Four decades ago, in a Whitesburg, Kentucky storefront that once held a “tire supermarket,” Herb E. Smith, a seventeen-year-old member of the Appalachian Film Workshop—Appalshop, for short—learned to work the 16-millimeter Arriflex-S camera.
Capacity means the ability to accomplish, change, remodel, or act on something that is a necessity, but often invisible because it is part of the operations or architecture of an organization. Since nonprofits must focus so intently on the work that becomes their public face, they do not have an easy ability to re-engineer the infrastructure hidden below. Since 1999, NAMAC has offered modest capacity building grants -- much like capital infusions to either start or complete a much-needed home improvement project.
In June 2004 Film Arts completed its groundbreaking Member2Member appeal, raising $40,700 from over 400 members. This member-driven appeal re-connected Film Arts with our community and its core values and raised six times more money than Film Arts’ regular direct mail appeals. It is also our first fundraiser using email, with 16% of all gifts arriving via the Web. With the exception of a $10,000 matching gift from Board Chair Henry Rosenthal, no gift was larger than $500 – truly a grassroots effort.