Last Look: Interview With Lindsey Jenkins-Stark, Vice President of Iridescent
LJS: We are taking a more flexible outlook on fundraising in the current economy. We are focusing on smaller grant opportunities that have a higher funding percentage. We are also working to refine earned-income strategies in order to lessen our reliance on grants and foundations.
FS: How would you describe your fundraising philosophy?
LJS: Our fundraising philosophy could be described as, "If at first you don't succeed, try at least once more." We believe it is difficult to predict funding outcomes for nonprofits, especially in the current economic environment. Thus we believe that in order to identify and refine successful funding strategies, it is important to attempt several strategies more than once.
FS: How do you reach out to supporters and potential supporters in ways other than purely fundraising? Are you engaged with social-media sites like MySpace, Facebook, etc., and online social networking?
LJS: Iridescent reaches out to supporters via several social-networking avenues. Our online social networking includes but is not limited to Facebook, VolunteerMatch, Idealist.org, University Park Family (http://tinyurl.com/m2nl9a), our blog (IridescentLearning.blogspot.com) and our site, on which we sell T-shirts with our lessons incorporated into the design.
FS: Can you describe a recent successful fundraising effort?
LJS: In order for schools to fund our program, we offer a variety of fundraising options including selling our T-shirts. Schools use the T-shirt sale as a way of paying for the program at their schools. Not only does it allow us to conduct programs at underserved schools and communities, but it also increases our visibility in the community.
FS: Any major difficulties or setbacks you've faced along the way? Things you would do differently with your fundraising?
LJS: As stated, we have experienced a change in grant funding as a result of the current economic environment. As a result, we have changed our grant-writing processes. We would really like to further explore more refined streams of earned income. We hope to focus more on our earned-income strategies this coming year.