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Jan 24

Lessons in Fundraising

One of the most valuable experiences I had in my first semester was working with the Western New York Books Arts Center through the Master’s program’s Fundraising & Development course. The class is structured around experiential learning, which calls us to weekly apply new techniques from lecture to boost our partner organizations’ fundraising efforts.

Working alongside WNYBAC made me better able to understand the organization’s mission and invite others to take part in it. Fundraising first requires us to understand our organization’s vision of the future and their goals for meeting the community’s needs. Based on the vision and mission, we learn how to invite others to make a difference by supporting our organization. With that perspective, we were able to write more effective fundraising letters and marketing materials.

A little more on some of the organizations we worked with:

CMH Counseling: A private, not-for-profit counseling agency founded in 1922, providing counseling services to individuals, couples and families.

Danceability: A dance program for children and adults in the Western New York area with special needs utilizing dance and movement to enable and empower students while promoting physical, social, and emotional wellness in a family-focused, peaceful environment.

Preservation Buffalo Niagara: An organization dedicated to fostering historic preservation in the Buffalo Niagara region, serving seven counties in Western New York.

Torn Space Theater: A modern theater group that aims to create original, aesthetically innovative performances; to introduce internationally-renowned, contemporary drama to Western New York; and to cultivate the collaboration of actors, composers, sculptors, video artists and designers within our productions.

WNY Book Arts Center: A collaborative group that exists to promote, encourage and develop the Printing and Book Arts through education and access for individual artists and underserved communities.