Coffee with Patsy Woods Martin

One big thing I forgot to mention in my last post was that after reading that article in ABJ, I called up the executive director of the campaign to ask for a meeting. Ballsy, huh?

(I’m not a salesperson but, as a writer who’s interviewed at least 100 people on everything from their brother’s death to nanotechnology to ice cream, I can make a cold call once in a while and ask for stuff.)

Anyway, she said yes! So we met the next week at Central Market for coffee.

She had had an incredible week, having just launched the I Live Here, I Give Here campaign two days ago at City Hall. So she was still jazzed about the effort and very impressive in her commitment to it. She’s the E.D., yes, but lord knows anyone – especially at that point in the campaign – would have had some burnout.

I learned a lot from her about the state of Austin philanthropy. And the great thing is, she was very hopeful about it all. She gave me the impression that local giving in Austin will only get better, bit that the whole idea of it needed to be “sold” to people, probably in the same way the whole “live music capital of the world” thing was sold.

I also got to present to her my little presentation about GoodCause magazine. I love talking about it, but mostly I love hearing people’s reaction to it. The good news is, it’s mostly positive. And even when they ask tough questions, it helps me go back and rethink parts of the magazine – which makes it so much better.

I think the I Live Here, I Give Here campaign and GoodCause would be a good fit. Both efforts are about the same thing – to raise awareness about the issues and encourage local volunteerism and charitable giving.

But we have lots of work to do to figure out the business plan stuff – figuring out costs and predicting profit. Not my core strengths at all. But it’s worth it for me to make the effort.

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