Posting this here so that more people see it. We had a really successful public meeting yesterday, with lots of new faces and energy. Hopefully it'll give us a boost!
PUBLIC MEETING NOTES - 5th MARCH
FIRSTLY, A QUICK WORD
- Thanks to everyone who came! It was a real boost to us at the fundraising campaign to see so much new interest. Whatever your level of experience or however much (or little) time you have, we'd be very glad to see you again. There are important details of how to stay involved, including of Media and Fundraising Team meetings, at the bottom of these notes. There's a lot of information there, but do look it over.
- These aren't so much minutes as just some informal notes of what we talked about, which'll help remind you of all the ideas we came up with.
UPDATE (WITH QUESTIONS)
- After an icebreaker, we had a brief update on the fundraising campaign. Fuller details are always available at http://blog.theforest.org.uk/savetheforest
, but here're the basics:
--- We've been running the campaign since October, and relaunched at the beginning of this month
--- We've raised £17,000 so far, and are aiming for £50,000 by the first of June
--- We know our lease keeps us safe in the building til the end of August, but don't know what happens then, or how much notice we should be getting
--- We know that some buyers are interested and are trying to close a deal, but don't know who they are or how long this will take or what they will want with the building, nor is it easy for us to find out.
--- Staying in this building is our campaign priority, but we will consider moving elsewhere if we absolutely have to
--- Our two main campaign tactics are raising funds to strengthen our options, and building community involvement and interest in case we have to struggle against developers
--- For raising funds, we're currently trying (to various levels): donations, events, applying for grants, approaching sponsors, improving our regular income
SKILLS WE HAD
- We had a discussion of what skills we as a group had to offer the campaign. We came up with a very inspiring list, including:
- Knowing lots of people, running events, writing funding applications, running workshops, knowing media and PR, being able to sign, speaking other languages, talking to funding agencies, busking, working with radio, finding sponsors, and probably more that I didn't manage to note down
SUGGESTED CAMPAIGN IDEAS
- We had a wide-ranging chat to brainstorm potential campaign ideas. These included:
--- Reaching out to other, similar collectives for advice and support
--- Improving the links between all events, so that they're advertised at each other
--- Doing a sponosred cycle
--- Reaching out to other cultural communities
--- Doing street performance
--- Getting the word out internationally
--- Making a series of mini-documentaries about Forest
--- Better use of a mailing list
--- Better blogging
--- Taking advantage of festivals
--- Going out on the streets to talk to people
--- Improving the perception of the Forest
--- Talking to celebs!
--- Creating an outreach collective
--- Running the screenprinting workshop more as a shop/business
--- Getting better at measuring our social capital / monitoring what we do
--- Being better at communicating
--- Having a more effective structure
--- Having a dialogue with supportive businesses
--- Contacting charities who might fundraise for us (like the Aberdeen Fairtrade Café)
--- Planning a community performance
- We also talked about things already planned, including
--- A large-scale art auction on May 15th
--- A "Forest DIY Guide", being produced by Will Golding (more about how to help with this below)
--- A "Forest Open Day", where everything Forest does is demonstrated, to celebrate what we do as well as raise funds
HOW TO STAY INVOLVED
- Forest believes in people being empowered to do things autonomously. If you have a campaign idea you'd like to pursue, go for it! My job is partly to support everything that volunteers are doing, so if you want a hand making something happen, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- But we're also stronger when we're organised together, so we're having regular fortnightly Forest Campaign Team meetings. The next will be on Tuesday 15th March, 5-7pm, at Forest, and everyone who's involved in the campaign is welcome
- We'd like to set up a campaign team mailing list, to help people stay involved. I would like to use this list as the seed of it. If you would NOT like to get regular updates about what the campaign is doing (no more than two a week), please reply to this email saying so, and I'll let you know how best to stay in touch otherwise
- I strongly suggest you join the Forest's bulletin board at http://www.theforest.org.uk/bb/
and check it regularly: that's the place you'll hear about thing's first, and can join in open discussions
- THE DIY MANUAL: if you were inspired by Will's DIY manual project, and want to help him launch it, you can contact him at email@example.com
- MEDIA TEAM: Lots of people were interested in being part of our media team. This is a really key gap right now, so I'm trying to set up a regularly meeting media team who can help with this work. To do this, I've set up a Doodle poll at http://www.doodle.com/43gvdkqbgzeme5rm
. This is a really simple way of organising meetings: simply click the link, then check all the times you CAN do, and we'll set the time for whenever is the most convenient for the most people. Please do this ASAP, so we can get the meeting in people's diaries
- GRANTS AND SPONSORSHIP TEAM: We also already have a regular team that's meeting to write grants and discuss contacting rich sponsors (both individuals and businesses). This is a small group, but if you think you can specifically help here, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
to find out more about it.
That's all for now! Thanks again, everyone.