Strategy provides a foundation for translating our vision to reality. At its core, strategy extends across all of our tent poles, encompassing our stories, our impact and of course our tactical engagement plans. While we leverage our team’s resources and past experiences, we don’t look to template our strategic plans. We always start from scratch. It’s our integrated approach that taps the complementary skill sets of our team, and couples those with the resources and focus that the Fund and our partners bring to bear.

I came to the Fund quite coincidentally. Earlier this year, I attended a screening of The Burden at the Sonoma Film Festival. Having several veterans in my family, I felt not only moved by the documentary’s focus on the positive efforts of our nation’s military to minimize its environmental impacts; I realized that I could actually play a hands-on role in sustaining these messages. I engaged Steve Michelson, the Fund’s Executive Director, to find out more about the campaign that they were commencing and asked how my skills in computer and database management might be brought to bear to the cause.

I am enjoying applying more of my time now toward giving back to these causes with my sales and collaboration skills across various teams and tools.

As it turned out, they were looking for an individual to research and resource funders, to identify potential partnerships, grants, and other sources of appropriate financial support. A clear mission, yes. But not as simple to execute as it may seem. Based on the strategy we set for each documentary, we outline criteria for identifying the potential partners and funders that match our strategy – not loosely but as precisely as possible. We need to understand completely the best matches as far as the content of past grants, their scale, their process and last, our comfort as far as the overall fit. In the past, this has been a strategic but more or less, a “hit or miss” set of outbound phone calls. However, the Fund has a full seat on the Foundation Center platform. With this resource, I can now cross reference and research the grant programs that have produced successes for similar film projects, and I can be incredibly strategic in cross referencing the many criteria of what funders are looking for and matching that to our campaign based films. While this is an exhaustive and detailed analysis that underlies our efforts, I’m betting my background will provide me a leg up on this process, not to mention the beginning of a meaningful career change at this stage of my life.

Bottom line, the Fund is making a difference. And doing so with new efficiencies and resources that position our projects and our partners for success over the long haul. I’m personally excited to have joined this team, and I look forward to the progress I’m confident we will all make.

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