Five Minute Interview: Jim Ricciuti, Passim Folk Music and Cultural Center
FS: How do you reach out to supporters and potential supporters in ways other than purely fundraising? Are you engaged with the new social media sites — MySpace, Facebook, etc. — and online social networking?
JR: Yes, Club Passim does have a MySpace page at www.myspace.com/clubpassimmusic. Please visit!
FS: Can you describe a recent successful fundraising effort?
JR: We just concluded our Annual Appeal for 2007 with great success. This was done largely via mail but also included e-mail and phone contacts. A key to this appeal was that Passim has turned 50 in 2008. It’s an exciting time to be a part of this organization, whether you are a performer, audience member, donor, volunteer or staff member. So when people think of Passim, they can reflect on our rich 50-year history that has included some of America’s most treasured musicians. Then they think to the next 50 years. Each night is an opportunity to make a lifelong relationship with an artist.
We can feel the community’s excitement by their giving. We have seen our donors increase their giving, and we have had new members join us. The result is a sound funding base to begin our 50th year. We have seen an increase in major gifts as well to help commemorate this historic occasion.
FS: Any major difficulties or setbacks you’ve faced along the way? Things you would do differently with your fundraising?
JR: The major difficulty we have encountered is sponsorship. It’s certainly worth mentioning again because it requires a lot of work. As a small organization, going in through the “front door” can be quite difficult considering in many cases the company has not heard of you. Therefore, having an “in” really helps. However, small organizations, by their nature, are limited in their contacts. They have smaller boards, staff, and a smaller constituency.