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President, 145 Live Solutions


Leonard Cohen once wrote that to be a fundraiser isn’t a vocation–it’s a verdict.

Guilty… as charged.

Yet any fundraiser worth his or her gender-specific salt knows very well that fundraising isn’t remotely about a life sentence to the raising of funds. Fundraising, rightly understood, is about transformation. Transforming people to transform people. Transforming people to transform the environment. Transforming people to care for animals.

Any vocation can be reduced to its mechanics.  Some priests joke, rather darkly in my opinion, about hatching, matching and dispatching the members of their respective congregations over the course of their respective lifetimes.  But they jest.  They too, are about transformation.

To paraphrase another artist, there are two kinds of fundraisers:  Those who like people, and those who don’t.  A fundraiser who likes people (ideally employed at an organization that treats people accordingly) is about transformation.  A fundraiser who doesn’t like people is focused narrowly on raising funds, having forgotten it (transformation) in people.

That is why I love events. Events are about people. Events are where creativity, inspiration, relationship and passion come together for transformed lives. Events are unarguably the best medium for sharing and catching a vision for change.

And, yes, just as you suspected, I utterly misrepresented Leonard Cohen’s line about verdicts and vocation. Leonard was referring to poets. But that doesn’t let us fundraisers off the hook–let’s work, poetically, in collaboration with one another, for transformation.

For just under twenty years, Michael Bowman has enjoyed leading national sales and marketing initiatives via print, digital, radio, television, talent relations, and events. Having developed relationships with artists and record labels,  Michael has combined this network with an expertise in arts marketing to become a highly valued Canadian resource in achieving tangible results for artists, businesses, and nonprofits. He will be presenting at Congress 2012.

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