Frank Foster shakes hands with fans.

I seem to waver between being incredibly organized and slipping into complete chaos. Somehow it seems to work out. It ain’t easy being your own admin, PR guy and fundraiser. I’m new to all these things.

So I’m filling out yet another application for a funding opportunity and of course under a tight deadline. I get to the 80% completion mark of the application which needs to be mailed out for an overnight delivery on the west coast.  Of course you’re supposed to read the entire application guideline manual prior to starting but who has time for that? Whoops! The grant is matching funds based on how much in-kind support I have from my PBS partner station. PBS PARTNER STATION?!? uhh, I don’t have one of those.

Not one to give up easily I email the funding organization and explain that a serious family health issue has set me back a week on the application. They graciously agree to an extension. Now I just have to find a partner right?  That would be nice. I came up with the bright idea of looking up a public television station near Cheasapeake VA where Frank resides. I was lucky enough to find WHRO in Norfolk on the PBS website. Using my mad Social Networking skills I look for people that work at WHRO in LinkedIn. I find a Barbara Hamm Lee, Chief Community Outreach Officer. Sounds like a good candidate. Searching her name in the online telephone directory I found her work contact and took a chance at calling her directly at her office. Did I mention this is happening at 5 pm on a Friday afternoon? Barabara wasn’t at her desk but was nice enough to have her cell number on her outgoing voice mail message. I dared calling her on her cell at 5:15 and left a message there. I hang up and decide to throw in the towel. To my astonishment she actually called me back within 15 minutes. I explained to her the project, which I had summarized in the message I had left and as I was telling her about Frank Foster’s contribution to music and his being local to the station she politely interrupted by saying “Oh I know about Frank Foster, I just emceed the Frank Foster Scholarship Fund’s Annual Gala, I LOVE Frank Foster!”

I nearly collapsed. I sent her a link to our demo of the movie and our Facebook moviepage. Barbara quickly worked her internal connections at WHRO and by the end of the following week I was working out a partnership with the station’s Chief Enterprise Officer, John Heimerl.

Did I get the app in on time? No. A partnership requires having the station commit to not only airing the program but as I mentioned, In-Kind donations. A letter of committment is required by the funding organization and that requires some discussion with management that would be rather difficult to get done in a matter of days.  It would be unrealistic to expect to get that all in place and make the deadline. My contact at the funder suggested I apply for another round due in August and if I want I can apply for the partnership matching funds next year. OK I will!

BUT: We now have a commitment with WHRO for In-Kind contributions of up to $50k and to air Shiny Stockings on Frank’s local PBS station. I suspect it will be a little easier to ask for funding now that I know Shiny Stockings will be aired on a PBS station. SO, I continue the hunt for funding and by hook or by crook I will finish this film amd people will see it.

Man I love it when things come together!