FULTON - I’ve been doing more reading now that I have more time. I’ve saved at least 10 minutes not driving to and from the Arts Center every day. And it is so much easier to get out the door with a cup of coffee in hand when you don’t have to... get out the door! Coffee, computer on, comfy clothes, no coat, no shoes, not even brushing my hair if I don’t want to! (But never fear - I usually do that at least!) Whatever it takes for the assault of text about to bombard me as soon as I open my phone - or turn on my devices.
I get daily emails from a great publication called Nonprofit Quarterly (although why it’s called quarterly when I receive it twice a day is beyond me). You all read NPQ faithfully, right? No? Just me? I’m always reading to learn what I can do to improve, protect, or advance the tiny nonprofit I’m blessed to lead. And of course, most articles and media posts are focused on the common crisis we’re all in - how to navigate COVID-19.
One great article described three types of nonprofits where I found what seems to be an apt description of where we are in the midst of these not-so-normal new times. We seem to be what author Ruth McCambridge called a hibernator.
“Hibernators are completely unable to operate during this crisis. (They may pretend otherwise, but this will waste time and resources.) Hibernators include arts organizations whose venues are closed, after-school providers who no longer have students, technical assistance firms whose clients have gone away, etc. These organizations need to reduce their monthly cash burn-rate to the absolute minimum and mothball themselves in the hope of surviving until spring with enough resources to restart.”
(3 Nonprofit Types under COVID-19—and What They Must Come to Terms With by Ruth McCambridge, April 3, 2020, NonProfit Quarterly)
Hmmm - well that’s boring ...and yes, a little too close for comfort! And it is also good advice to take into consideration. But Ruth McCambridge hasn’t met our community and she doesn’t know about the wonderful people of CNY.
And even if the blessings of one little nonprofit wouldn’t change the equation for the masses, it is a huge game-changer for us! It’s a major detail that gives this story a happy ending even if the end of this story hasn’t happened yet!
And that detail would be the support and feedback we’re seeing in post after post on Facebook - especially Raffles for Relief, the brainchild of one good samaritan who decided to help small businesses and share the profits to help nonprofit organizations like ours. It’s a brilliant concept! She’s working around the clock without compensation and she’s doing what she can to help everyone get through this rough time together. Thank you Alyssa Moroz Bleau!
And have you noticed there are countless others doing their part too without compensation or enough appreciation like Team Cortini sewing hundreds of masks, Huhtamaki donating food containers, restaurants and organizations feeding families, lots of great home-sewing individuals making face masks, and those gathering materials to keep supply lines open. I’m sure I’ve missed someone in this list but thank you too! You are all wonderful and appreciated! It’s been said we’re stepping up like earlier generations who did their part during the World Wars. You are stepping up and it won’t be forgotten! We are all writing history day by day!
We’re so grateful for the help from Raffles for Relief which so many of you contributed to. And we’re deeply humbled by the generosity of the entire community. Please know that even though the Arts Center may be in physical ‘hibernation’, we see - we know - and we are touched by all of you! And we’ll be back to say thanks again in real and personal ways as soon as the doors open.
For now, check out our features on Facebook enjoying National Poetry Month and stay tuned for more. Please take care of yourselves. Find something entertaining to read! Stay well! We can’t wait to see you soon!
For more information about CNY Arts Center visit www.CNYArtsCenter.com or find us on Facebook.