Outreach and Development Coordinator
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.
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.
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.