Saturday, November 28, 2009

Raising Money for a New Museum

Here it is, approaching 2010, and I work for a museum that needs to be built. What a dreadful time to start looking for millions of dollars. The papers are awash with stories of needy people and desperate situations. Unemployment is at 9%. The President told us last winter after his inauguration that unemployment and housing would get worse before they got better and that we might have to wait a year and a half or more to see the economy turn around. Here we are - 10 months into these problems – and people are shouting to high heaven that they and America cannot take it anymore.

“So," I say to myself, “Apparently folks didn’t believe him and are losing patience as what he said proves true. I will simply have to be an optimist.”

I think times are going to get better. I think the economy will stay bad for a few more months but then is going to begin to improve. Layoffs will end. A few new jobs will begin to appear. Confidence will come back. For the vast majority of us the problem isn’t loss of a job or loss of money or a home. It’s loss of confidence.

After a few more months go by and their dollars are still there, and their home is still there, and their job or pension is still there, I think folks will start to believe again (at least the 91% of them with jobs) that America is OK. When that happens I will be able to raise money. So for now I am laying the groundwork for a capital campaign: Strategic Plan? Check! Project Budget? Check! City Approval? Check! Architecture Complete? Check! Good Prospect List? Check! Membership Aboard? Check! Watch out. Sooner than you think I will be knocking on your door!

Cyndi Upthegrove, Highline Historical Society

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