Monday, June 22, 2009

An Open Letter to Ear Candy

Dear Nate Anderson and all the other amazing Ear Candy Guys,

You should hire me to be your Development Director.

I got to see you all in action at the McDowell Mountain Music Festival (speaking of which - Cute Journalist/PR Guy covering the festival: If you're still out there, I suddenly find myself with lots of free time if you ever want to hang out again...) where I spent some time in your tent being blown away by the positive atmosphere and super-talented kids playing your stage.

I was there to help a friend at Arizona's Children , volunteering for the silent auction. The Ear Candy tent caught my eye, and I had to investigate.

Undeterred by the creepy, yet descriptive oversize Ear-And-Peppermint-Stick logo emblazoned on your tee-shirts (reminiscent of the "do not force in ear canal" warning on the back of the Q-Tip box), I was ecstatic to learn about the organization that is Creating, Supporting and Sustaining Music Programs for Youth managed by an awesome group of passionate young people.

As a young, passionate lover of music, kids, and making a difference in the world myself, there is clearly a huge draw for me to want to be part of an organization that has taken "grass-roots activism" to a whole new level.

...And I'm certain you've heard that before, as our generation is full of entrepreneurs, social change agents and Internet-born musical sensations - so I know you must be asking yourselves "What's in it for us?"

Good! Keep asking yourselves that - for every person, place and idea that wants to hop on the PR train that Mr. Anderson has created on behalf of Ear Candy - what is the major benefit to the organization today, tomorrow and a year from now? because if there isn't one - those kids are counting on you to say "why bother?"

So without further ado - Hire Me, Ear Candy! - and here are ten reasons why:

1) I have a degree in this stuff. Nonprofit stuff. Nonprofit Management to be exact - from one of the top programs in the nation, our very own American Humanics at ASU. The complex nuances of operating a 501 (c) (3) within a region, a state, and an emerging sector are not lost on me, and you'll save valuable time (and time = money) not having to train. I hope I can even teach you a thing or two.

2) Experience. I co-lead a $50,000 fundraising campaign in 2005 where we met our program's largest goal to date in just a few months. I planned and implemented a successful volunteer-ran walk-a-thon event for a suicide prevention organization in a city that didn't have a local chapter. I've participated in capital campaigns, grant writing, major events, and even secured start up funding, donated office space and computer equipment for an organization based on a business plan alone.

3) Confidence. Or ahem...cojones. Tim Ferris in his book articulates something I have always known to be true: "The fishing is best where the fewest go, and the collective insecurity of the world makes it easy for people to hit home runs while everyone else is aiming for base hits." You collected 100 instruments, lets make it 100,000.

4) Via your website, I know Ear Candy like the back of my hand - go ahead, quiz me - I can tell you each place a Nate Anderson sound-bite has been featured, where each typo is, and which paragraphs I think could better articulate the way the organization partners with the community and will not only continue to make a difference in music programs everywhere, but is systematically building a cultural foundation on which the arts community in Arizona will grow.

5) Intelligence - I work smart. Its difficult to get the State Superintendent of Education on the phone. That's why I'd call before 9am and after 5pm when his pit bull of an assistant is off the clock. You'd be surprised how many chief execs answer their own phones at these times.

6) Nate Anderson needs a vacation. Although his incredible energy sustains the organization now, it can't always. The greatest gift any founder can leave his organization is a legacy plan. I will help you craft that plan Nate.

7) The following parable governs my philosophy on making a difference and thinking "outside the box." The Panhandler's Secret.

8) Despite Jack Black, School of Rock is still one of my top ten favorite movies.

9) I got kicked out of piano lessons in 4th grade. It's true. Granted, it was because I never practiced and had a bit of a body odor issue (since rectified!) but still, that's got to tug on some heart strings right?

10) If nothing else, check your mailbox - you just got one donation.

Now Mr. Anderson and friends, will you take the risk on an educated, experienced, passionate and intelligent young professional? Phone me. Lets take in a show, compare The Dave Matthews Band to Counting Crows, and talk about this Development Director position.

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