Non Profit Management and Fundraising
When I was invited to become the director of Poseidia Institute, a Virginia Beach, Virginia nonprofit in 1973, I knew almost nothing about nonprofit organizations or business in general. By the time I stopped working for this organization in 1986, I knew a great deal about both.
The task of keeping any business alive is daunting--the job of keeping a nonprofit organization healthy, even more so--particularly if that organization is investigating aspects of consciousness many people call bogus or false. Poseidia Institute was a parapsychology research organization, researching psychic phenomena.
Research content aside though, the task of operating one nonprofit is much like another. I quickly learned the skills of nonprofit accounting, membership drives, working with volunteers, grants writing and direct fundraising. My background in journalism was invaluable to creating press packages, newsletters, a quarterly journal, and press releases. I was offered the opportunity of frequent media appearances and of hosting a weekly radio show for the local news/talk station.
Based on these skills, when I rejoined the International Association for the Study of Dreams in 1994, I was able to see the organization's need for diversified cash flow. Before long, I became Chair of the Development Committee and, with the help of committee members, created new programs which increased annual income by thousands of dollars. I now serve on the Board of IASD.
During 1993, I worked with a Tidewater area organization, P.A.R.I.S., to obtain grant funding from the Environmental Protection Agency to monitor a local Superfund site, providing grants writing expertise and writing press releases.
Nonetheless, I was quite sure that I never wanted to run a nonprofit again. In the year 2000 though, a magical set of events created The iMAGE Project (for the entire story see Life's Little Book of Magic, "The iMAGE Project"), and I found myself managing a nonprofit once more. Through the Aid for Traumatized Children Project of the World Dreams Peace Bridge, several thousand dollars in donations have been raised so far to enhance therapeutic healing work with the children of Baghdad, Iraq. And other aspects of the nonprofit enhance and enrich people's lives.