A day in the life…

It is deadline day for material that will go to the foundation’s Grantmaking Committee this quarter – though this line is invisible to the community – and so my day and my desk are filled with a host of other things that have their own timing pressures:

  • There’s the report from a major institution’s financial recovery plan that has to be reviewed so the foundation can release a grant payment by tomorrow.
  • There also are three questionnaires from consultants doing strategic plans or feasibility studies for organizations who want the foundation’s input by next week. 
  • There’s a stack of signed contracts from neighborhood facilities that are partnering with us in our SmART in the City summer arts program for youth that must be processed for payment – by end of day.
  • Two new proposals just arrived. I should (at least) look to see what the timing need is for the proposed projects.
  • I’m a week late in getting a report out to a group of cultural organizations that met with me about our new Creative Fusion initiative (more on this in an upcoming blog post).
  • There are at least six phone messages from yesterday that need a response.
  • An organization just called wanting to hand-deliver a report and “just take a few minutes” to go over it – today.
  • Before that there was a frantic call from a group whose request is being presented to the Cleveland Foundation board this quarter. They have dramatic new information that could affect the board’s response. Do I rewrite their presentation and perhaps hold up the mailing to the board, or do I surprise the Grantmaking Committee with new information when I meet with them face-to-face? (Never a good strategy.)
  • The clock on my computer just clicked over to noon. I’m not even going to BEGIN to tell you what’s in my email box.
    This is not a pity rant. I am no more busy than anyone else in the nonprofit sector. I just want to disabuse any of you who think being a program officer is an unendingly glamorous job.
    There are benefits, of course. Getting to see and hear the amazing artistic product that this community produces. Meeting with the incredibly creative problem-solvers that arts administrators must be in this challenging economic climate. Basking in the heat of passion of arts board members who turn themselves – and their pockets – inside out to promote and support the arts.  
    It’s a great job. And a great privilege to be here.