Wednesday, January 12, 2011

January 12, 2011: Pieces are a comin' together!


Alright, before I forget.  Let me tell you about Monday.  First, I met with a college friend I hadn't seen in probably 3 years since we were in class together for lunch.  She is going to help recruit her friends for the February 26 Zumbathon in Huntington Beach.  She also has some friends in the traditional media world, so we want to get them involved in Bella's story ASAP to raise awareness of EB and of Bella's Birthday Bash!  So, that is very exciting.

After we were done, it was 1:40pm and at 2:15 I had a phone meeting with the Minnesota Medical Foundation.  Suddenly, as I was getting my coffee, this little voice inside my head told me that I should go over to campus and talk to my old Dean, Dr. Hall.  I was only two blocks from my alma mater, Chapman University, and if I drove over there (I needed to move my car anyway to avoid going over my 3 hour limit), I could have time to touch base with him and maybe set up an appointment with him for next week.  See, Dr. Hall has raised millions of dollars over the years and knows who to court and how to court.

Here's the thing, when THAT little voice goes off in my head, I listen.  I've been listening since the evening Bella was born, and that little voice has caused some pretty amazing stories to occur in the past 18 months.   So, I walked to my car, drove over to the side street adjacent to the music building, and sure enough, there was one spot waiting for me right outside the door of the building.  I walked to Dr. Hall's office, went to his secret back door, but before knocking, checked Dr. Louise Thomas' office which was next door to see if she was in.  Louise was the ANGELIC pianist who performed at Bella's CA memorial as a gift to our family.  Louise has toured the world, played Carnegie Hall, the whole bit, and has just about the sweetest disposition out there, so I always try to sneak in a Louise fix if I'm back on campus.

Alas, she wasn't in, but who turns the corner as if right on cue?

Dr. Hall, Dean of the College of Performing Arts.

We catch up briefly in the hallway, I tell him what happened to Bella, explain my game for her birthday bash, and within about 3 minutes, we've planned to either have coffee or lunch some time next week.  Then, he continues on his way as do I.

The time?


Folks, do you realize what kind of possibilities you can create in your life RIGHT NOW with 9 minutes of focused effort?

All that before I even get on the phone with the MMF.

So, at 2:15, I get on the phone with the associate Vice President of Development and her colleague.  They could NOT have been more accommodating, supportive, gracious, and excited to work with us!  Basically, the MMF specializing in how to have the conversations with people who write checks for 1, 2, or even 3 million dollars.

I have recognized that in order to reach my goal of 3 million, we are going to need a mixture of revenue sources, and major gifts is going to be one of them.  As one of the readers pointed out a while ago, there is an art and a science to asking for major chunks of money.  Now, we don't need to learn how to do  that; we can just refer people to the MMF and vice versa if they seem like a good match!

It is so nice having that handled, because THAT is their strength, their unique ability.  Mine?  Writing, speaking, connecting.  Theirs?  Asking for big checks.  Now, I am confident because each is doing what they are best at.  Isn't this a recipe for success in any area of life?  For example, Angelique is way better at managing finance than I am.  Would it make sense for me to be in charge of the finances given I don't understand them as intuitively as Angelique does?  NO.  Leverage your strengths, and trade/delegate your weaknesses.

So now, we have a kick butt grass roots campaign working now that raised over $15,000 in December alone!  This essentially DOUBLED our fundraising total to date!  NICE JOB to all who contributed and made it possible!  AND.... we now have a team in place to help out with the big donors.


Thank you for all you have contributed along the way.  This journey would NOT be the same without your belief and confidence in us.

God night!


  1. Hi, Tim, I am glad that you are well and busy again. Hope Ali is getting better too!

    Can you please share what you know about the way MMF is asking for donations? I am a board member of DEBRA Bulgaria and we still don't have experience with collecting donations, I wonder how to proceed.

    I also don't feel quite at ease speaking publicly about EB. I don't want to "educate" the healthy people that there is such an awful condition. I don't like scaring or disgusting people. I like to talk about the courage And beauty of the EB kids although. Really don't know how to raise money without increasing the bad news flow that the media is pouring over us every day.

    Good luck to you!


  2. Way to go!! Great job, it's coming together :)

    In most of the pics you post of Bella- she looks so happy :) That's refreshing!

  3. Good Job Tim!! You inspire me everyday by how much you can accomplish in such little time. Geez, I need to be more like you. I have a hard time focusing on one thing. Maybe it's because I have 2 little ones running around at home and they keep me so busy I have a hard time focusing on any one thing. Your words are very encouraging.

    I love the picture of you and girls. Such a precious moment saved in time!

    Lots of Love,
    Amber, Craig, Malorie(2yrs), and Liam(1yr)
    The McLaughlin Family, CA

  4. awesome!
    Sorry to have been MIA...the bugs have slowly invaded over here, too.
    Now, Ken's in bed. BOO! to the bugs!

    So, my whole etsy thing is not taking off as I had hoped...BOO! to that as well.
    I can't come to the Zumba-thon! BOO!

    BUT, I was thinking...I want to use another "passion" for PUCK...and was thinking, what if I did some family picture taking sessions and donated some money to PUCK?

    What do you think? Could we "advertise" here? AT the Zumba dance party?

  5. You are super amazing, thanks for being the inspiration you are. To see what you are doing makes life so refreshing and good. I love how you have learned to listen to those voices, we are so blessed by those aren't we. I don't know where I would be without those wonderful voices. Keep up the good work, you are so awesome. Hope your family feels better soon. My prayers are with you and your family!

  6. Just... Awesome! Everything that you are doing, everything that's happening.

    And I love all the pictures of Bella! (and Ali, and you and Ang)