Start Thinking About Making A Difference

Last Sunday, 116/2013, I had the pleasure of appearing on and among the topics discussed were the value of transparency and the rise of the organized patron stakeholder group. On that topic, I gave the SoundNotion crew a head’s up about a new Kickstarter campaign I’ll be launching within the next month to raise funds for creating a new searchable orchestra 990 database.

The segment where we discuss the project and rationale behind it picks up at the 51:01 mark and if the YouTube gods are smiling on us, the clip below should begin right at that point. If it doesn’t I apologize and suggest you manually move to that time stamp.

This is all related to a topic discussed last month and regular readers likely recall the interest poll from 9/27/2013; based on those responses, there’s ample evidence that launching the fundraiser will be worthwhile. Moreover, my development team at Venture determined that from a technical perspective, it is completely doable plus we’ll be able to offer a host of expanded offerings.

As a result of all this effort, the decision was made to temporarily disable new subscriptions at Adaptistration Premium until we determine if the Kickstarter project succeeds. Current subscribers will still be able to log in and access restricted content but if the fundraiser meets the goal, Adaptistration Premium will cease to exist in its current incarnation in favor of diverting those resources to a new orchestra 990 database project (which will certainly need a sexier name; any ideas?).

Many thanks to all those who took the time to participate in the poll and reach out with direct messages. Details will be made available as they develop but here are some tenets of the project that will help shape not only the Kickstarter campaign, but the mission driven site functionality:

  • Keyword driven 990 searches and results will be free for all users, all the time.
  • An L3C will be formed as the entity under which all work and ongoing administration will be carried out (A L3C is a low-profit limited liability company that provides the ability to generate investments and foundation support in socially beneficial, for-profit ventures).
  • Multi taxonomy filtering will help users filter results based on basic items such as state and zip as well as custom categories.

What sort of functionality would you like to see?

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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