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grants

Going from Zero to Winning with Grants is LIVE!

I’m so pleased to announce that my course Going from Zero to Winning with Grants has launched! The Going from Zero to Winning with Grants digital course is based off of my popular, nationally touring grant workshop—created especially for my colleagues working in libraries, archives, and museums. And for the first time ever, it’s now available to you as a digital course!

For a sneak peek into the course, please check out my video below:

This course is composed of six modules and 18 lessons that deliver grant strategy, exercises, tools, and templates. By the end of the course you’ll have learned the building blocks of a competitive grant idea, how to grow your grant idea to address multiple needs effectively, how to define outcomes and deliverables that attract grant reviewer attention, and how to build a project framework from your winning grant idea. My teaching style is to present the strategy, introduce and guide you through exercises, and walk through examples to help illustrate key concepts. The course provides video instruction and each lesson contains a slide deck, audio-only download, and worksheets. There’s also a complete workbook available for you to download and use every time you sit down to write a grant. Upon completing the course you’ll receive a 60-minute grant strategy session with me to go over any questions you have and further workshop your ideas in the areas you want extra support around.

Mastering grant writing is so important for our field, especially when facing financial crises. This course will give you the foundation you need to confidently go from zero ideas to a winning grant application.

To help celebrate this launch I’ve created a $25 off coupon code for you to use now through September 1: WINNING.

The course retails for $199 USD and you can purchase it here: https://members.rachaelcristine.com/store.

If you have any questions please email: [email protected]

“See” you there!

Rachael Cristine

Uncategorized

Increase Your Financial Resilience

Hello, and welcome to summer? Or, if you’re struggling with time losing all meaning–like I am–then welcome to sometime in March when I stopped counting. I’m back from my brief medical break and am feeling strong and ready to dig in. With that in mind, here’s a roundup of recent content I’ve created to help you increase your financial resilience; including two items to write your representatives about that (if passed) will increase funding for libraries, archives, and museums.

Amos enjoys soaking his feet in the pool and crushing all the pink colored balls.

Increase Your Financial Resilience with These New Resources

A screenshot of Rachael Cristine Consulting's Get into Grants registration page. The page includes notes on course content and the registration form.

In order to become more financially resilient, we must build up our funding muscles. This includes knowing where your organization’s money comes from and how you can get more of it. To that end, I have new funding related content to share with you:

1. Over at Lucidea’s Think Clearly blog (where I’m a regular guest blogger) I’ve written a series of posts breaking down the American Alliance of Museums’ TrendsWatch2020 report. This year focused on financial sustainability and was written pre-COVID. I’ve taken each each income stream covered by AAM, summarized the content, and have added my recommendations for how to adapt and increase the health of these income streams in this new economic reality. No matter what your job is, it’s always a good idea to understand where your organization’s money is coming from and what you can do to strengthen each income stream toward a more resilient financial future. Here are the first four of six posts:

An Introduction to Financial Sustainability

Earned Income

Charitable Income

Government Income

Catch the final two in the series via the Think Clearly blog on July 22 (Financial Capital) and July 29 (Fostering Financial Sustainability).

2. My course content site has launched and is now available to everyone. A huge thank you to those who’ve joined me in the first course: Get into Grants! This course is free and open to everyone so please feel free to share the link with colleagues who may need this resource. Given that grants make up a majority of funds from both charitable and government income streams, it’s critical for you to get into and master grant funding. Need more help? Don’t worry, I have two more courses that help you create a competitive grant project and teach you how to develop a compelling grant story. Stay tuned!


Advocacy Alert

A black and white photograph depicting an empty museum gallery hall with a portrait in the far distance flanked by two windows and with a chair positioned in front of it.
Photograph by David Yu, accessed July 16, 2020, via Canva.com.

Library Stabilization Fund Act

The LSFA funds would help keep nearly 370,000 library workers on the job, defray costs related to safe re-opening, and support a range of library services to millions of patrons, including high-speed internet access and digital literacy training.

You can read more via the Society of American Archivists here.

Museum Pandemic Relief and FY2021 Funding

This request to two-pronged: 1. Approve another round of pandemic relief funding ($6-billion) to be distributed via the Institute of Library and Museum Services (IMLS) and expand existing pandemic programs such as PPP and increased charitable giving incentives; and 2. Increases FY 2021 funding to $382.7-million to IMLS, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

You can read more via the American Alliance of Museums here.

Resources to Get Started

Our collective strength relies of each of us advocating for our libraries, archives, and museums–and that advocacy work includes contacting your representatives. Need help getting started? No problem! Check out this post for how to contact your rep and what to say. And you can always snag my fill in the blank template here. Remember: Being in regular contact with our representatives about our funding needs is a necessary part of increasing our financial resilience.


What’s Next?

A colorful picture showing a hand holding a lightbulb against a sky backdrop with clouds showing white, orange, and purple coloration.
Photograph by fotographierende, accessed July 16, 2020, via Canva.com.

I’m nearing the completion of my grant course suite which leads me to: What’s Next? I’ve received requests to speak to resilient job searching tactics, tips for when to know it’s time to leave (the job or profession), and how to recruit and engage volunteers. What else would you like to see? What can I help support you on? Please comment or send me an email ([email protected]) and let me know.

And if you haven’t already, I invite you to sign up for my newsletter so that you’re first in line for any future offerings and free resource drops.

Thanks and be well!

Uncategorized

Action Alert: Preserve the Oregon Heritage Commission and Support Oregon Arts and Culture

Oregon colleagues, it’s time to write our representatives again.

Action

For those who are free to do so, I’m requesting that you join me in writing OPRD Director Lisa Sumption, Governor Brown, and your local Oregon legislators to fund the OPRD department and preserve the Oregon Heritage Commission. I’ve copied a version of my letter below–you are welcome to copy and adapt. I’ve sent this letter to the Oregonian, OPRD Director Lisa Sumption, Governor Brown, Senator Burdick, and Representative Doherty.

Contact Information

Director of OPRD, Lisa Sumption’s email: [email protected]
Gov. Brown: https://www.oregon.gov/gov/pages/share-your-opinion.aspx
Find your Oregon legislator: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/findyourlegislator/leg-districts.html

Letter to Director Lisa Sumption of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department

Dear Director Sumption,

I can only imagine how challenging this time is for you. I know you oversee the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), and I know it can’t be easy for you to make decisions that impact people’s lives. I’m writing this letter to advocate for the preservation of the Oregon Heritage Commission branch of OPRD. But, I know you can’t do it alone. So, I’ve also written Gov. Brown, Senator Burdick, and Representative Doherty. Additionally, I have submitted an Op-ed to the Oregonian. In each I have advocated for the financial support of the OPRD.

I’m Rachael Woody and I run a certified women-owned business in Oregon that provides services to Oregon’s 1400 art and culture organizations. On June 5, the OPRD reported in their Heritage Digest (Volume 207 Issue 1) a $22 million revenue gap, and has announced layoffs and the freezing of “other programs such as grants”.  It’s not a surprise that Oregon’s parks and recreation unit is financially suffering due to COVID-19, but it is disturbing that our elected officials have moved so slowly to stop a potentially catastrophic loss in Oregon employment, recreation services, and Oregon heritage preservation.

As you likely know, the Oregon arts and culture sector is an economic engine for Oregon. According to the Culture Advocacy Coalition (CAC) the sector annually brings in $343 million in tourism-related expenses, employs 13,939 Full Time Employees (FTE), and expends $364 million back into Oregon’s economy.  Just last year, Oregon legislators demonstrated their support of the sector by passing six major Oregon art and culture bills. The bills renewed the unique Oregon Cultural Trust (OCT) tax credit for another 6-years, and approved more than $5.1 million in restoration and expansion projects for performance and cultural centers across the state.

But, this economic engine is facing financial ruin. There are two Oregon-specific arts and culture impact studies available: 1. The COVID-19 Impact on Oregon Culture, by OCT; and 2. The COVID-19 Oregon | Arts & Culture Sector Impacts, by the CAC. Both surveys capture the bleak financial picture facing 1400 Oregon arts and culture organizations. From March to May organizations estimate their total revenue loss at $51 million. Of the CAC respondents, 70% report the COVID-19 crisis as having a “severe impact” on their ability to operate, and 83% have already initiated financial mitigation efforts such as layoffs and furloughs.  The OCT study confirms that many organizations have (at most) 2-3 months of financial reserves saved up. Oregon’s stay-at-home measures were implemented in mid-March and it’s now mid-June, many of those organizations have exhausted their reserves and have already laid off 1,385 of 13,939 FTE. Many of these organizations are facing the permanent closing of their doors and Oregonians are on the precipice of a catastrophic loss in Oregon arts and culture.

This is why what’s been done is not enough. At the federal-level, programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program and $200-million in the initial CARES Act for emergency relief funding via federal granting agencies provide limited support to the Oregon arts and culture sector. Notably, this relief falls far short of the $4 billion-dollar request made by the arts and culture field and the American Alliance of Museums estimates “[A]s many as 30 percent of museums, mostly in small and rural communities, will not re-open without significant and immediate emergency financial assistance.”  On the local level, nine Oregon public and private funders have released $1.3 million in relief funds , and the OCT has submitted a $10 million Emergency Cultural Relief Fund proposal for legislative approval.

But, when facing a $50 million gap, the emergency financial programs available is simply not enough. First, there must be additional government relief funds allocated to Oregon arts and culture organizations. Second, we must rectify how we currently support heritage at the state-level. According to Heritage Digest, the OPRD budget is composed of lottery funds (44%), recreation fees (50%), and federal funds (6% directed to heritage grants).  Oregonians need to critically reexamine how we fund what we profess to value, and adjust our spending to reflect those values. The OPRD cannot sustainably run on funds that fluctuate with the economy. OPRD must receive more substantial and stable funding allocated by the government from tax revenue.

As the Director, you know the OPRD is a critical lynch pin to the Oregon arts and culture sector. The Oregon Heritage Commission (ran under OPRD) provides a substantial amount of services and administers several grant programs to 1400 organizations across the state—many in small, rural areas that are the most at risk for permanent closure. You can see then, how alarming it is to learn OPRD is forced to consider cuts in staff and has frozen the grant program. If the OPRD cuts staff positions in the heritage unit and continues the hold on grant programs, then it’s signaling its abandonment of 1400 Oregon arts and culture organizations. We are at a critical juncture. If we’re not successful in securing the protection and funding of Oregon heritage, then Oregon will irrevocably lose a significant number of our arts and culture organizations. And we, as Oregonians, will be the lesser for it.

Director Sumption, please demonstrate your support of Oregon’s art and culture, and preserve a fully functioning Oregon Heritage Commission. There are 1400 Oregon art and culture associations are depending on it.

Sample Letter to Elected Official

On June 5, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) reported in their Heritage Digest (Volume 207 Issue 1) a $22 million revenue gap, and has announced layoffs and the freezing of “other programs such as grants”. It’s not a surprise that Oregon’s parks and recreation unit is financially suffering due to COVID-19, but it is disturbing that our elected officials have moved so slowly to stop a potentially catastrophic loss in Oregon employment, recreation services, and Oregon heritage preservation.

The Oregon arts and culture sector is an economic engine for Oregon. According to the Culture Advocacy Coalition (CAC) the sector annually brings in $343 million in tourism-related expenses, employs 13,939 Full Time Employees (FTE), and expends $364 million back into Oregon’s economy. Just last year, Oregon legislators demonstrated their support of the sector by passing six major Oregon art and culture bills. The bills renewed the unique Oregon Cultural Trust (OCT) tax credit for another 6-years, and approved more than $5.1 million in restoration and expansion projects for performance and cultural centers across the state.

But, this economic engine is facing financial ruin. There are two Oregon-specific arts and culture impact studies available: 1. The COVID-19 Impact on Oregon Culture, by OCT; and 2. The COVID-19 Oregon | Arts & Culture Sector Impacts, by the CAC. Both surveys capture the bleak financial picture facing 1400 Oregon arts and culture organizations. From March to May organizations estimate their total revenue loss at $51 million. Of the CAC respondents, 70% report the COVID-19 crisis as having a “severe impact” on their ability to operate, and 83% have already initiated financial mitigation efforts such as layoffs and furloughs. The OCT study confirms that many organizations have (at most) 2-3 months of financial reserves saved up. Oregon’s stay-at-home measures were implemented in mid-March and it’s now mid-June, many of those organizations have exhausted their reserves and have already laid off 1,385 of 13,939 FTE. Many of these organizations are facing the permanent closing of their doors and Oregonians are on the precipice of a catastrophic loss in Oregon arts and culture.

This is why what’s been done is not enough. At the federal-level, programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program and $200-million in the initial CARES Act for emergency relief funding via federal granting agencies provide limited support to the Oregon arts and culture sector. Notably, this relief falls far short of the $4 billion-dollar request made by the arts and culture field and the American Alliance of Museums estimates “[A]s many as 30 percent of museums, mostly in small and rural communities, will not re-open without significant and immediate emergency financial assistance.” On the local level, nine Oregon public and private funders have released $1.3 million in relief funds , and the OCT has submitted a $10 million Emergency Cultural Relief Fund proposal for legislative approval.

But, when facing a $50 million gap, the emergency financial programs available is simply not enough. First, there must be additional government relief funds allocated to Oregon arts and culture organizations. Second, we must rectify how we currently support heritage at the state-level. According to Heritage Digest, the OPRD budget is composed of lottery funds (44%), recreation fees (50%), and federal funds (6% directed to heritage grants). Oregonians need to critically reexamine how we fund what we profess to value, and adjust our spending to reflect those values. The OPRD cannot sustainably run on funds that fluctuate with the economy. OPRD must receive more substantial and stable funding allocated by the government from tax revenue.

The OPRD is a critical lynch pin to the Oregon arts and culture sector. The Oregon Heritage Commission (ran under OPRD) provides a substantial amount of services and administers several grant programs to 1400 organizations across the state—many in small, rural areas that are the most at risk for permanent closure. You can see then, how alarming it is to hear OPRD is forced to consider cuts in staff and has frozen the grant program. If the OPRD cuts staff positions in the heritage unit and continues the hold on grant programs, then it’s signaling its abandonment of 1400 Oregon arts and culture organizations. We are at a critical juncture. If we’re not successful in securing for the protection and funding of Oregon heritage, then Oregon will irrevocably lose a significant number of our arts and culture organizations. And we, as Oregonians, will be the lesser for it.

[Insert Name], please demonstrate your support of Oregon’s art and culture, and please work with Oregon legislators to deploy relief funding to OPRD. A fully functioning Oregon Heritage Commission (under OPRD) and additional emergency relief funding is needed to support the 1400 Oregon art and culture associations struggling to survive.

Thank you,
Rachael Woody, Rachael Cristine Consulting LLC
Tigard, Oregon

Sources

1. Oregon Heritage Commission, Heritage Digest, Volume 207 Issue 1, sent by email on June 5, 2020.
2. Culture Advocacy Coalition, The COVID-19 Oregon | Arts & Culture Sector Impacts, accessed June 12, 2020, via https://www.oregonculture.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/FINAL_COVID-19-Oregon-Impacts-1.pdf.
3. Oregon Cultural Trust, Oregon Arts and Culture Sector Scores Big, published July 2019, accessed June 12, 2020, via https://culturaltrust.org/blog/news/oregons-arts-and-culture-sector-scores-big/.
4. Oregon Cultural Trust, COVID-19 Impact on Oregon Culture, accessed June 12, 2020, via https://culturaltrust.org/wp-content/uploads/ECRF_SurveyFindings_DataViz_Layout.pdf.
5. American Alliance of Museums, Museums Included in Economic Relief Legislation, accessed June 12, 2020, via https://t.congressweb.com/w/?GRPQLGOFCH.
6. Oregon Cultural Trust, Cultural Organizations Cite Devastating COVID-19 Losses in Statewide Cultural Trust Impact Survey, accessed June 12, 2020, via https://culturaltrust.org/blog/news/cultural-organizations-cite-devastating-covid-19-losses-in-statewide-cultural-trust-impact-survey/.

Get into Grants by Rachael of Rachael Cristine Consulting
grants

The Get into Grants Mini-Course is LIVE!

Good news! The Get into Grants course is now open to my community! Get into Grants is a free mini-course that provides an overview of grants specific to archives, museums, and cultural heritage organizations. Whether you’re new to grants or just need a refresher, this mini-course can quickly get you up to speed with grant fundamentals specific to our field.

Check out this sneak peek video for more details:

The following topics will be covered: income streams, funder and grant types, where to find grants, how to choose the right grant opportunity to apply for, common application elements to prepare for, tips to succeed, and proposal pitfalls to avoid. The course comes with video instruction, a copy of the slide deck, and an assortment of tip sheets, checklists, and templates to support your ongoing grant work.

Sign Up for the Free Course

Please feel free to share the good news with colleagues–anyone you know who may appreciate the free support around grants.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

As a thank you for being a member of my community, I’ve opened up the prelaunch for two anticipated full-course modules: Going from Zero to Winning with Grants! and Growing Grant Success with Better Grant Writing. You can use the promo code READY2WIN for $50 off Zero to Winning until it’s anticipated launch on August 3, 2020. And you can use promo code GROWING to receive $50 off Growing Grants Success until its anticipated launch January 2021. If you happen to have extra conference money that you need to spend before the end of the fiscal year, I recommend you put it to good use and pre-purchase these courses now. 🙂 If you’re not sure about the courses I invite you to take Get into Grants first to get a feel for my teaching style. If you have any questions on either paid course, please feel free to email me.

IMG_20200531_111905_MP_2A Note: While the tone of this post is one of excitement–because after a lot of hard work setting everything up I’m finally at a point where I can share this course with you–I want you to know I’m still thinking of you and I know things are still hard for a lot of us. I’m about to have a medical procedure and will be recovering from June 15 to July 6, but if there’s anything I can do to help support you before or after my recovery, please let me know. And because I know puppy pictures are good for the soul, here’s one of Cami in quiet contemplation. Until next time, be well.

Uncategorized

Strategies for How to Capture and Communicate the Value of Collection Work

Thank you to everyone who registered and attended this webinar! If you missed it or are here to view it again, you can find the recording below as well as a link to the slide deck, a list of links referenced, and a recap of the Q&A.

Abstract

Archives, museums, and cultural heritage organizations across the world are struggling with the impact of COVID-19.  As public spaces remain closed, archives and museums are challenged with fulfilling their mission while seeking economic relief. Many archives and museum professionals are facing precarious employment as they struggle to prove the value of their work. This webinar is a follow up to the Society of American Archivists’ “Deriving Value from Collections in the Time of Corona (COVID-19)” (view: https://youtu.be/vhK2ww1_ZR8).  Please join me for a deeper dive into strategies for how to capture and communicate the value of collection work. The webinar will offer a framework to define the value of your work, discuss mechanisms for capturing value, and offer strategies for communicating the value of your work to your boss, your board, your fellow staff, and your community stakeholders.

Don’t Miss Another Webinar or Workshop

If this webinar is helpful to you, I invite you to sign up for my newsletter so that you’re first in line for any future offerings and free resource drops.

Slide Deck

To get a copy of the slide deck please download the PDF via Google Drive.

Links Referenced in the Webinar

American Alliance of Museums’ TrendsWatch 2020
American Alliance of Museums Advocacy Resources
Resources for Museums on How to Identify and Articulate Value
Resources on How to Convey the Value of Archives
Society of American Archivists Resources and Toolkits
Regional Example from Oregon Heritage Commission Toolkit
Free e-copy of A Survivor’s Guide to Museum Grant Writing

Q&A Section

This section includes a summary of the questions and answers reviewed during the webinar. Please view or listen to the webinar for a fuller account of the answers.

Q. Rachael, have you had experience in situations where self advocacy is seen by higher-ups as being a “squeaky wheel” rather than a voice which deserves attention? 

A. There is always a chance that someone will perceive you as the “squeaky wheel”. If we’re doing our job, if we’re communicating the value of our work and our collection regularly, then by the time we make an ask we will have demonstrated our value. However, I also acknowledge that we’re in a position right now where a lot of us do need to ask for financial resources and it’s a difficult position to be in if you’ve not had a chance to implement strategies for capturing and communicating the value of your collection and your work. I do encourage you to try it though, even if you need to make an ask. Be clear on the value of your work and be ready with the evidence as to why collections work is so critical. If you’re showing your value as you make the request then at the very least it will be recognized as legitimate.

Q. I’m curious about strategies for initiating conversations about budgeting and revenue streams when this information isn’t readily offered to mid-level staff.

A. For some organizations, the financial records are publically available usually in the form of an annual report. If that’s not the case then I encourage you to ask questions. If your boss isn’t available or open to sharing that information, I recommend you go straight to the source–your accounting or financial department. The reason you are asking is because you want to use the information to inform your work and bring in even more revenue into the organization. Any reasonable person will want to help you achieve that outcome and will provide you the information you need.

Comment: Great points about demonstrating how archives/collection work supports institutional income and mission. I found that it also helps to track the amount of staff time and other resources spent on specific engagement events.

A. Yes! I’m so glad you raised this as it can help with your ask. If you’re tracking staff time and other costs for your work and you can tie that work (and costs) to the revenue generating event, then you’re able to backup your request with detailed numbers on how much it costs you to do your work and can demonstrate how that work is of value to the institution. I definitely recommend tracking these types of costs to “do business” as they will help you understand the finances required to operate and provide value at current levels.

Q. Would you have any comments on how to connect the development/origins of an archives or a collection with current work and initiatives? It seems there are good opportunities to demonstrate value through time (with a longer timeline) though it might be a challenge to keep focus and could lost stakeholder interest.

A. I think this could be a great opportunity for you to show value of the collection over time. You could approach it like a retrospective, using the organization’s mission (or similar) to tie the archives’ beginning to and then review the collections acquired, projects, and other milestones (where the collection has provided value) along the way. Seeing the value delivered over time could be very impactful and is a great reminder to the organization that the archives is the department that secures the organization’s legacy.

A Note About the Presenter

Rachael Cristine Woody of Rachael Cristine Consulting smiles at the camera as she poses in front of her laptop displaying Deriving Value from Collections in the Time of Corona (COVID-19) webinar.
Rachael Cristine Woody of Rachael Cristine Consulting

Rachael Woody is the owner of Rachael Cristine Consulting LLC. After a successful tenure at the Smithsonian Institution and the Oregon Wine History Archive, Woody established her consultancy to teach archives, museums, and cultural heritage organizations how to take care of their collections and advocate for their value. Woody has experienced precariously funded positions first-hand and has proven tactical strategies to demonstrate the value of collection work. As a result of her experience, Woody has dedicated herself to advocating for the value of collection work. She serves on SAA’s Committee on Public Awareness, established the Archivist-in-Residence (paid internship) program at Northwest Archivists, and serves on several salary advocacy committees.