Thriving through unorthodox events: 11-10-02 Foundation makes something out of nothing.Like many young people, Greg Forbes Siegman dreamed of moving out to California and becoming the next hot movie director like Spielberg or Shyamalan, despite the fact that the Hollywood "dream" often manifests itself in a tiny one-bedroom in the Valley and a shift as drive-thru window guy at In-N-Out Burger In-N-Out Burger is a privately owned and operated fast food restaurant chain in the Western United States. Founded in 1948 and headquartered in Irvine, California, In-N-Out Burger has since expanded to Arizona and Nevada, and has announced plans to build in southern Utah. .
A funny thing happened on the way to that dream. Siegman founded a nonprofit and has been drumming up significant attention. His Chicago-based 11-10-02 Foundation (opened in 1998 and named for the date he turned 30) is beginning to hit its stride, and the children it helps are starting to reap the rewards of some less than traditional marketing ideas.
Siegman said that he used his love of film to have both a 30th birthday that was fun, and raise a lot of money for his foundation, which provides scholarships to young people. He decided to produce a 45-minute portion of one of his scripts and hold a Hollywood-style premiere party.
Acting like the emperor without clothes, he turned to local sponsors for help, despite the fact that he had no film to show them. His logic was that convincing companies to support a film they knew did not exist (essentially, supporting "something which seems to have no value" but actually is quite valuable), was the perfect extension of the foundation's philosophy.
The response was overwhelming. Within weeks the "film that did not exist" suddenly had a major motion picture premiere feel to it. Kinko's printed actual movie posters once they had been designed. Loews Cineplex theaters put the posters in every theater in Chicago, right alongside major releases such as Harry Potter and The Matrix Reloaded. The Chicago Sun-Times This article is about the Chicago newspaper. For the Canadian newspaper, see Owen Sound Sun Times.
The Chicago Sun-Times is an American daily newspaper published in Chicago. ran ads promoting the film that did not exist for the seven weeks leading up to the big night. Maggiano's Little Italy
Little Italy is a general name for an ethnic enclave populated primarily by Italians or people of Italian ancestry, usually in an urban neighborhood. provided dinner at the theater for all the premiere's guests. There were t-shirts and programs.
Tickets for the event sold for as much as $1,500 for a block of 10 tick-even though buyers understood there was not yet a film to see.
"Companies like Kinko's, Nordstrom, Maggiano's ... that had been around The 11-10-02 Foundation and understood what I was about and understood how this concept -- demonstrating the value in 'nothing' -- were the perfect extension of what I was already doing' explained Siegman, who channels equal parts circus promoter PT. Barnum and informercial in·for·mer·cial
Variant of infomercial.
Noun 1. informercial - a television commercial presented in the form of a short documentary
infomercial king Ron Popiel. "Companies like Loews Cineplex Entertainment are in a dreamers kind of industry. It took Loews Cineplex literally one meeting to decide on the spot to strongly back this event and to truly treat it like the premiere of a major motion picture, even though they were not a group that had worked with me previously."
Of course, it's not every day that Joe and Jane Regular have the opportunity to be featured on the big screen. Siegman cast 100 actors, some of his friends and the foundation's contributors, ranging from major corporate executives and his accountant to his own grandmother, as well as some of the students who benefited from the foundation and their mothers. The production schedule mapped out 100 days and nights of work on the new film classic 11-10-02.com, with the final night falling on 11-10-02.
The event was a success on a number of fronts. Corporate sponsors provided a blanket of advance publicity While he declined to provide exact numbers, Siegman said the premiere raised "tens of thousands of dollars for the organization." The people who attended the viewing also enjoyed seeing themselves on the screen and left with smiles on their faces, he added.
It's not the first time that the foundation has turned heads through creative invention. Consider these fundraisers:
* Raised $5,000 by auctioning an autograph of Siegman's grandmother. She is not of any societal celebrity; other than being Siegman's grandmother, that is;
* An auction of the stitches of a baseball -- only stitches, no ball -- raised $5,000;
* Collected $8,000 in its auction of a piece of a Sprite soda can;
* The sale of homemade home·made
1. Made or prepared in the home: homemade pie.
2. Made by oneself.
3. Crudely or simply made.
Adj. 1. milkshakes for prices ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 each;
* One donor paid $1,000 for the rights to take a photo with Siegman and his used coffee cup.
All of the events have one thing in common -- an ability to tell a story that builds enough of an emotional response that inspires people to give. It's not the, "What am I getting," but rather the "Why am I giving?" question to the philanthropy equation.
"The reason we started doing this in relationship with the foundation was that we didn't have an endow- merit," Siegman admitted. "We didn't have a golden egg. We had nothing. My creativity was borne out of necessity. Forbes is just my name; I'm not from that family. We've never received a donation over $10,000. To me, $8,000 is a lot of money, but I'm sure to many people it's not. We've had to build our own endowment and do all of this on our own."
The building process is at the point where, although the foundation has some expenses, it is nearing a bank balance of $250,000, pocket change to some organizations but seed money for a small organization.
"I've done it my way," Siegman unashamedly un·a·shamed
Feeling or showing no remorse, shame, or embarrassment:
una·sham said. "I had a particular idea, and it's taken a long time. I stuck to it. It didn't involve sitting down and writing grants. It did involve trying to do things differently and raise funds and raise eyebrows at the same time."
It's apparent the foundation's ongoing milkshake promotion is adept at filling bellies and emptying wallets at the same time. Executives at retail giant Nordstrom and global consulting firm Noun 1. consulting firm - a firm of experts providing professional advice to an organization for a fee
business firm, firm, house - the members of a business organization that owns or operates one or more establishments; "he worked for a Strategos have each downed milkshakes. A man bought one for his wife on Valentine's Day Valentine's Day: see Saint Valentine's Day.
Lovers' holiday celebrated on February 14, the feast day of St. Valentine, one of two 3rd-century Roman martyrs of the same name. St. . It all started with former Chicago Blackhawks The Chicago Blackhawks are a professional men's ice hockey team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). and now Detroit Red Wings
The Detroit Red Wings are a professional ice hockey team based in Detroit, Michigan. hockey star Chris Chelios Chris Chelios (born Christos Kostas Tselios January 25 1962, in Chicago, Illinois, United States) is an American defenceman for the Detroit Red Wings of the NHL. Chelios also played for the Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Blackhawks. , who wanted to give to the foundation but quickly realized that he was required to partake in Verb 1. partake in - be active in
participate, take part - share in something
2. partake in - have, give, or receive a share of; "We shared the cake"
partake, share a shake in order to do so.
"It was one of the more ludicrous things I'd ever heard, and he took a chance that he'd lose the contribution by suggesting it," recounted Mark Stein Mark Stein (born 29 January 1966 in Cape Town, South Africa) is a former footballer who played for numerous English clubs as a striker. He is the younger brother of former Luton Town striker Brian Stein. , president of Kick 10 Promotions, the marketing firm that represents Chelios." But when he explained his reasons, from a marketing point of view, I could see that he really did have a broader vision for his efforts to fund scholarships."
Siegman explained with a laugh, "The shake is symbolic of the foundation. It comes in all flavors. It comes with a straw and whipped cream and there's one single nut on top -- because the guy that runs this foundation, I admit, is a little different."
But he's not laughing about corporate support. He is thankful for it not only because of the money, but because companies are willing to see things through his eyes and not force Fiscal Conservatism Fiscal conservatism is a political phrase term used in the United States to attack government spending and advocate instead lower spending and a lower federal debt; it may also include higher taxes in order to lower the debt. Breeding Creativity corporate behavior or conservatism upon the foundation.
"The guy who runs Nordstrom is a very serious and conservative man who gets a kick Out of what we do," Siegman explained. "He'll tell you that he supports us because he's seen the work with his own eyes."
Robert Middlemas, executive vice president at Nordstom, was the winner of the $8,000 Sprite can auction. "I think the part I can appreciate most about what Greg has done is just watching how his vision has evolved and grown," said Middlemas. "Itt is not surprising to me that he's able to raise funds through his auctions. If you ever attend one of his events, you will quickly understand that he really does Warren Trotter, better known as Really Doe, is an American rapper from Chicago, Illinois. He is affiliated with Kanye West and his G.O.O.D. Music family and label. Discography
Existing outside of nonprofit fundraising norms hasn't made life all headlines and applause. Siegman, who openly described himself as "not a very smart person," believes that grant applications are often intimidating in·tim·i·date
tr.v. in·tim·i·dat·ed, in·tim·i·dat·ing, in·tim·i·dates
1. To make timid; fill with fear.
2. To coerce or inhibit by or as if by threats. to smaller organizations. He said it's no coincidence that no historically large grantmaking body has ever supported 11-10-02 Foundation. The organization has never received a check from any major philanthropic giving groups, aside from a gift from a donor advised fund Donor Advised Fund
A private fund administered by a third party and created for the purpose of managing charitable donations on behalf of an organization, family, or individual.
Donor advised funds have become increasingly popular. .
Siegman's experience with grant makers is colored by an encounter during the foundation's early days. He recalled a call from a representative of a large grantmaking organization. Someone there had read about the foundation.
As he recalled that conversation, the representative "called me and said, 'We think what you're doing is wonderful. When you do X,Y and Z call us back. I think we'd like to help you. We want to see if you have staying power and that you're just not a flash in the pan. Because you're clearly doing things differently and you're young and we like that ... so call us back.' I waited three years to call them back. I really took this seriously to show them that we're not a flash in the pan. I called them back, and they came to the conclusion that I did such a good job without them that I didn't need them. A lot of times this process seems not to make sense," Siegman mused.
Some may believe that it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to auction off pieces of soda cans or sell $10,000 milkshakes. If neither of those options is quite cultured enough for high-end donors, the foundation will be holding its next event in a museum. Siegman will be displaying his personal artwork with money from ticket sales going to the foundation. Just don't expect any Picassos - think more along the lines of a heavily caffeinated Edyard Munch munch - To transform information in a serial fashion, often requiring large amounts of computation. To trace down a data structure. Related to crunch and nearly synonymous with grovel, but connotes less pain.
Often confused with mung. .
According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Siegman, the plan includes a framed exhibition of the splinters splin·ter
1. A sharp, slender piece, as of wood, bone, glass, or metal, split or broken off from a main body.
2. A splinter group.
v. splin·tered, splin·ter·ing, splin·ters
v. from his grandmother's rocking chair, the stitches from his feet saved from an operation and the hair from the first time he shaved his head.
"The thought that people will make a donation to the foundation to come to a fancy museum to see my hair and the stitches from my feet on display I find wonderful," Siegman said. "All these things "These Things" is an EP by She Wants Revenge, released in 2005 by Perfect Kiss, a subsidiary of Geffen Records. Music Video
The music video stars Shirley Manson, lead singer of the band Garbage. Track Listing
1. "These Things [Radio Edit]" - 3:17
2. , in the end, further the idea that people will see value where others see none."
RELATED ARTICLE: Fiscal Conservatism Breeding Creativity
The 11-10-02 Foundation in Chicago may utilize the most effective response to belt-tightening, Al Roker Al Roker (born August 20, 1954) is an American television broadcaster, best known as the weather anchor for NBC's Today show. He holds American Meteorological Society Television Seal #238. , the Today Show's shrinking weatherman not withstanding. The small nonprofit, with a total revenue of less than $150,000 according to its 2000 Form 990, achieves its goals of providing scholarships for underprivileged kids through creativity and fiscal conservatism.
"I raise money in unusual ways, but once it is raised, I am extraordinarily responsible and conservative when it comes, to spending it -- evidenced by the fact that the foundation has nearly a -- quarter million dollars in the bank," explained Greg Forbes Siegman, founder of the foundation. "That mindset mind·set or mind-set
1. A fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person's responses to and interpretations of situations.
2. An inclination or a habit. is the result of being the son of a stockbroker Stockbroker
1. An agent that charges a fee or commission for executing buy and sell orders submitted by an investor.
2. The firm that acts as an agent for a customer, charging the customer a commission for its services. and the grandson of the most frugal fru·gal
1. Practicing or marked by economy, as in the expenditure of money or the use of material resources. See Synonyms at sparing.
2. Costing little; inexpensive: a frugal lunch. woman who ever lived."
The foundation proves that the responsibility of restraint begins with the founder. The organization does not include one single paid staff member including Siegman, who said he has never received a penny from the nonprofit he began to the "great consternation" of his accountant and parents. He survives as a full-time teacher and public speaker and has become known for his ingenuity.
It's a matter of melding fiscal restraint with your philosophy, he said. The 11-10-02 Foundation accomplishes this by rewarding its students with trophies that may not shame the Stanley Cup Stanley Cup: see hockey, ice.
Trophy awarded annually to the winning team of the National Hockey League championship. Named for its donor, the Canadian governor-general Frederick Arthur Stanley, Lord Stanley of Preston , but encapsulate en·cap·su·late
1. To form a capsule or sheath around.
2. To become encapsulated.
en·cap a great deal of significance and emotion.
Led by its 30-year-old founder, the organization is run by young people who began a nonprofit endeavor without a history and the absence of a significant board. To effectively raise funds, it knew that creativity and remaining dedicated to its philosophy would be key. Cereal boxes that became office filing cabinets remain filing cabinets, despite the fact that the organization can now afford to shop at Staples or Office Depot Office Depot (NYSE: ODP) is one of the world's leading suppliers of office products and services. The Company's selection of brand name office supplies includes business machines, computers, computer software and office furniture, while its business services encompass copying, . Homemade signs dot the walls during board meetings, and the staff continues to show up with materials packed into lunchboxes.
While cereal boxes and used milkshake glasses and coffee cups may not be aesthetically beautiful, the public relations public relations, activities and policies used to create public interest in a person, idea, product, institution, or business establishment. By its nature, public relations is devoted to serving particular interests by presenting them to the public in the most that has grown from it has been gorgeous.
"For AT&T Wireless to give a $2,000 check, it's wonderful. I doubt it's the largest check they've ever given to a charity but it's one' of the" more fun ones they're going to give:' Siegman said. "How many times are they going to give where they get to pose with this guy and his used coffee cup? They've already said' that when' they do it they want to bring a bunch of their employees together so they can see the picture."
Public relations is not always about spending money on thousands of print ads or flyers. It's about making a statement that speaks for itself, he reasoned. A case in point is the milkshake sale. The idea began when 'the agent of former Chicago Blackhawks hockey player Chris Chelios approached the foundation about his client helping. The agent insisted that Chelios would gladly write a check, but Siegman refused the gift unless Chelios met him, simply stating, "No shake, no check."
A compromise eventually lead to Chelios enjoying his shake on the 10th hole of a golf course, and the organization's point was made. For those who are more' of the reclusive re·clu·sive
1. Seeking or preferring seclusion or isolation.
2. Providing seclusion: a reclusive hut. giving type, the foundation allows a person to buy a shake in honor of someone and that person gets to sit down to a homemade shake with Siegman. Thus far, everyone from athletes to CEOs and even a' senator have partaken in the ice creamy goodness all for the sake of charity.
For those-who have a Web site they wish to promote, there is a solution to the question of what to do when a periodical periodical, a publication that is issued regularly. It is distinguished from the newspaper in format in that its pages are smaller and are usually bound, and it is published at weekly, monthly, quarterly, or other intervals, rather than daily. declines-printing your organization's URL URL
in full Uniform Resource Locator
Address of a resource on the Internet. The resource can be any type of file stored on a server, such as a Web page, a text file, a graphics file, or an application program. . The 11-10-02 Foundation' tacks on a "com" to the official names of all its events and programs. For example, there's ShakingUpChicago.com and BrunchBunch.com. Therefore, when people write about the program they automatically list te site.
Operating with limited finances takes creativity but it's also about refocusing Noun 1. refocusing - focusing again
focalisation, focalization, focusing - the act of bringing into focus a person's perspective, according to Siegman. "I'll say Pay 5 cents for what I'm holding in my hand.' If I have nothing and you agree to pay 5 cents for nothing then when I come back to you-and ask YOU to pay 5 cents for what I'm holding and it's a pencil,' people will think that's a great deal. That's the extension of the philosophy of 11-10-02."