Don't Marry Him For His Record Collection
This weekend J and I are celebrating our two year anniversary. We have many anniversaries; we like celebrating the absolute joy of being together. This weekend marks our very first coffee, not a date, a work-related coffee where I got to ask him lots of questions about non-profits and foundation funding.
J's presence, his life story, the work he has dedicated his life to influences me and my thinking on multiple fronts. He grew up in the projects in the South Bronx and a person of color. By luck and happenstance, his father was told to get young J tested and see if his test scores are good enough to attend one of the elite public schools in the city. Getting accepted into Hunter College Campus Schools changed his life, this education helped him reach far in his life and career.
I grew up in a low-middle income family that eventually worked itself to be high-middle income. Life was never extravagant as the fear of near poverty never left my parents and grandparents. Yet inequality, privilege and greater racial dynamic are academic concepts to me rather than a personal one.
I don't think of myself as a Chinese American woman with an excellent education, upper-middle-class income and achieved a fascinating career path. I didn't realize it was unusual to not consider myself in the standard classifications. This is not to say that I don't understand how the external world sees me, I just don't use these identifiers instinctively.
Issues of privilege and inequality are top of mind for J. It is part of his work, his worldview. And his view has seeped into mine, broadening and deepening my scope. This is a gift I couldn't have anticipated. It sounds silly to say because every significant other have left their mark, some deeper than others, some in attitude towards life while others only their obsession with Peter Gabrielle.
There are so many things I wish we were briefed on as young adults, about love, life, money, career, partnership. So many miss opportunities where we could have made better choices, saner choices. It took me thirty-eight years to get love and partnership right and I am ever so grateful I finally figured it out.
IDEAS YOU CAN STEAL
In a recent client memo, I outlined a 101 on sponsorships/partnerships/collaborators.
Sponsorship: A brand/company, usually for-profit.
Partnerships: Tangentially mission/project aligned institutions, non-profits, and for-profits.
Notable Personality/Influencers: People with a significant following (social and otherwise) and influence over their audience.
Then under each category, we break down what the ask is (monetary/in-kind donation, cross-promotion), the upside for them (their motivation for supporting the client/cause), and the upside for the client.
It's a helpful cheat sheet to think about who to approach and what a reasonable ask could be.
WORTH A READ
Austin Kleon's Keep Going is out. Full disclosure, I've not read the book (yet) but I'm a big fan of his previous title, Steal Like an Artist. It's great and I think even more insightful for those who are not artists or have such inclinations.
Oslo, Norway. I've been invited to a conference and all-conference is a mixed bag of "meeting you changed my life" and "I should have stayed home." Has anyone been to Oslo? Tell me what it's like and help me tally the pro/con.
I binged watched Orphan Black, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Killing Eve this past month. It was A LOT of TV but there were a lot of long flights and even longer layovers.
Each of them features fascinating female characters. I particularly liked Orphan Black and Killing Eve.