The dictionary definition of a non-profit organization is A corporation or an association that conducts business for the benefit of the general public without shareholders and without a profit motive.
There are many reasons nonprofit organizations exist.
To make a difference in lives.
To correct perceived social injustice.
To bridge the gap between government and private funding channels
To make valid contributions to society.
Altruistic at its core and problematic in reality. How many people do you know, including yourself, who really look forward to asking someone for money, gifts in kind or support for the most worthy cause. Most of us cringe and say, “I’m not good at that!” and then offer time, energy or our money just so we don’t have to ask others for theirs!
The number one reason people don’t give to a charitable organization is they are not asked! Pretty simple, yet not really. Someone has to ask! In our Monterey Peninsula community there are over 600 nonprofit organizations vying for the same funding dollar. Who is to say one nonprofit is more worthy than another? It comes down to finding the philanthropists in our community, sharing our story and asking for support.
The Board of Directors at Dance Kids is tasked to raise money in three different ways: grant support through seasoned grant writers, individual “asks” from current and/or new donors and support through corporate entities.
Last year, Dance Kids raised $17,000.00 in grants. This year, with great thanks to Robin McKee’s work with me, mid-year our total is $37,000.00. Our goal is $50,000.00. This sounds terrific and DK is proud of this current accomplishment and lofty goal, yet, there is so much more needed.
Keep in mind, Dance Kids is not a huge organization. According to Google, the Monterey Bay Aquarium budget is over 60 million. A local non-profit dance organization is $297,000 and Dance Kids comes in at $250,000.00. Dance Kids has only two part time staff, two grant writers and a host of volunteers that make the work happen throughout the year.
Most of you know our annual Nutcracker yet Dance Kids programming for the underserved is a vital link to our community presence. Yet, Dance Kids consists of four programs featured at different times of the year. Upward Bound, a national program with local impact at CSUMB, has a five year collaborative history with Dance Kids. Cascanueces: A Latino Nutcracker, created four years ago, serves as an artistic bridge between artistic cultures in our community. The newest in the Dance Kids repertoire is the collaboration between MPUSD and DK to foster dance and theatre in the schools.
Your help is needed each year to help us attain our goal. A cornerstone of the Dance Kids programming is “no child will be turned away,” meaning a host of scholarship requests on a yearly basis. The requests have grown exponentially over the last years with the down turn of the economy.
We want to acknowledge and thank the California Arts Council for Dance Kids most recent funding. Monterey Peninsula Foundation, Yellow Brick Road, Monterey County Weekly Community Fund of the Monterey Community Foundation for Monterey County, Jim Tunney Foundation, Marjorie Meret-Carmen, Dr. Amy Roth, Barnet Segal Foundation, Carmel Rotary, Pebble Beach Foundation, Arts Council for Monterey County and Bill and Nancy Doolittle. A complete list will be published in our December, 2016 Nutcracker program.
Which means there is still time for your name to appear!
Hope to hear from you soon!
Love and thanks,
Carol Richmond, Founder
This article was written by Carol Richmond