It’s been a year since I hung out a shingle and joined the independent workforce, and a very interesting year indeed. Your Man About Town has been busy moving the needle on mission related investment, geeking out on data, pursuing my ongoing passion for the arts, and assembling public / private partnerships out of thin air.
Frequently my job as a consultant is simply to help my clients think things they haven’t thought, meet people they haven’t met, and do things they haven’t done. In this inaugural newsletter, I’m pleased to share a bit about what I’ve been up to.
Mission Related Investment
Mission related investment (MRI) can be a powerful tool, but as a sector we still have much to learn. Man About Town has been fortunate to work with Contact Fund, expanding deal flow and advising on strategic development. Man About Town also stepped in to help the Altman Foundation underwrite a Program Related Investment to LISC. And whenServices for the UnderServed asked Man About Town to help them train their board on innovation in MRI and the needs of complex nonprofits, it just seemed like the right thing to do. Now, Man About Town and SUS have joined forces to convene a Social Impact Investment Conference in NYC. Our Advisory Committee includes Antony Bugg-Levine, Deb De Santis, Alice Korngold, Terri Ludwig, Brandee McHale and Michael Rubinger. Just getting warmed up folks! Coming April 2013!
- It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a… What the Hell is That?
- The Complexification of the Nonprofit Sector
- Why Leadership Pay$
Arts & Economic Development
This past spring, the Municipal Art Society invited Man About Town to come on board as a research fellow, analyzing economic trends in the nonprofit cultural sector through the Cultural Data Project. Data geek that I am, how could Man About Town say no? The result is the Arts Digest 2012, including my section entitled “Who Pays for the Arts?” And Man About Town has been busy applying all I’ve learned as a member of the Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts Working Group, including a new case study onadaptive re-use in creating new cultural facilities – due out this November!
- The Art$ (Part I, II, and III)
- The Art$, Small Business, and Community Development
- In Praise of (Stinky, Noisy) Bars
Introducing Civic Consulting NYC
Last fall, Neil Kleiman introduced Man About Town to Chicago’s Civic Consulting Alliance. Civic Consulting aggregates high-level pro bono corporate capacity and provides it to the public sector – a national model for innovation in public/private partnerships. I fell in love. Man About Town has been building Civic Consulting’s NYC affiliate, and on September 13th we hosted a launch event with the Ford Foundation, Living Cities and special guest Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs for the local philanthropic and corporate community. It was a smashing good time, and you’ll be hearing a lot more about Civic Consulting NYC!
In short, life is good…
…thanks to all of you and your brilliant thinking, passionate commitment, and energetic leadership. I hope to see some of you at the Grantmakers in the Arts convening on November 15th at the Queens Museum, where Man About Town will moderate the morning’s panel discussion. And stay tuned for a major article in Shelterforce Magazine on the evolving role of community development intermediaries in today’s complex environment.
Until then, I remain your most humble servant,
Your Man About Town