expanded collaboration program into our region. After the second year, we hope that agencies will work together regularly to continue this collaboration.

Our VISTA accomplished all of what was included in our project, but also helped to write grants for the organizations and learned development skills. He was hired by one of the media centers after the project to be a development assistant. He also became involved in developing the second year plan for our expanded collaboration.

Community Organizing and Wireless Network Deployment

VISTA Name: 
Melissa Niiya
Program Start: 
9/2009
Program End: 
9/2011
Project Description: 

The AmeriCorps*VISTA project we are proposing is a critical component of our community technology program to promote broadband deployment and adoption in the low income neighborhoods we serve. We seek to build the capacity of our wireless and wired networks that will be installed in our affordable housing projects through the development of a program that will distribute community-based resources (equipment, trainings, information), establish resident advisory committees, and deploy wireless networks.

Our AmeriCorps*VISTA member will support our initiative through community outreach, surveys, and technical support. Specifically, s/he will:

- Develop and implement community-based outreach strategies for community wireless adoption and participation.
- Collaborate with other project partners to develop outreach plans to expand our presence in the targeted communities.
- Develop educational resources for community technology staff and residents in the targeted communities.
- Coordinate and build the capacity of a community advisory committees in the targeted communities
- Organize, coordinate, and develop community education workshops delivered by volunteers on community wireless networks
- Develop sustainability models for the deployment of community wireless networks
- Coordinate volunteer efforts to plan and deploy neighborhood wireless networks
- Meet with technology center managers to coordinate community workshop activities
- Work with project partners to build the technology skills capacity of youth in South Los Angeles
- Develop a volunteer base of technology and community activists to support the deployment and sustainability of community wireless networks

Goal 1: Promote and increase the adoption of broadband within low-income communities
Goal 2: Build the capacity of deployed community Wi-Fi networks through community participation.

Project Outcome: 

The VISTA member has been instrumental in increasing the overall capacity of the Community Technology department. We now have documented standards and procedures for deploying residential and community Wi-Fi networks, as well as a track record and experience that can be used to provide technical assistance to other groups seeking to deploy similar Wi-Fi networks. We have compiled not only the technical procedures for wireless deployment but also a best practices guide, as we have learned from the challenges we’ve faced. The VISTA also helped to develop criteria and a process for selecting future contractors for our new networks. To ensure the sustainability of our networks we need to continue working with LTSC’s real estate and property management departments to develop a system for ongoing support and maintenance of the networks.

The VISTA member also assisted with grant writing, reporting and research to support and build the capacity of the Community Technology department. She also helped with program and curriculum development for the DISKovery Center’s digital media classes covering basic computer and internet skills to more advanced digital video editing and production. She also established a public access WiFi network at LTSC’s DISKovery Computer Center in Little Tokyo. The VISTA’s accomplishments in these areas seemed a natural addendum to the stated goals. She has proven herself to be highly competent in many areas and has therefore been given additional projects and responsibilities, as time and her own interests allowed. Since she is extremely self-motivated and is capable of accomplishing projects thoroughly and quickly, we were able to involve her in additional projects beyond what was proposed.

- Development of community and residential wi-fi resource materials made available online.
- Development and dissemination of publicity and outreach materials to promote the Little Tokyo community through flyers, a community blog developed by and for community wireless users, print materials and a community wi-fi website.
- Establishment of a community wireless blog to document the challenges and successes in deploying community wireless networks.
- Deployment of three new free community Wi-Fi networks in LTSC’s affordable housing communities. Accomplishments toward achieving stated goals:
- Curriculum developed for wifi trainings in the form of a wiki. The wiki was developed with some server assistance from Wataru Ebihara, LTSC’s Network Administrator.
- Resource materials developed for wifi users / volunteers / nonprofits wishing to start wifi networks, also on the wiki.
- Flyers for outreach developed with Spanish translation help from Sugey Salazar, computer instructor.
- Community blog developed using a free blogger account. The VISTA has worked to transition administration of the blog to the LT community council for its ongoing sustainability.
- Computer Adoption Program (CAP) program planned and organized, and additional wifi curriculum developed for the class
- 10 families served.
- Wifi deployed in the Reno Apartments using open source mesh routers from Open Mesh and broadband over power (BPL) technology to deploy a robust network at Reno. Switched Angelina Apartments to open source Open Mesh to enable better usage tracking.
- Usage tracking of Wi-Fi networks
- using free and open source tracking called CoovaOM, developed tracking methods and documentation for residential Wi-Fi networks.
- Developed a Request for Proposals for the development of 5 new broadband networks in affordable housing projects; developed criteria for selecting a proposal and oversaw selection of contractor for these new networks.

Second Year

While residents want broadband access, the majority are dissatisfied with wireless technology and the stability of the networks. With the support of LTSC staff, Melissa has helped move the organization toward a more sustainable model of providing residents with internet access (through wired DSL installation and through providing residents with information on low cost communications services). This plan was implemented in the latter half of her service year. Two of the current wireless networks were sold to an independent contractor, who will maintain a lower bandwidth free network while charging for a higher speed pay-to-play network. The remaining networks will be transitioned to an independent contractor after Melissa completes her service year.

While Melissa did not create a DIY computer curriculum due to shifts in program priorities, the other curricula she has created - Digital Histories film class, Internet Safety, Photoshop, and Social Media - will continue to be used in subsequent classes. Broadband Content Development Melissa has developed several websites for the organization, which have been instrumental in promoting our programs and services and raising our visibility. She also connected these sites to social media pages the create a seamless online presence. Melissa has made sure to document the websites she has created so that the organization will be able to maintain them. She has given trainings on Facebook and Joomla to the Little Tokyo Community Council and to LTSC staff.

Impact Quote: 

Thank you very much. We are sad to see Melissa and Tiffany go. They have contributed tremendously to our program and it is truly a loss to see them go.”

- Naomi Uchida-Boas, Supervisor

Communications Coordinator

VISTA Name: 
Oriana Magnera
Program Start: 
9/2009
Program End: 
9/2010
Project Description: 

We are seeking a CTCVISTA volunteer to assist with the our communications systems, specifically in regards to the development of a series of Project Initiative websites, and the internal and external communications mechanisms for project planning and development. This work would include web design and management, integration of social networking tools for initiative projects, communication support for project partners, interviews and podcasts with initiative participants, the development of online evaluative forms and database.

AmeriCorps*VISTA member will work with CDS staff to organize CDS information systems to support our organizations efforts including:

1. internal staff site for communication and information sharing,
2. public website (story theater, newsletter, curriculum, podcasts, program initiative kit),
3. marketing materials and activities (public screenings, brochures, email information campaigns, video PSA’s, surveys),
4. Training for staff, intern and volunteer in implementation of Initiative-based systems

Project Outcome: 

Principal Task: Internal and External Communications including web, electronic and printed materials. Oriana created a new and professional looking electronic and web quarterly newsletter featuring the Program Initiatives for the first time. She created a newsletter template, staff training materials, a form for collecting newsletter submissions, imported and organized thousands of contacts, managed the list and added new names on a quarterly basis. She completed both ongoing website updates as well as a round of improvements to the layout and information on the website. She began research for a new platform and web hosting service as well as prepared information about applying for a Tap Root Grant for web and marketing support which CDS will pursue in the spring of 2011. Creation of “Donate Now” button for CDS website to collect financial/in-kind donations. Creation of a multi-page guide to newsletter production and distribution.

Secondary Task: Oriana has also began making improvements in our internal communications. She has assisted with organizing materials on our internal Staff Site, managed any trouble-shooting issues with our email and web provider, and sent emails to our Program Initiative teams to collect information to place on the Staff Site as needed. She completed a Grant Writing Seminar and gathered and organized current and past grant proposals and resources from staff to place on the Staff Site for reference.

Greatly improved external communication and marketing through newsletter and public website. More connectivity between staff through email and internal staff site.

Oriana also undertook a complete re-layout of our book entitled Digital Storytelling: Capturing Lives, Creating Community. This task included converting book files from Framemaker to InDesign, revisions on every page of the book, as well as research for updating Technology Appendices and re-indexing the entire book.

Outreach and Development Coordinator

Organization: 
Quote-Unquote
VISTA Name: 
Erica Jones
Program Start: 
9/2009
Program End: 
9/2010
Project Description: 

This VISTA member, in their capacity as outreach assistant, would serve to bring new organizations and communities in to work with QUQ. The role of outreach assistant would be valuable experience for the VISTA member in networking, community organizing and learning about the community that she/he would be working and living in. It involves calling people, talking to them, sending them information by email, asking them to come to a meeting and to tour our studios.

The VISTA member would keep accurate records of contacts and the process of recruitment, as well as the steps and the results of fundraising efforts. These records would be used for the manual that would be developed in conjunction with the executive director.

Project Outcome: 

Some main areas that Erica helped to develop and expand are: Volunteer recruitment/outreach, Partnership Expansion/Outreach, and Fundraising development.

Volunteer outreach: Erica has set up an entire program of recruitment of volunteers. As a result we had as many as 19 volunteer interns at one time at our facility during the fall, spring and summer months. The recruitment efforts targeted local universities and high schools. The success was due to setting up face to face meetings as well as using Craig’s List, social media and e-newsletter contact. This was done in conjunction with the Executive Director.

Partnership Outreach: Erica also worked on setting up partnerships with the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau, Media Literacy Project, The Alibi (local weekly newspaper), Enlace Comunitario, SWOP, KUNM Youth Radio, Albuquerque Film Festival, SW Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Taos Shortz Film Festival, Experimental Cinema Film Festival, New Mexico Daily Lobo, Public Service Media Project, NM Film Office, NM Thunderbirds, CitizenSchools, and the creation of an accredited production class through the University of New Mexico Continuing Education department.

Fundraising Outreach: Erica worked on many small scale and large scale fundraising efforts throughout the year. Some examples of these efforts are: “Benefit Night” fundraisers being help at T.G.I.Friday and Fuddruckers, a “TV Dinner” benefit event, a concert event at a local venue, and the development of a monthly media industry networking event held at a local restaurant. Other areas have included working alongside the Executive Director on research for and preparation of grants and foundation money. Examples of this assistance was the working on a letter of inquiry for the Glaser Foundation which focused on Independent Media projects. We pitched the creation of a youth-focused journalism and mentorship program. A letter of inquiry into the MacArthur Foundation, regarding the same project. The creation of a profile in multiple local community foundations. She did extensive research and compiling together of regional, state-wide, and national grants and foundations that could be potential sources for income. Erica also helped Steve Ranieri with researching and preparing the application for a grant through the McCune Foundation, a local foundation here in New Mexico.

Other general outreach efforts that Erica engaged in were attending various local outreach events, such as: NM Film and Media Day, Digital Arts Conference, NM Film conference, SW Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Fiery Foods Show, and other events where the positive image of our organization was represented. All of these efforts were tracked, documented, and written into a manual titled “How to Outreach: a Resource Guide for Quote Unquote.” This resource will be left behind for future staff and VISTAs to refer back to for guidance.

Two other projects Erica worked on were the transitioning of the paper newsletter to the electronic newsletter and the transitioning of the Dreamweaver based website to a user-friendly, more efficient website through the Grassroots.org services. It developed through the need of better organizational efficiency. There was an indication that some staff had additional responsibilities that were taking them away from their actual work. With Erica noticing this, she suggested making these two main transitions as a means to alleviate extra work from staff (printing of newsletters, mailing them, updating the website using software that requires skills) and to build a more sustainable infrastructure.

YEAR 2
 ——

Erica has been active at Quote-Unquote building capacity both internal to the organization and exteranlly in the community. This has included develping advertising/marketing partnerships, outreach events, and developing trainings, curriculum, and research. On of the major programs Erica developed is the New Mexico Community Journalism Program, for which she developed the initial grant and has formed the core board which meets weekly to continuously fine tune our mission and purpose in the New Mexico Community. Erica has drafted letters of interest for people to invest and join the project as an anchor organization (content providers, mentors, and a place for community journalists to use for resources). This will help form the state-wide network we envision to help sustain the information flow throughout the state and will also help community journlists with guidance and resources to better serve the needs of their communities. This mission is: “Strengthen an emerging state-wide rural and urban multilingual news network that represents unheard, marginalized, and diverse voices, independent of government & corporate control, values, and content. We will provide a multimedia outlet for the news that the local residents determine, produce, and contribute, thus connecting them to the needs in their community.” Erica has also been a devoted VISTA Leader coordinating 20+ VISTAs and participating as a Leader Guide.

Fundraising and Development

Organization: 
Media Arts Center San Diego
VISTA Name: 
Randy Cox
Program Start: 
9/2009
Program End: 
9/2010
Project Description: 

MACSD seeks to incorporate and expand its strengths in exhibition, youth media education, digital story creation, and border region digital filmmaker workshops via a timely and needed program re-structuring process. This re-positioning includes a new program that MACSD tentatively calls the “Media Arts Lab”; a neighborhood-based storefront, media arts learning and entertainment center for children, youth, seniors, and families.

The VISTA project and member will help build capacity for this new “Media Lab” project by: 1. Using the tabulations and narratives of the recent “Future of Media Arts in San Diego” surveys to identify and help the MACSD leadership team analyze the basic digital media uses and needs of the community in specific neighborhoods, gaining a diversity of ideas that reflects enriching differing points of view. 2. Using the survey results as community indicators to help create a business plan; determine cost-effective venue location(s), design and furnishings, staffing, needed media technology hardware and software and ancillary materials; plus, culturally relevant media arts entertainment, creativity, education- student media arts training; digital stories and news programming directions. 3. Working with MACSD’s Board of Directors, leadership team and long-term networks of collaborative community partners (listed below) to gain local motivation and support for this capacity-building initiative.

Goal 1: To understand and put into use the results of the “Future of Media Arts in San Diego” surveys.
Goal 2: Help to create a marketing plan to build community interest and participation in the Media Arts Lab.
Goal 3: Help to create a Fundraising & Development Plan
Goal 4: Find venue/building of first “lab” location in San Diego

Project Outcome: 

VISTA member was successful in many areas relating to our new Media Arts Lab. Mr. Cox researched and then located a new facility for our organization/New Media Lab. Mr. Cox also wrote 20+ grants and raised over $20,000 towards the new facility. Mr. Cox also assisted in strengthening the capacity of our Board of Directors via new recruitment, training, etc.. Finally, in the last month of Mr. Cox’ year of service, MACSD was able to find potential funding from the City of San Diego Redevelopment Agency to redevelop the new facility. Mr. Cox wrote the proposal and we’re still waiting to hear final word from the agency; but it looks positive.

With VISTA’s previous business experience and life experience; one of the greatest accomplishments and assets was having Mr. Cox’ consultations and overall knowledge. His ability to provide all staff with ideas and to assure that staff was looking at the ‘business-side’ of things, was invaluable.

Development and Communications VISTA

Organization: 
Prometheus Radio Project
VISTA Name: 
Ian Smith
Program Start: 
9/2009
Program End: 
9/2010
Project Description: 

The Development & Communications project would entail directing a fundamental change in fundraising policy, moving Prometheus towards a more grassroots fundraising strategy. This project would also include developing and maintaining systems for Prometheus’ donor and paid technical service relationships. It also entails creating communications tools, such as a regular and targeted donor appeal, for soliciting a broad base of financial support from those that access our services.

Goal 1: Help build and solidify Prometheus’ ability to engage community radio stations and community radio supporters in opportunities to support Prometheus financially and in a regular and sustainable fashion.

Goal 2: Create a more sustainable source of funding by developing technical services and products that Prometheus can offer for a fee.

Project Outcome: 

Ian’s work as been essential at building the capacity of the organization at a key time of growth and transformation of Prometheus.

Towards goal #1 of increasing regular, constituent contact, Ian has: shepherded the development of a new database merging 4 into one, developed a system for maintenance, trained all staff, coordinated a monthly eNewsletter, coordinated an annual mail appeal, implemented CiviEvent for pre-registration for events, and implemented a paper sign up sheet system for events. As a result, our database list grew by 7,456 new contacts, including over 600 from the US Social Forum where Ian’s sign up system was first used. We now have over 1000 facebook fans who receive regular updates thanks to Ian’s merging of our email, web, and facebook communications. A database consultant worked with Ian to build the CiviCRM database after which he largely implemented the above with input from Prometheus collective members.

Towards goal #2 of building grassroots fundraising support, Ian has helped develop a work plan and donation calendar for the Development Team which has guided our work throughout the year and made reporting on progress much easier. He designed and launched our new Sustaining Funders program. He also designed and launched out new major donor program by identifying potential donors and inviting them to key events and creating a donor packet. Ian assisted in writing a number of grants and grant reports for Prometheus, helping to gather statistics on the effectiveness of our programs and the demographics of our constituents. He did these in conjunction with our Development Director.

Towards goal #3 of developing web donor tools, Ian has built a number of custom donation interfaces to our new database and build contact and other forms on our website. As a result, the new website will integrate seamlessly with our database, cutting out costly duplication of data. We can now track what appeal or route online donations come from and better assess the success of our specific fundraising efforts. Ian was trained by our web developer to create these forms.

Development Coordinator

VISTA Name: 
Carolyn Braunius
Program Start: 
9/2010
Program End: 
9/2011
Project Description: 

The VISTA will work on building The Sanctuary’s grassroots fundraising capacity while organizing and expanding our grant writing efforts. Other priorities include continuing to build The Sanctuary’s capacity for handling volunteers and in-kind donations. The goal is to put into place a solid foundation for attracting and retaining a full spectrum of support, ranging from financial and material to human resources.

Outreach Coordinator

Organization: 
Brookline Access TV
VISTA Name: 
Jessica Wholey
Program Start: 
9/2010
Program End: 
9/2011
Project Description: 

The VISTA will network and meet with collaborating, partner, and support organization in Brookline and the Boston area and provide those organizations with guidance and technical assistance in media and technology program development. Develop a volunteer recruitment and management program for BATV, website support and development, and grant writing and research.

Project Outcome: 

essica has been instrumental in cementing relationshps between BATV and community groups. These relationships have led to increased dialogue and media production for Brookline residents. These relationships have included:

Brookline Early Education Program (BEEP) Connections Literacy Initiative: represented BATV on a “Connections” board of Brookline organizations, which includes Brookline Public Library, the Brookline Housing Authority, the Parent-Child Home Program, the Brookline Community Mental Health Center, Steps To Success, the Brookline Recreation Department, the Brookline Music School, & the Brookline Community Foundation. Focusing on children 0-8, we’ve created programs for early literacy that will help each student enter first grade on equal educational footing. Our first major project was a Sing-A-Long video that Jessica produced with Debbie Fellman of BEEP. It is being screened at a “Red Carpet Event” at the Coolidge Corner Cinema tomorrow for all the BEEP children.

Steps To Success After school Photo Club: Steps to Success is an excellent Brookline organization that aims to close the achievement gap for children in public housing, and foster educational equality in an attempt to end generational poverty. Jessica coordinated a media related enrichment club at their after school program every Monday. It was such a good fit for BATV and STS that it evolved from a photography club into a music video club.

BHS Sports: In an attempt to increase participation in the Brookline sports programs and garner greater community support for High School sports, Jessica worked to bring BATV together with the PTO, the BHS Athletic Department, and the BU Sports broadcasting program to increase our local sports coverage. We began by covering a few events in the fall, a few more in the winter, and had a successful and ambitious programming schedule this spring!

Bibliophile Cinema: With the amazing guidance and leadership of Robin Brenner at the Brookline Public Library, we’ve organized a monthly book/movie club. The idea is that we read a book and then watch the adapted film. And of course, we always have a lively discussion afterwards!

Jessica was also involved with recruiting interns and coordinating them. She created job descriptions for several intern positions each semester, then recruited, interviewed, hired and managed students from schools all over the Boston area: Framingham St, Brookline High, Newbury College, BU, BC, Emmaneule, NEIA, Northeastern University, NESAD @Suffolk, SMFA @ Tufts, and Roxbury Community College. With the help of these interns, we’ve increased our coverage of community events.

Curricula Development and Program Building

VISTA Name: 
Molly Higgins
Program Start: 
9/2009
Program End: 
9/2011
Project Description: 

While being involved with some of CAPAY’s youth/community/media programming plans, our proposed 2009-2010 VISTA member, will primarily be responsible for enhancing CAPAY’s current and future organizational capacity

Goal 1: Activate and mobilize CAPAY’s alumni network to provide increased/ongoing resources
Goal 2: Using Web 2.0 tools to support and streamline organizational communications, mapping of organizational assets (including alumni networking), and outreach/promotion.
Goal 3: Initiate and nurture long-term organizational partnerships in addition to shorter-term project-based collaborations.
Goal 4: Develop assessment and reflection tools with which to document short-and long-term impact of CAPAY program and project participation on youth participants, community members/organizations, and CAPAY alumni
Goal 5: Expand CAPAY’s financial base, including earned income, donations, and grant development.

Molly’s main role in the 2010-2011 service year will be to collect and organize pre-existing content, produce some original content, and produce/package training materials for staff and volunteers to take over the project. This includes archiving CAPAY’s collections of resources and workshops and digitizing them for the CAPAY website and also developing a training curricula that could potentially be used as a revenue stream for CAPAY in the future. The VISTA will also partake in fundraising and grant writing for the program.

Project Outcome: 

Molly was successful in implementing Web 2.0 tools to support and streamline organizational communications. She took over the management of CAPAY’s communications, including CAPAY’s Facebooks and listserve. She worked closely with the CAPAY coordinator Tri Quach to integrate Web 2.0 tools into the new CAPAY website. This includes the development of CAPAY’s media portal, designed to gather Asian American media such as digital stories, blogs, and artist websites (including original CAPAY content). She also worked with one of the CAPAY youth to develop a city-wide blog for youth organizing. Molly made progress in initiating and nurturing long and short term partnerships with other organizations. This includes the promotional video she made with other UMass Boston students for MASAE, a local basketball team. She successfully planned and administered all of the CAPAY YouthLearn internships at other organizations, including UMass Boston’s Asian American Studies Program, BCNC, AACA, ATASK, AFH, and Close to Home. Molly re-established connections with CAPAY alumni, the Alumni Network, which has been meeting actively since June to develop fundraising initiatives and to provide planning assistance and support for the November 2010 CAPAY youth symposium. Molly developed several grant proposals that are pending review.

Molly’s organizing and facilitation with these other Asian American youth programs led to the creation of a Steering Committee (SC) representing the Asian American Civic Association’s Youth Center, the Asian Community Development Corporation’s A-VOYCE, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center’s YouLead, and the Chinese Progressive Association’s Chinese Youth Initiative, along with CAPAY. This is an unprecedented accomplishment in terms of Boston Asian American community youth capacity-building and provides an organizational framework to foster programmatic collaboration and coordination, shared research and advocacy, and joint grant submissions.

Thanks to Molly’s efforts in her second year of service, CAPAY was able to generate several new funding proposals to sources that had not been approached in the past; some are still pending; some are interested in further discussion and the potential for future support. With Molly’s help, CAPAY’s Asian American Studies history curriculum and youth video training program are well established; the CAPAY Filmposium established a precedent for showcasing local Asian American youth media during Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (annually in May), which can continue and expand in future years. Finally, CAPAY’s leadership in the regional coalition (Steering Committee) of Asian American youth organizations/programs is well-established.

Impact Quote: 

CAPAY thanks Molly for all her support. What a great contribution she has made to the field.”

- Peter Kiang, Supervisor

Development Advisor

VISTA Name: 
Austin McCann
Program Start: 
9/2010
Program End: 
9/2011
Project Description: 

The VISTA will reassess current grant writing and fundraising plans and then develop a comprehensive sustainable funding plan for all UCIMC programming, to include all Broadband initiatives and newly developed programs. The VISTA will also train and support UCIMC members in implementing this plan.

The three central projects for our DA are

(1) organizational fundraising support

Austin has executed a number of projects in this arena, including a holiday appeal, a very large Fundraising & Volunteer Engagement drive (currently underway), grant-writing, database management, AmeriCorps program support, membership re-visioning, and many other projects.

(2) broadband grant support

Because of certain contingencies of the $22.5 million in federal broadband stimulus grant awarded to UC, the fundraising component of this project disappeared, although Austin has met with the local broadband policy team, secured the IMC’s position as one of the first “hot spots” of the new broadband network, and is currently developing a proposal for IMC computer training opportunities in coordination with members of the policy team.

(3) internal fundraising training:

Austin established the IMC’s first fundraising (and outreach) group, Foundations, which is aimed at creating a more fundraising/development-aware and -engaged climate the IMC, has done much for this end. He is still in the process of coordinating group trainings with local experts. He has provided fundraising support (particularly w/r/t events and grant-writing) for IMC members.

Project Outcome: 

Austin worked at the UC-IMC during a period of great organizational change (a period which is continuing). His participation, support, and vision were crucial in terms of not only day-to-day support of our members but of providing new ways of thinking about our organization - what we do, how we can be improved, what is and isn’t working. He planned two appeals and documented the appeal system, started a needed collection of all Finance & fundraising documents on our Wiki, collaborated on multiple successful grant applications, helped with securing a new Treasurer and revising our Finance group and its practices, planned the creation of a new website more geared towards development capacity, secured the IMC’s core participation in the new community fiber-optic network granted by the federal government, represented the Finance group and articulated its labor and concerns at IMC administrative meetings, and supported numerous projects and initiatives. There is now documentation and infrastructure in place to support the financial work of the UC-IMC. Austin is leaving somewhat in the middle of a re-visioning process for our organization, so Austin’s work will contribute to a longer haul of changes in the organization directed by the IMC Steering committee.

Austin was not able to adequately reorder our online database and donations system. There were a series of interrelated tasks that Austin was charged with which will be taken up by an Illinois state AmeriCorps direct sevice member whose focus next year will be on membership development and outreach: including Paypal/database coordination, listserv/QuickBooks/database coordination, and sign-up forms on various sub-sites. One of the key barriers is our lack of a full-time web support person: relying on volunteer(s) has its obvious benefits, but there are downsides, as well, which became evident during our Development Adviser’s attempt at implementing these changes. Austin was in an interesting position, as someone building capacity at a volunteer-run organization. While being an effective leader and a great brainstormer of new ideas for the organization, he was constantly regulated by the actually existing participation within his initiatives. So certain projects did not succeed because there wasn’t a critical mass of participation, even though it was well within the bounds of his VAD and his execution was good.

Transmission Project