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The Arts Center also reached out to a new audience this year with its "Tattoo Witness" exhibition, which brought in more inked skin that the center's ever seen. It's not known that new memberships were generated by the "Tattoo Witness" show, but the ticketed opening night lecture had a standing-room-only crowd of decorated Millennials and a local tattoo artist signed up for a class in the Museum School. Too, exposing more people to art in Little Rock has its own rewards.
The annual gala dinner has been around as long as fund-raising, right? But Heifer International, which got started with a shipment of 14 heifers from Mobile, Ala., to Puerto Rico in 1944 and now works to help people become self-sufficient in more than 125 countries across the globe, threw its first annual ticketed bash this year. The "Beyond Hunger" gala was no small affair, but a $15,000-a-table event in Hollywood hosted by Jane Fonda, Diane Lane, Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt, Nina Jacobsen and Tracy Ullman and attended by llamas as well as the loaded.
Heifer is also reaching out in the cyber world, said Cathy Sanders, vice president of philanthropy, finding a way to reach young adults via so-called "mommy blogs" whose writers — like thirdeyemom — spread the word about Heifer's mission and whose audiences are "highly educated ... and socially conscious." Heifer's World Ark magazine has been available in an iPad version since October and its online catalog is available at the Coffee Table shopping site, which also has an iPad app. Tweeting and Facebook are old hat by now. Founder Dan West would be astonished.
At a higher level, Heifer partners with multinational corporations like Dannon, which supports Heifer's projects to help farmers get milk to market, and is still working to get a Ben and Jerry's ice cream brand. But the many small gifts, the $120 that folks give to Heifer to buy cows and pigs and chickens and bees and sheep and clean water and geese and stoves — you name it — in honor of friends and family at Christmas are important. This year, Heifer has added "Heifer at Hanukkah," appealing to the Jewish tradition of philanthropy — tzedakah. You can see Ed Asner and Mark Feuerstein dressed in a cow suit doing a funny YouTube routine for Heifer at heifer.org/heifer-at-hanukkah.
Raising money the rest of the year is "where we have to do a better job," Sanders said. Key is getting people to understand the "richness of our mission," how labor intensive Heifer's work is and "that it works."
"And it's more than a cow. It's the cow, but also the change that goes on inside someone ... . I've seen it, man. You understand it when you see it."
The younger staff members of the Arkansas Children's Hospital Foundation, which is in the public phase of a $160 million capital campaign, are working on web-based initiatives to raise money from Millennials, senior vice president Fred Scarborough said. "They understand that culture," Scarborough said. At 48, Scarborough is barely a boomer, but he says he's "more Motown" than Facebook. "We are having to be students. It's an entire language and entire culture ... [we're learning] how someone who gives online likes to be engaged." He said the hospital, with the help of the Committee for the Future, reaches hundreds of young adults with its "Breakfast with Santa" event, which brings hundreds of families and healthy children to the hospital and financial gifts as well.
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