GiveLocalNow.org has so far been mostly a public awareness campaign, but on April 29, the organization will take a huge first swing at inspiring the public to increase donations to local nonprofits.
April 29 is the Arts Day of Giving. Consultant Susan Frazier, who's leading the effort, has enlisted The Bee, KVIE, Capital Public Radio and Clear Channel, along with 25 local restaurants and coffeehouses, to get the word out in El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties.
Here's what Frazier sees happening:
You'll get an email or attend one of dozens of events including a 7-9 a.m. kickoff at Sacramento's Old Soul, 1716 L St., and a lunchtime party at Mulvaney's B&L, 1215 19th St.
"We have around 25 restaurant partners that have discounts, deals and free food that they're giving during that day," Frazier said, " and then a lot of the nonprofits are doing events at their places, and then it's all going to be on sacramento365.com. They'll map all the events."
You'll go to the website, GiveLocalNow.org. For 24 hours, it has been converted into a leaderboard that will track every donation made to 80 registered arts organizations in the four-county region.
You'll donate and then use social media to tell friends or relatives, and giving goes viral.
The Day of Giving concept began in Columbus, Ohio, but Pittsburgh refined it, and that's the model being deployed here in the capital region. A matching gift will be announced at the end of the day.
Let's not talk sales
Novelist Pam Houston is never at home for long.
The director of the creative writing program at the University of California, Davis, Houston has logged millions of air miles, and she sandwiched a meeting with me between readings in the Pacific Northwest and New Orleans.
Port Townsend, Wash., chose Houston's "Contents May Have Shifted" as its annual Community Read and bought 100 of the books to pass around. Ask the author about the book's total sales, and her reply is: "Believe it or not, I don't really think about sales."
Her publisher, W.W. Norton, does not publicly release sales figures, but Houston could find out if she wanted.
"As long as it sells enough that I can write another book and they'll buy it," she explained, "that's really all I want. 'Waltzing the Cat' and 'A Little More About Me' didn't sell very well, compared to the others. And, in a way, I'm sort of glad that Norton kinda protected me from even knowing that."
Houston is not only an author and university professor; she also leads writing workshops and teaches a dozen private students. Writing alone wouldn't provide the income she needs for travel to remote corners of Tibet, New Zealand, Alaska and so on.
Let's do talk health care
Myla Ramos and her partners at SearchPros Staffing in Citrus Heights are looking at creative ways to handle added costs that will come next year from the Affordable Care Act.
The law creates an especially tricky situation for SearchPros to manage because the firm employs people through fixed-price proposals with the federal government, Ramos said, so her company can't immediately change charges.
"We payrolled about 750 people," she said. "I can't add money to the purchase orders or requisitions that have already been submitted, so to try to spread those expenses, with that number of people, has been challenging."
Ramos and other small-business owners met last week with U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui at a business forum at the California Capital Women's Business Center in Sacramento, and although a number of topics were raised, everyone was intensely interested in the Affordable Care Act.
If, like Ramos, you have circumstances you feel should be addressed, you may wish to register at www.stateofhealthcare conference.com/ by Wednesday for the free State of Health Care Conference from 8 a.m. to noon April 23 at the Sacramento Convention Center. The event will welcome up to 350 people, and speakers will include Herb Schultz, the regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Unable to make it? The Sacramento Metro Chamber plans Perspectives on Health Care for June 21.
Call The Bee's Cathie Anderson, (916) 321-1193.