Applying to be a beneficiary organization

Final rehearsal

Requirements

  • Organization is reviewed via a reputable monitoring organization, such as Guidestar, Charity Navigator and/or the Minnesota Charities Review Council
  • Organization does work that can be measured in tangible or concrete ways
  • Size of the organization: We want the amount that we raise to make a difference for the organization. Huge organizations aren’t a great fit for us; we like to support the underdogs! However, we do need the organization to have capacity to meet our collaborative needs (see “Expectations for Collaboration” below)
  • Nondiscriminatory: If there is a religious connection, it must be interfaith
  • Marketability: How do we sell this idea and this organization to those who are not “in the know”? Can we tell a powerful story in 120 minutes? Can we articulate to others the importance of what this group is doing?
  • Musicality: VocalPoint strives to put together a concert that is interesting and diverse yet accessible. Is there a global connection with the music, or a cultural one? Does the music lend itself to a concert of 120 minutes? Are there guests we can invite to help tell this story?
  • Location: While the non-profit does not need to be local, we do want there to be a local connection. Are there supporters in the Metro area or is there a way to connect with our community? Also, if it’s not a local organization, it must provide a service that is unique. For example, we would not choose to support a food shelf in Ohio; there are food shelves here that we would instead support

Expectations for collaboration

In order to be successful in our efforts, we need your collaboration in several key areas:

  1. Our Kick-off/Thank You event is held on a Sunday morning in mid-October at Central Presbyterian Church, including a lunch/program following the service. VocalPoint choir members are invited to sing during the service. This event allows us to introduce our season, have a “mini reunion” of the choir, and to thank Central Presbyterian Church for being our host site. The beneficiary organization is expected to:
    1. Provide staff to speak for 5 minutes during the service
    2. Present a short (20 minute) program at the lunch following the service. The program could include an A/V presentation, interactive activities, and/or speakers. This is the first chance for the choir to get to know your work, and an opportunity to begin the collaborative process. VP and Central handle the lunch logistics; the beneficiary organization handles the program logistics
    3. Provide handouts/visual aids such as brochures/annual reports, etc.
  2. We will meet with you a couple of times in the fall to talk about our year together
  3. Rehearsals for the concerts begin the first Sunday in January at 1:00 p.m. at Central Presbyterian Church in downtown St. Paul. We require a staff person from the beneficiary organization to greet the choir and introduce their organization. We want to build excitement and momentum for the concerts
  4. In the previous seasons, we have had an event at the beneficiary organization during January for the choir. This has been an open house, a happy hour, or a tour; a way for people to see the work that goes on. Of course, this isn’t always practical due to location or specific mission of the organization
  5. During December or January, we have found it helpful for our Artistic Director to visit with your Board of Directors. We would ask that, if you felt it appropriate, they be encouraged to sell tickets to the concert
    1. We will provide 10 comp tickets to any participants/clients who want to attend the concert and to staff who are directly volunteering at the concerts
    2. Board members and other volunteers who are affiliated with the beneficiary organization are expected to purchase tickets, which helps us cover expenses
  6. To help advertise for the concerts, we will have an art exhibit of your work to display in a gallery at the concerts – photos of what you do, art from clients…it has taken a variety of shapes in the past. Typically, this is up during January and February. You are expected to provide these visuals, or to provide an artist, in consultation with the Artistic Director
  7. In preparing for the concerts, we will ask you for things like photos or videos that we might share during the concert. We will also want to know any connections with clients who might speak during the concerts. The specific needs are determined by the Artistic Director as the concert comes together (See next bullet)
  8. The concerts are typically the second weekend in February at 4 p.m. We expect that your staff/volunteers are available during the concert weekend, helping in a variety of ways (including ushering, helping count the donations, and staffing the info table). Most importantly, we need some staff and client participation during the concert. This takes different shapes depending on how our Artistic Director constructs the concerts, but please know that your participation (and that of your clients if appropriate) will be required
  9. Often in the spring, we do a follow-up event, such as a drive for donations or a service day. Again, this is based on the type of work you do

Process

In order to be considered, we ask for the following information (1 – 2 pages in length):

  1. Provide the name of the organization, primary contact person’s name and title, email address, phone number, nonprofit tax ID, and web address
  2. What is your approximate annual budget?
  3. What do you do? Whom do you serve? What community do you mainly work in? Why is your work important?
  4. VocalPoint uses music, speakers, artists, and hands-on service projects to connect with the non-profit we are collaborating with. Why is your organization a good fit in this aspect?
  5. Is there is reason this is an especially good time to work with your organization? (E.g., a special anniversary of something related to your non-profit, matching grant funds available, the population you serve is especially newsworthy in that year, etc.)

A group of finalists will be selected and asked to meet with the selection committee in mid-May.

We will provide specific due dates for applications and meetings with the selection committee when the application window is open.

Questions? Send an email to beneficiary@vocalpointchorus.org