Carolyn’s Portfolio | Port Aransas Art Center

To illustrate the work I do for nonprofits, I launched a “Portfolio” section on my professional website. This is the first portfolio.

Most nonprofit organizations want to raise significant donations, and most all of them deserve those leadership donations. But sometimes this requires infrastructure and communications improvements as well as solid research, consistent donor communications, grant writing and more.

Here are some of the activities on which I have embarked during 2018 for the Port Aransas Art Center (I am working part-time).

I often mention on my websites that I am “hands on.” I do most of my own work although I love having help, smiles. I have many years of experience working with nonprofits with little or no staff (or staff with little or no interest in development), and I have tackled those projects with gusto! When I believe in what they are accomplishing, when their enthusiasm inspires me, I am ready to jump in with both hands.

WordPress | A new website with more modern look and capabilities | WordPress free templates and cost-effective hosting plans help nonprofits look sharp online and they are sharing- and mobile-friendly. Many nonprofits I have encountered have older websites, some dating back to ten or fifteen years and they keep needlessly patching them together and updating plugins, etc. As time moves forward, less fuss and greater sophistication are hallmarks of platforms like WordPress. This example is a free template and a “Personal” hosting plan.

GuideStar | Gold Seal | To flesh-out a nonprofit profile on GuideStar to the Gold Seal level or higher takes time and thought, but no financial investment on the part of the nonprofit. The process is free, but the long-term effect on credibility can be substantial when it comes to encouraging major gifts.

GreatNonprofits | 2018 Top Rated Nonprofit | Testimonials and word-of-mouth endorsements are highly influential when it comes to donors giving with confidence and at greater levels.

MailChimp | E-newsletters produced on a regular basis (once-monthly in this case), keep the drum beating for your nonprofit. They keep your nonprofit before your constituents, they keep you compliant with the CAN SPAM Act, they are a meaningful way to recognize donors, and more. Consistent communications are key to any successful development program.

New Brochure

Brochures and Publications | Organizations that welcome the public often needs professional “take away” brochures at the front desk that provide basic information and provide basic information for future visits. The photo above by Laura Griffith shows the production of a new brochure for the Port Aransas Art Center that we created with a Microsoft Office template, printed locally and folded ourselves (Laura used a length of PVC pipe to help with the folding, which worked like a charm, smiles). I anticipate also creating a professional case for support document shortly. Stay tuned.

Social Media

Facebook | The Port Aransas Art Center already had a successful Facebook page, but I got into the back-end, reformatted it specifically as a nonprofit organization, added background information, touched up postings, added a donate “button,” and more.

YouTube | Videos are exceedingly popular way for the public to access information and YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world after Google Search. I created a new YouTube profile and using Adobe Spark Video, created an initial group of videos to start.

Instagram | Visual communications continue to grow in popularity with the public and Instagram is a major player in this realm. I created this platform and I am managing it.

Pinterest | Pinterest is a major online traffic “driver,” and it thrives on visual imagery. I created this profile and I am managing it (a work in progress).

Yelp | As an institution that welcomes the public, the Art Center needed a Yelp profile and we launched it in 2018.

Photo Documentation | For social media postings, videos, brochures, slideshows and more, photos are required. I have been doing some photo documentation for the Art Center and the slide show below illustrates a few of those images. I have also taken the photos of others and used them to create visual presentations as well.

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The Art Center already had a devoted core group of supporters, but in order to retire remaining debt on its new facility and to expand its infrastructure in order to offer more programs for youth and adults year-round, more fundraising and a professional development program for the long-term is required.

Research regarding prospective underwriters continues, and prospective supporters for programs, capital needs and more in the potential range of $500,000 have been identified and relationship-building is underway. Grant proposals are already being submitted, and more in-depth communications with existing supporters and “insiders” are underway. We are also investigating ways to enhance the Art Center’s annual membership program with new benefits, to cultivate and better involve members capable of giving more, and we are reaching out to new program partners.

Some 90% of all online donations come via MasterCard and VISA. A new online processing platform by Qgiv is providing more options for giving to the Art Center online, and a more sophisticated way to track those donations and event registrations.

Looking to the long-term, we have established a relationship with Giving Docs for cost-effective, secure Will making. More than half of Americans die without a Will, which throws their families into chaos and tough tax situations often arise as a result. By making a Will, one can avoid burdening family, while also supporting charitable organizations like the Port Aransas Art Center. We are working on future “campaigns” to help promote planned giving.

These are some of the things on which I have been working for the Port Aransas Art Center. More work is underway! If you have questions, use the secure contact form on my website to reach me. And as always, consider making a donation today. Thank you.