What we do, in a bumper sticker: We help non-profits and communities join together to hold an event which raises money and awareness to help save historic structures or open spaces.
How we do it: We create community events on a small scale, bringing together music, food, artisans, speakers, brewers, small businesses. We make these events so much fun that people can’t help but get involved, either through financial donations or further volunteer efforts. Need a key word? Fun.
Why do we do it? Simple. There are record numbers of historic community buildings coming available for development. Churches are disbanding, schools are being sold off, Grange halls are being torn down. These may not be the most impressive buildings in the big picture, but they’re critical to the fabric of a town’s history. We love these buildings, and the craftsmen that built them. Old farms that could make tremendous open space areas for all are being subdivided for houses. Adaptive reuse is the key, and for these buildings to keep their use, new uses that benefit the entire community need to be proposed. Funds to purchase the building or open space may be needed. Whatever the building, the space, or the need, action needs to be taken to keep them in place as a vital part of a town.
Why you need community-based events:
1: You need visibility, fast. Nothing gets the eye of the press, the local citizens, and local businesses faster than a big party that’s benefiting a local landmark. A picnic with music, a contra dance in a Grange Hall, an open microphone day in an old church, all bring the eyes of a town on a specific issue.
2: You need money. A great event jump-starts fundraising. One event will very rarely raise all the funds needed, but it will serve as a great kick-off, and with continued smaller events, pave the way to a successful end.
3: You need more volunteers. A problem plaguing all non-profits now. Volunteer hours are stretched these days, what with older folks aging out, and young families stretched to the max time-wise, working two jobs and raising kids on the most hectic schedule ever seen. Events like ours can help broaden the volunteer base. You need a critical mass of volunteers so no one burns out, and there’s an orderly succession of officers. Nothing is less healthy for a non-profit than the same folks running things year after year. Things get stale, and the organization falters, looses visibility.
We use a variety of ways to accomplish a successful event, and those all depend on the community and subject itself. Each project or event demands it’s own mix of what will make a successful event. each town is different, each property os different. The one common denominator, though, is live music and food. Nothing brings people closer that those two elements.
Are we expensive? That depends on how much you want us to do. If you have an active volunteer base to draw from, a simple consultation lasting 3 hours or so might do it. You might need some follow up consultation to help things along. You might need us to run the whole thing. Obviously, the less we do, the more money you make. We’d really like you to make as much as possible, so we’re fine just helping things along. The other benefit of you doing most of the work is that you’re the focus of your community, which is as it should be. You might struggle a little for the first event, but you’ll quickly see that you can do it again and again without help.
Our experience: 20+ years in event management and promotion. 20+ years of running concerts, music workshops, music programs. 30+ years experience in historic preservation, and historic property marketing. Add all this up, and we’re simply the most experienced at this sort of specialized event planning as anyone, anywhere.
To set up a consultation, simply email or call then founder/president, Charlie Shafer at either 203-668-3735, or workdog(at)mindspring.com