By: Joli Heavin, Director of Development
You have likely heard one or more nonprofit employees comment on their positions with the statement: “I’m not in it for the money.” This is generally a wise frame of mind, as salaries for nonprofit employees can rarely compete with comparable positions in the for profit arena. As the Director of Development for Arts for Learning, I must say that I AM in it for the money. More specifically, I am in it for YOUR money.
Why? Because the schools and community partners we serve are facing ever-present budgetary challenges and frequently cannot afford to pay for programming outright. Arts for Learning receives less than 25% of its annual budget from earned revenue, which primarily includes sales of our programs. Thus, the vast majority of our work is funded through the generosity of individuals, foundations, and corporations.
Because of the generosity of our donors, Arts for Learning was recently able to pilot a new program called Artforce. A collaboration with Ivy Tech Community College, Artforce allowed 14 Indiana high school students to explore teaching artistry as a potential collegiate and career path. They worked alongside an experienced Arts for Learning teaching artist, Laura Friesen, for two weeks to gain experience in the visual arts and designing their own arts education lesson plans. In their final week they delivered their workshops to younger children in the AYS camp system and designed a final exhibition showcasing their learning. The program was not only provided at no cost to participants, but also awarded them a small stipend upon completion. More important than monetary compensation, the program left participants with a sense of accomplishment and hope for their future paths.
For me, there is no greater reward than knowing my daily work can ensure children benefit from the transformative power of arts education. While not everyone can be as fortunate as I am to work here every day, you can benefit as I do by making a donation here.