Archive for 2011 | Yearly archive page

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Sam Harding installs new fixturesThe biggest challenge to smaller non-profits is finding resources of any and all kinds to support the development and success of their programs. PHAME Academy has entered the ramp up of an organizational development phase that makes those challenges even more critical.  How do you get what you need without overtaxing existing resources?

In-kind support . . . the gift of volunteer commitment of time, materials, energy and vision . . . often flies under the radar, but is the essential resource ingredient that assures it all comes together.  Tychon Development got the ball rolling on refurbishing 1,000+ sqft of PHAME’s new headquarters in an 85-year old Portland bungalow.

When PHAME put out the ask, Tychon stepped up with six weeks of renovation, repair, painting work and project management.  Tapping into our network of personal and business contacts, we requested and received an in-kind donation of all paint from Benjamin Moore & Co courtesy of Powell Paint Center.  Sam Harding of electrical contractor Sam Harding, Inc. accepted our invitation to install light fixtures and repair electrical service in the offices for material costs only.  Executive Director Stephen Marc Beaudoin recruited volunteers from board, staff and supporters to paint and clean.  Host organization Grace Memorial Episcopal Church agreed to cover material costs of tenant improvements.  CEO Ethan Dunham of Red Pine Systems, and PHAME board chair, donated and installed hardware for internet access.

Volunteers speed up paintingBy the March 16 launch party we had generated $18,883 of in-kind support and finished the project for under $1,200 in out-of-pocket expenses.  Not only did we minimize the project’s impact on daily operations, but we were good stewards of hard won cash resources, raised PHAME’s profile in the community, and gave ownership of a long awaited need to board, staff and supporters through in-kind donations of materials and volunteer time for the office space renovation.

Next week you’ll get a complete before-and-after tour of PHAME’s new space in “Where to stop?”



Read previous entries in this series:


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In early February the perfect social investment opportunity came my way to put my career renovation skills and years of non-profit experience to work. After 26 years of living out of a suitcase, PHAME Academy was going to get its own offices. I was introduced to PHAME the previous November at the annual Winter Gala. The energy and purpose of their program quickly captured my attention. Nurturing people so they can work to their potential is a goal that resonates strongly with me as a parent and community member.

Stephen Marc Beaudoin, Executive Director, put out a call on Facebook for anyone interested in helping with their move into new space. On his ToDo List was “painting.” I emailed him offering to talk about painting and his response was, “I don’t know jack about painting.” I came back with “you are talking to Jack!” From there together we entered a win/win race to the March 16 new program headquarters launch date.

As a board member of several non-profit organizations over the past 30 years, I knew that meeting daily program needs AND mounting a renovation project create problematic challenges to staff time and expertise, especially for the smaller non-profit organizations. My goal was to provide the renovation work as well as project management of the overall project so that PHAME staff could stay focused on on-going program demands with minimal interference from the needs of their renovation project.

After 26 years of success working out of transient administrative space, I wanted PHAME staff, students, board and supporters to have the quality of space they deserved. The project timeline was not generous to meet both a move-in date and public launch date for the new space, but the momentum generated with Stephen’s unstoppable energy and spirit hit the targets.

Next week we’ll see how a renovation project was built on a shoestring in “Building In-kind Support.”

Read the introduction to Getting PHAMEous here.


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It’s not hard to get PHAMEous when you have a chance to work with the great program and talented staff of PHAME Academy.  Check out “Heart of Gold” performed by Aaron and PHAME band at From Oregon with Love benefit, and you will understand.

“Talent Revealed” is the slogan of PHAME’s program for mid-teens and adults with developmental disabilities and special needs in the Portland region.  PHAME practices the “Enlighten, Educate, and Entertain” teaching philosophy. This approach supports the students by providing opportunities that encourage education, enlightening experiences, and entertainment derived from not only the classroom and special event environments, but also from the experiences and support derived from parents, guardians, and the students themselves.  PHAME is the only program of its kind in the USA.

For the first time in its 26-year history PHAME secured the chance to move into its own offices next door to its host organization, Grace Memorial Episcopal Church, in east Portland.  The space is an old Portland bungalow the church has owned since the mid-50’s, but has not seen a lot of use of late.  The wear and tear over the years had left the interior in need of seriouis attention, especially the lath and plaster walls.

Stephen Marc Beaudoin, Executive Director, put out a call on Facebook for anyone interested in helping with their move into new space.  On his list was “painting.”  I had a unique block of time I could donate because of the slow economy in the construction sector.   We wed PHAME’s needs, Stephen’s energy and vision to my long developed renovation skills to refurbish two offices, stairwell/entry, and living room/dining room space along with some simple upgrades.  In five weeks and many, many volunteer hours later we were ready for the new headquarters launch celebration on March 16.  We generated $18,883 worth of work for less than $1,200 out-of-pocket.

Over the next few posts I’ll be sharing my experiences refurbishing PHAME’s new headquarters.  Next week we’ll look at the point of liftoff in “Getting Started.”