Thursday, June 19, 2008

Writing for Good Causes

I'm a freelance writer for the most part - I do hold steady work at one social service org, but I also do short-term work for other agencies: education, arts, whatever. The steady one, I've been there, count'em, five years, which is kind of surreal. And I work at a community college as well, running the small tutoring program, but that's more a pay-the-mortgage-whilst-fucking-around-for-hours.

I'm usually pretty happy with doing this kind of work, mainly because I like that I feel I'm doing something good. I like knowing that the money I get from Textron or Target or some big family foundation is going toward buying services for needy people, or helping to expand or start some new beneficial program. (Plus, I work from home mostly, and the pay is pretty great. Hey, let's be honest. It's not just do-goodery, just a welcome benefit to the job)

Yes, indeed, a portrait of me and my writing benevolence.

One thing I've always been is lucky. A few months ago, I was complaining about how much I wanted to get more into the arts and culture field of fundraising, how that's my dream, but it's near impossible to get into said field without experience. And at the time, I had none, only human services and education. Which is fine, but like I mentioned in an earlier post, the arts is a great love of mine, and something I really, really want to immerse myself into. Having a position where, let's say, I can help distribute grants to struggling artists or musicians, or bring in money to fund some big arts festival or performance, well, it may sound weird, but I would love that.

A few weeks later, I get a request for some funding resources for an art school over in Massachusetts. And the same week, I get a call from my stepdad Rob asking if I can do some research into funding a big band festival back in Canada

Funny how this shit works out. Not an uncommon thing, I'll tell you.)

Anyways, I eagerly jumped into the big band stuff, not only because it's arts related and will look good in my portfolio, but also because it's a way to feel connected to Canada, if only through business means. If I can find some really good foundations or corporate sponsors, this big band fest, which sounds very cool, will be able to expand, and bring in some Canadian talent to perform. And it supports a really nice town and the general area where I'm from. I, in turn, am giving back to my community, in a way.

Rob got back to me today, after I'd sent him a list of ten or so resources they might look into for funding support, everything from the Canadian federal government to a large gambling corporation based in Ontario. He said "the board was very impressed, and wants to meet you. Maybe there's some work that can come of this."

I wrote back that that was lovely, but even if there wasn't work and money to be had (research is usually free, writing has an hourly fee) I was just glad to help. And that's not just me spouting off and being holier and oh-so-good. It's true.

1 comment:

Lisa Pas said...

Oh, how I love that last photo. :)