Americans for the Arts names top 10 companies that support the arts

Via hydeordie:

•       Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C.
•       Capital Bank, Raleigh, N.C.
•       Con Edison, New York
•       Conoco Phillips, Houston
•       Devon Energy Corp., Oklahoma City
•       Halifax EMC, Enfield, N.C.
•       M.C. Ginsberg Jewelers and Objects of Art, Iowa City, Iowa
•       Northeast Utilities, Hartford, Conn.
•       Portland General Electric, Portland, Oregon
•       Strata-G Communications, Cincinnati

Objects With Back Stories -

This is a great NYT Magazine “Consumed” column by Rob Walker, and worth a read, even if you don’t find the thing-story subject as intriguing as I do.

The longer I think about it, the more I want to see such barcoding technology adopted by performing arts groups and other organizations, e.g., in the tagging (by building managers) of seats in concert halls, theaters, and other venues. Audience members could, over time, add their stories to their seats’ tags, recording their reactions to performances and/or information about other aspects of their experiences, leaving, in effect, a digital legacy that connects them to fellow patrons, the performers, the arts organization(s). The general idea is the creation of recorded stories, layers of experiential kinds of anecdotes.

Also, if, say, I were to make a financial gift that helped support the installation of a seat in the concert hall, or bench in my favorite park, I – the donor – could record digitally what inspired me to make such a gift. Many gifts of this nature are recognized with the placement of a plaque on the funded item; the use of coded tags would complement the plaque thing. If I record my “story” on my object’s tag, it’s likely that I (donor Molly) will be linked even more deeply to both the object and the non-profit entity that oversees it (think donor relationship-building opportunities here). Perhaps that part of the park is my favorite people-watching spot, or maybe my mother was a master gardener, and I made the gift in her honor or memory – anyway, you get the story-legacy-sharing picture.

So, thanks to Rob’s influence, I’ve uploaded over the past month two – count ‘em, two – items (and their stories!) to (The two stories can be accessed via the Itizen Web site or by scanning the two QR-coded tags.) This post about the the second object and story contains a link to the first one, along with other QR Code-related info.

I’m now giving some thought to uploading to Itizen a third item. Stay tuned.

Who Gives, Why Do They Give, How Do They Give to Nonprofits?

This news release summarizes findings from Russ Reid’s “Heart of the Donor” study of donor motivation and behavior. Some good statistics here, especially regarding giving in response to the Haiti disaster. Other information, such as, “if the goal of a nonprofit is to effectively target today’s best donors, then they should focus significant and smart attention on the donors giving the most money – seniors and boomers,” reinforces fundamental fund-raising practices.

Russ Reid’s report, unveiled and discussed today at the Direct Marketing Association Nonprofit Federation conference in NYC, can be obtained at

[hat tip to The Chronicle of Philanthropy (@Philanthropy) and Raymund Flandez (@raymundf23)]