In February of 2020, after three wonderful years, I furled my sails with the Egan Maritime Institute on Nantucket to begin a new chapter of my nonprofit professional life off the island. Reflecting on my time with Egan, I fostered terrific growth for the organization’s annual unrestricted operating funds (the membership program doubled along with Annual Fund donors and donations), and a greater growth within my own personal set of skills: learning the ropes of video production.
Sharing the compelling stories of a cultural organization’s mission, in my experience, is the biggest key to increasing donor participation across the board, and as a fundraiser with small-shop Museums who often lack funds for expensive video projects, learning to shoot, edit, and share videos specifically created to capture new prospects attention and inspire current supporters with the impact of their donations is vital.
The below videos are organized from the last video I shot and produced at Egan to the very first. I adore this order. I can really see my own growth in skills and vision, and am proud of the evolution. With few exceptions, the footage was captured on an iPhone 10X, and edited using Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Photoshop.
While serving Egan Maritime Institute as the Director of Development & Marketing, each month I would create a comprehensive content plan that incorporated social media and email marketing to drive online traffic to the organization’s website. From drafting the schedule to writing the content, research to image selection and/or graphic design, each of these web articles was strategic and part of an overall communication plan to ensure patrons, donors, and prospects were engaged with Egan Maritime’s mission and aware of the significant impact of its education programs and public outreach offerings. For a complete list of content, click here.
A recent series of nonobjective works are hanging at the Cecelia Joyce & Seward Johnson Gallery, 19 Washington Street, Nantucket. These paintings are not my usual sketchy and colorful landscapes, but they are full of joy and movement. It’s nice to share a new part of myself with the world. I’m anxious to use the works in new paper designs as I continue to create and reshape my creative career. If you are interested in any specific piece, please contact the gallery at 508 228 0294. Inquiries after August 15, 2016 should be directed to michelle.soverino @ gmail.com.
It’s amazing how one little creative act opens up endless possibilities to come—how creativity ignites a chain reaction of ideas and projects. These albums are fruits of that chain and were inspired by mail flip books created for some pen friends.
In January of 2015 I decided to open a new creative door and join the snail mail revolution on Instagram with my account @LettersFromNantucket. Inspired by the creative force of likeminded folk all over the world, I began making beautiful mail parcels. Documenting my creations in photo and using key hashtags (#snailmailrevolution #mailart #penpals) I created connections with the growing mail community, and found my first penpals.
The pressure of summer and the opening of the new Visual Arts Center (yahoo to raising, renovating, and opening Nantucket’s first in less than two years… hence my prominent absence from my personal web page), has left little time to create. So, I’ve turned back to my watercolors and to my inks and have been playing with messy skies and free forms. I’ve been romancing the pink and yellow palette, and channeling my OCD into large scale ink works.
Here is the quick update: New job as Director of Development here. Like any good endeavor, I’m in deep. But I’m swimming in the deep and loving it. I’ve go much in the works to share with you (how to leave your job and leave it well; package your asks; leverage your social media), but until those words move from napkins and the backside of #9 envelopes to digital form, I’m going to share and promote some good reads from fundraising professional for fundraising professionals.
“Philanthropy means, literally, love of humanity. You don’t have to give a million dollars to charity to be a philanthropist. You simply have to actively demonstrate your love of humanity. Your empathy. If the purpose of our creativity is philanthropy — if it is love for our fellow man, an appreciation that people struggle in their lives, and a desire to somehow lessen that struggle and increase their joy, with a little more leg room or with an iPad — it will change the world. And that is the greatest competitive advantage of all.”
Before going live with Altru the Nantucket Historical Association input and stored all of its data in two places: one database that served all its development needs—with a few “fudged” processes to track group tours and facility rentals, and one POS system that tracked museum visitors along with Museum Shop sales and inventory.