Magazine article The Masthead

Hey, NCEW, You Rock! Generous Members Met the Fundraising Challenge

Magazine article The Masthead

Hey, NCEW, You Rock! Generous Members Met the Fundraising Challenge

Article excerpt

The morning of furious dialing for dollars in April in Kansas City paid off: NCEW and the NCEW Foundation met the $25,000 challenge. Congratulations. You came through for your Foundation at a crucial moment, and it paid off in more than just dollars--though the money is certainly welcome.

The Challenge Fund for Journalism's year-long endeavor was meant to help several journalism organizations learn about the importance of fundraising and the skills to conduct successful fundraising campaigns. J.R. Labbe, NCEW'S immediate past president, and I were the point people on the fundraising team, which included the NCEW board's Executive Committee. The two of us attended two two-day sessions where we were taught the do's and don'ts of successful fund building campaigns. We, along with about fifty other journalists, learned from the experts and from each other. We traded success stories and shared ideas that didn't seem to work. (Confession: J.R. did virtually all the heavy lifting.)

For seven years the NCEW and Foundation boards have developed and refined strategic plans for both organizations. A critical element of participation in The Challenge Fund for Journalism's program was conducting an organizational self-appraisal. That exercise was enlightening, somewhat troubling, but ultimately a highly valuable addition to our strategic planning. It's never enjoyable to confront organizational weaknesses. But the things we learned by honestly examining the services we offer and how we offer them, gave both boards renewed energy and resolve. We intend to make sure we provide opinion writers, broadcasters, bloggers, and editors the necessary professional development programs they need to meet the demands of an ever-changing world of media convergence.

We have already changed some things. One weakness we discovered was our failure to communicate with members on a personal level. …

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