Fundraising & Outreach Coordinator

Community Software Lab
VISTA Name: 
Carolyn Thompson
Program Start: 
Program End: 
Project Description: 

The Community Software Lab is in need of a Community Organizer to do fundraising and outreach for our organization. The current plan is to divide their time on structured tangible work like making networking phone calls and unstructured work like figuring out how to get more of the public using our sites. The VISTA will attend meetings of groups of agencies, demo our software, develop ways to increase viewership, attend public events like festivals, make followup networking phone calls to agency representatives after meetings, and contact agency & program contacts to get them to update or add entries to the database.

- Increase the number of organizations putting their records into our databases
- Increase the number of people searching for information on our sites
- Document a reproducible process for getting organizations to put their info on our sites.

Project Outcome: 

Carolyn has brought in approximately $3,000 in undesignated donations, almost reaching her goal of $5000. Working with board members and other staff, Carolyn scheduled coffee or lunch meetings with past and potential supporters and asked them for money. Carolyn created a database of past and potential donors of more than 300 members. Carolyn also organized and ran a fundraising Tea that brought in approximately $1000. Considering our past best year for individual donations was about $700, this is quite a leap forward.

The Community Software lab now has the infrastructure for soliciting donations and for putting on fund-raising events. We also now have an organizational culture that values fundraising. To insure we can continue, our board and permanent staff have worked with Carolyn on fund-raising setup and implementation and pledged to continue when she leaves. Remaining work includes refining our presentation for different potential donors. We need to cultivate donors outside our existing network.

When Carolyn started we realized that her work should fit into a larger plan, a plan that we had not yet created. Carolyn has contributed to our business planning efforts and our draft/working business plan document. Carolyn has done planning work on an un-conference we are exploring putting on with another organization. Carolyn recruited somebody who is proving to be one of our better board members. Carolyn helped write two grants.

Transmission Project