Thoughts From Our Funding Partners 02

1. What do you most appreciate about In Progress? What strengths, achievements and values make In Progress an attractive investment?: Location in the community and that they have an open door policy. Welcoming to the adults and kids.
I’m interested in the adult piece. Jerry Stein at the U about learning dreams. A lot of what In Progress does fits with the model of learning dreams.
The economy is not going to get better. The recession will last 13 more years for many people. It’s imperative that we find ways for people to express their dreams and hopes. Hope is a hard thing. We need to give it to all people.
Working with low income people in the community. I am pushing a variety of skills, “soft skills,” like persistence. I know CEOs that have the soft skills and are very successful. For example, Urban Boat Builders are teaching kids to build boats and teaching them skills for life. All the arts they learn are skills that people can’t take away from them.

2. What makes In Progress unique in your eyes? How does In Progress stand out from other arts or youth development programs from your perspective?: Location in the community. Open door policy. North End has so few resources for youth. Critical that they have located there. Chance to create synergy with other groups serving youth.
Haven’t dug deep enough yet. Talk to Sharon Demark

3. As you look into the next few years, what funding and community trends might have an impact on In Progress?:It will be difficult to create jobs for the next13 years. The rich will be fine. But the gap will persist.
Foundations are specializing more and more. Doing more of their own work and taking dollars off the top to do that. Less funding to the community.
There have got to be other ways to create a funding base. 80% of funds do come from individuals. For example, can they do an art and wine activity as a revenue generator? I’d bring my friends down there and pay for it. 
Does the neighborhood feel safe? There is garbage on the streets. A disrespect for the space. Is that an opportunity? Create public art over there. 
Small STAR grants?
The mayor is really worried about having another summer like last year – kids organizing to fight in public. Get connected with the ambassadors early. The YWCA is managing a city program. Hiring young adults to hang out in neighborhoods and get kids connected with positive and fun activities. The ambassadors don’t know where everything is that is happening. Get connected with them early so they know about In Progress.

4. What do you hope to see In Progress do more of in the future?: Make connections with other youth programming. Create a collaborative in the North End of youth providers. New Lens Urban Mentoring. The Boys and Girls clubs. The YW. Youth Express. Merriam Park. 
Export In Progress to other public housing facilities. A lot of our afterschool programs are pounding so hard on reading and math. Come in as a day of switching things up. A way to look at the world differently. 
Get in contact with Computers for Schools to get free computers.

5. What other advice do you have for In Progress about staying vital into the future?: Money is hard to come by. Get small contracts with existing youth serving orgs and school districts. The art school in town closed. Too bad. Musical program McNally in downtown. McPhail. Ally yourself with and build relationships with bigger orgs. Share teachers and internships with these orgs.
Someone needs to map the north end to see what is going on there. They don’t fit into the Promise Neighborhood, etc. How do you find these little nodes in the community? And how do they spin to take on the house next door, etc. and begin to reshape the neighborhood. Hub and spoke thing.
Build a strong board that can help them maneuver the world of nonprofits.