Sunday, January 17, 2010

I wish I'd thought of this

I'm amazed by this "Text Haiti" campaign. Maybe it's because I sit in class and talk about how difficult it is for nonprofits to successfully fundraise...especially now. This isn't the first "mobile giving" campaign, but it's the first I've been aware of. It's so brilliant. I don't even have to get up, go find my purse, dig out my credit card, log on to a website, type in the numbers and hit submit. All I have to do is grab my phone, which is probably right next to me or in my pocket, send a text message, and boom! There it is on my bill.

Brilliant! I'm not kidding. I really think this is one of the smartest ideas I've ever seen.

So, I had to do some digging about the company behind this. The Text Haiti campaign is being run through a company called mGive. mGive has it's own 501(c)3 foundation attached to it, but I can't actually figure that part out. So, mGive charges charities a monthly fee between $399 and $1,499 to set up the technical stuff, negotiate with cell phone carriers, get the text number and word, and basically handle all of the logistics. mGive also takes between $0.30 - $0.35 plus 3.5% of each successful transaction.

Alright, so, a large organization like the Red Cross contracts with mGive. They pay $1500/month (you have to sign a 12 month contract) for the service. An earthquake happens in Haiti. $10 million dollars is raised by $10 text messages in less than a week. That's approximately one million people texting. mGive gets a little less than a dollar for each transaction. mGive just made almost a million dollars for itself in one week.

What's even better than this, is the money that goes to the charity, doesn't even come from mGive. It comes from the cell phone carriers who collect the money from the bill and pass it on to the charity. And you can't even really fault mGive for charging the charity for the service considering that they enabled the Red Cross to raise $10 million dollars in less than 7 days. That doesn't happen unless Bill Gates or Warren Buffett decides to give you money.

It's utterly brilliant.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

It's official. I've changed my major. As of the Winter Quarter I will be working towards and MFA in Arts Leadership. I finally just figured I might as well stop fighting the fact that no matter what I do I'm going to end up in the Arts and just embrace it!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

"Tom," said Douglas, "just promise me one thing, okay?"
     "It's a promise. What?"
"You may be my brother and maybe I hate you sometimes, but stick around, all right?"
     "You mean you'll let me follow you and the older guys when you go on hikes?"
"Well...sure...even that. What I mean is, don't go away, huh? Don't let any cars run over you or fall off a cliff."
     "I should say no! Whatta you think I am, anyway?"
"'Cause if worst comes to worst, and both of us are real old - say forty or forty-five some day - we can own a gold mine out West and sit there smoking corn silk and growing beards."
     "Growing beards! Boy!"
"Like I say, you stick around and don't let nothing happen."
     "You can depend on me," said Tom.
"It's not you I worry about," said Douglas. "It's the way God runs the world."
      Tom thought about that for a moment.
"He's all right, Doug," said Tom. "He tries."

-Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine

Monday, November 2, 2009

I might be changing my major. From this to this.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I found this job posted on craigslist a few weeks ago. It sounds perfect and EXACTLY like what I'm looking for...part time for now that could morph into something else later. It's with a very small start-up nonprofit called Vittana Foundation. They're a microlending firm that works with people in Latin and Central America who want to go to school, but can't afford it.

Anyway, I sent a resume/cover letter about two weeks ago and haven't heard anything. The posting said, "no calls," so I started looking into how to followup without calling. I stalked the CEO on LinkedIn and Facebook and found a couple of people I used to work with who were connected to him. I contacted them and they sent him messages mentioning my name. Another person I used to work with is friends with one of the guys who is listed as an "advisor" to their organization on their website. She sent him a message and he passed my name along as well. I still haven't heard anything!

What do you have to do to get someone to call you?!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

This week has been a waiting game and I'm now terrified about the next two and a half days. The first show at our theatre is a patron/press screening on Friday at 2:30pm. That means everything needs to be perfect by then. So far, we've been waiting on artwork, we've been waiting on hardware and construction projects, we've been waiting on ladders. Now, we have two and a half days to finish everything...and we're still waiting on a few things. I can see Friday morning being insane. Keep your fingers crossed that I'm wrong.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


The Mushroom Parade has to be one of my very favorite Telluride traditions. There's a Mushroom Festival the weekend before the film festival and the parade is the best part. It lasts about a minute and usually involves a bunch of people in funny costumes just wandering down the street.

This guy is not a lost member of the Grateful Dead, but a San Miguel County Commissioner.
The annual Schlep/Production soccer game was Friday. Production won for the second year in a row. This is the view you get when you play soccer in Telluride.