In July of 2019 the Murphy Centre added a Development Office to investigate Foundations, Corporations and individual donors as potential sources for new revenue to support existing programs and to enable the conceptualization of new programs in the future. Two halftime Development Coordinators were hired to initiate this new venture. Anthony Murphy and Derrick Moore are former Murphy Centre board members and are keenly aware of the value brought to our community as well as to thousands of participants over our 33 year history.
In an effort to keep the Murphy Centre community aware of Development activities it is our intent to provide a quarterly glimpse into our work and current initiatives. This publication of Development @MC is our first fulfillment of this intent.
Website & Social Media Development: In the early Fall of 2019 we were requested to facilitate a canvassing of companies involved in website and social media design and to arrange for presentations to the in-house website committee. From here a recommendation was made to Murphy Centre administration and to the Board of Directors. Subsequently, Waterwerks Inc. was awarded a contract and work has begun to reconstruct our web presence. We expect work to be complete and the website to go live by March of 2020.
Current Research: The Development Coordinators requested that the Directors provide a list of priority initiatives which would find their genesis in the most recent round of Strategic Planning. From this list three priorities have been established: Secure funding sources for our ongoing Readiness Program at PPD; Research the possibility of creating a new Pre Academic and Pre Employment Program; and, to research the potential to design and implement an Art and Business Program.
Several corporate entities have been engaged in discussion regarding the Readiness Program and we anticipate some response shortly. Discussion have been ongoing with Trades NL, CONA, as well as with ABTEC (Association of Business Trades Educational Colleges) to determine where gaps in programming may exist and to investigate the feasibility of the Murphy Centre playing a role in meeting an identifiable need. Investigations into the need for and desirability of an Art and Business Program is ongoing. To date the conversations have centered on the current 36 week ‘Arts Life to Work’ program now serving art-interested youth. The next step could be a program called Art & Business. It would be an apprenticeship/mentor program involving established artists in the community. The criteria for those interested in this new program would require additional services to successfully transition into the arts career community. Various potential sources of funding are being explored.
Inspiring Lives- A corporate Awareness Event: One of the mandates of the Development Office is to create a greater awareness of what the Murphy Centre is and does within the larger community. On January 28, 2020, the Murphy Centre Development Office will host representatives of the corporate community at Mallard Cottage in Quidi Vidi. Chef Todd Perrin has donated both Mallard Cottage and his own culinary skills for the event. Ocean Choice International has partnered with us to provide an array of seafood for the occasion. Chef Perrin will do the food preparation. To mitigate the parking challenges of Quidi Vidi, Terra Nova Motors will be providing vehicles to allow us to shuttle guests to and from the event once they park at the Dominion Parking lot on Lake Avenue.
We are thrilled to confirm that Local entertainer Sheila Williams and local businessperson Nora Duke of Fortis Inc. have agreed to serve as our Honorary Patrons for this event. Each of these personalities are well known in their fields and have a longstanding relationship with the Murphy Centre.
NL Growlers: We have held discussions with representatives of the NL Growlers, East Coast Hockey League defending champions, about a possible partnership with the Murphy Centre. To this point in time we have agreed on Murphy Centre Awareness night at Mile One in March 2020. This promises to be an opportunity for use to reach 4500+ persons with the Murphy Centre message. There should be lots of other exciting opportunities for this event as well as we move forward.
Program Maintenance: While the Murphy Centre continues to receive government funding to maintain most of our programs, there have been instances over the past year or so, where, in order to offer some specific services, we have dipped into our emergency reserve funding to support very valuable offerings which are not funded by government. Since the inception of the Development Office in July 2019, we have been attempting to secure corporate donors who would accept the challenge of both funding the current offerings as well as to commit to the long-term viability of these programs. We are at the stage where overtures to the corporate community have been made and we are awaiting responses.
Towards a Murphy Centre Foundation: After exploratory meetings with our accountant and with a lawyer, sample foundation constitutions and bylaws were studied with a view to establishing a Murphy Centre Foundation. As ‘Development’ considers its’ mandate to search for and receive diversified funding, the two Development Coordinators met with the Board of Directors to initiate mutual exploration. After considerable discussion, the merits and challenges of such a foundation were mutually recognized. However, considering all factors, the Board decided not to proceed with establishing a Foundation and would give further consideration to the concept once the Development component is more evolved.
Research Software: The Development Office had previewed various software to help navigate the ocean of foundations across Canada. We have purchased a program called FoundationSearch from Metasoft Systems, Inc. This software enables access to over 11,000 Foundations. Both Development Coordinators have enrolled in online courses with Canadian Fundraising Executives.
On-going Mining of Community: Based on preliminary research and awareness of a range of charitable components of various foundations, a number of applications for grants have been completed and sent. Additionally, contact has been made with some individuals who are aware of the good work of the Murphy Centre. Given the nature of these efforts, it is a time consuming process to bring solicitations and applications to fruitful conclusion. The mining of this potential is…on-going.
St. John’s Board of Trade Business Excellence RBC Awards: The St. John’s Board of Trade, in partnership with the Royal Bank of Canada, annually presents awards in recognition of achievements and successes of Board members. The Murphy Centre is a member of the Board of Trade and is often represented by Natasha Luby. For the 2019 Awards Year, the Murphy Centre was nominated in the “Community Impact, Over 20” category. Both Natasha Luby, Career Consultant with Two Roads, and Tony Murphy, Development Coordinator, attended the Awards Banquet and Ceremony at the Delta Hotel on November 28th. While the Murphy Centre did not receive the award, the awareness raising was a valuable asset.
Sale of Murphy Centre Original Art Cards: As a Murphy Centre ‘awareness raising’ initiative, with fund raising as an auxiliary component, the Development Office worked with Candace Fulford, Arts and Culture Career Consultant, to solicit original art submissions from Murphy Centre Alumni. Candace, along with Development Coordinators Derrick More and Tony Murphy, met to select six pieces of original art. Each of the selected artists was compensated according to VANL standards. A set of five cards and envelops sells for just $10 and while the sale was launched during the pre-Christmas season, sets will continue to be available from the Development Office into the 2020 New Year. The efforts of staff in selling sets of “Murphy Centre Original Art” cards was appreciated.
Murphy Centre Alumni and Board of Directors Alumni: During the 33 years since the founding of the Murphy Centre in 1986, many hundreds of men and women have advanced in achieving their academic and career goals. Murphy Centre graduates and participants have gone on to contribute to their respective communities. Over the same time period, dozens of generous and experienced professionals have served on the Murphy Centre Board of Directors. Together, this combined group of Murphy Centre Alumni constitute a community of people who know and understand the ethos of the Murphy Centre. With the efforts of Peggy Mulley and Eileen Hebert at the PPD campus, and the research by Tim Turner and our accountant, James Nelson, a Murphy Centre Alumni contact list has been compiled and is undergoing update to the extent possible. In due course we will be reaching out to renew and strengthen the relationship with our Murphy Centre Alumni.
Launch of the Murphy Centre’s First Annual Appeal: Following from the January 28th “Corporate Awareness Event” in Quidi Vidi, the First Annual Murphy Centre Appeal will be launched on Tuesday, April 7, 2020. Unlike the “Awareness Event” in January, the launch of the First Annual Appeal will be a local media friendly event for maximum exposure. We hope to have our two Honorary Patrons announce some ‘matching gift challenges’ and disseminate simple and effective ‘how to donate’ information. (It is hoped that our new Murphy Centre Website will be a valuable conduit for information and donations. Stay tuned…much more information will be available soon!