If your organization is a live venue, performing arts organization, cultural institution, theatre, or make your living as a live venue promoter or talent representative, you may be eligible for an upcoming federal Shuttered Venue Operator Grant.
The Small Business Administration will allocate and distribute $15 billion through the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant (SVOG) program to eligible persons and entities who experienced at least a 25% drop in revenue. Up to $10 million may be granted to an entity. You do not need to repay these federal grants.
Most organizations offering in-person educational classes and workshops have been affected by the pandemic. While many organizations have increased their online opportunities and have worked hard to provide in-person experiences as local rules allow, it’s still been a hard year.
Fortunately, some organizations may find financial relief available as part of recent COVID relief legislation.
Many educational providers are considered small businesses, and we encourage such organizations to look into these programs. Additionally, eligibility for the PPP has been expanded to include 501(c)(6) organizations, so you may be eligible now even if you were not during the first round. At least $25 billion is being set aside for Second Draw PPP Loans to eligible borrowers with a maximum of 10 employees or for loans of $250,000 or less to eligible borrowers in low- or moderate-income neighborhoods.
While funds are not as scarce as in early rollouts of these programs, if you are eligible it is recommended that you apply as soon as possible.
Ever notice how software sometimes seems to make everything move just a little faster?
You check your calendar and invite someone to a meeting via email with the click of a button. You visit a website and pay for something online with no waiting. You check your fitness tracker results in an easy-to-read chart in an app. You log into your credit card website to pay a bill and see your credit rating. You support a cause and seconds later invite your social media followers to do the same —without even leaving the thank you screen.
If you’ve ever observed perceived how smoothly these applications work together, you can probably thank an integration. If you’re noticing it more often, it’s likely because we’re surrounded by software applications which we use for everything from online meetings to records management to getting takeout delivered. And if you’ve never really thought about it, well, that, for an integration, is a job well done.
In fact, while on your way to this article you probably used several software integrations, some without even knowing!
Michelle Paul and Debbie Hodin Join the CourseStorm Board of Directors in Q4 2020
CourseStorm, a Maine-based class registration software company, is pleased to announce that Michelle Paul and Debbie Hodin have joined its Board of Directors. They, along with Jerry Weissberg (Senior Program Officer, VentureWell), Brian Rahill, CEO and Matt James COO of CourseStorm and observers from Maine Venture Fund, the Maine Technology Institute, and Coastal Ventures provide experience, wisdom, and accountability to the CourseStorm management team.
“We are excited to add two incredibly driven and engaging leaders to our Board during this time of challenge and opportunity at CourseStorm. The addition of their expertise in growing and scaling SaaS companies and deep experience with CourseStorm’s market will increase our ability to serve educational organizations across the spectrum of lifelong learning,” said CEO Brian Rahill.
Michelle Paul is a smart, motivated leader with 16 years of experience as an early employee and eventual Managing Director of PatronManager —a ticketing and donor CRM platform for arts organizations. During her tenure, Michelle guided PatronManager to impressive profitability while becoming the leading non-profit fundraising and ticketing platform for the arts. (Michelle is also a two-time Jeopardy! Champion and co-author of Breaking the Fifth Wall: Rethinking Arts Marketing for the 21st Century.) Michelle’s background in scaling technology products will help inform CourseStorm’s growth plans.
Debbie Hodin is an expert in marketing across the spectrum of EdTech organizations, from large international organizations to early-stage startups. Debbie is a founding member of the EdTech Advisory Group, a team of experienced and results-driven leaders who drive educational technology companies’ success. Her skills in strategic planning, branding, positioning, database analytics, and campaign effectiveness will help CourseStorm better communicate with existing markets and approach new ones while honing the messaging of the unique benefits of CourseStorm.
CourseStorm is the developer of an intuitive and user-friendly online registration and class marketing platform. CourseStorm’s robust software suite for education providers has helped streamline access and grow enrollments for thousands of local classes at community organizations, higher education programs, libraries, hospitals, and museums across the country.
If you’ve been offering classes for any length of time, you may have considered whether it’s time to offer your students payment plans. We’ve considered this too, and our answer is a resounding, “Yes!”
Over the years, we’ve seen classes ranging from very inexpensive —$5 to $50— to substantial —hundreds, or even thousands of dollars. These “big ticket” courses are wide-ranging: professional credentials, certifications, camps, trips, and longer-term or specialized personal enrichment opportunities. However, these “big ticket” classes can also be financially challenging to students, even if they may be more valuable.
More expensive classes don’t have to decrease your enrollments! You can still fill your classes at the rate you’ve set by offering payment plans to your students.
Educational programs used to using paper catalogs are experiencing extra challenges this year. Concerns over changing classes, postponements, cancellations, and the loss of public reading spaces like libraries and waiting rooms have presented a new marketing challenge. How can programs get their catalogs designed, printed, shipped, and in front of the learning community in a time like this?
Now imagine sending your whole class catalog to someone for just five cents, and then knowing almost instantly if they’d looked at it. Seems almost impossible! Yet there’s a simple, accessible, and affordable way to get your community to your digital catalog — and you’ve probably already used it several times today: text messaging.
Using text messages, your program can connect to students easily right where they are. And research indicates that it’s a preferred communication method for most mobile phone owners, who typically check their mobile phones 47 times a day! If you want to motivate an audience to check out your new class catalog or register for a new class, sending a text is a great way to elicit a response.
CourseStorm helped a professional theatre improve its educational program registration process, allowing staff the time to create new programs and focus on growth.
East West Players is the longest-running theater of color in the nation, occupying its own space in Los Angeles since its inception in 1965. They raise the visibility of the Asian American experience by presenting world-class theatrical productions, developing artists of color, and providing impactful youth education programs.
It also serves as a pipeline of talent to the mainstream theatre and film industry, and its education program plays heavily into that. The classes offered by East West players include everything from playwriting to professional presentation skills and acting classes for people of all ages.
CourseStorm is pleased to announce the promotion of two staff members, Amy Farrell and Monique Bouchard, in the third quarter of 2020.
We’re halfway through a transformational year — people from all walks of life have experienced radical changes in their lives, including their work lives. We’ve been following the trends and reading about the workforce’s changing needs as we start the curve into 2021.
It makes sense that many people are looking to add skills that make them more valuable in the workforce. The Strada Center for Consumer Insights reports that 65% of surveyed workers expressed interest in education to provide them with more skills in their current career field, support a new career path, or pursue a personal interest. Based on our research (and in no particular order) here are nine in-demand workforce training topics that will be needed well into the future.
If your program has been holding classes online, chances are that you’ve recorded at least some of your class content. Most likely, you’ve provided it to students who missed a class or created the recorded sessions so some students can learn asynchronously.
But did you know that your class videos may be able to do even more for you, providing you with content that you can use to increase engagement with your program and boost enrollments?
We’ll cover three things that you can do to make the most of your recorded classes, including create an eLearning video course, edit into microlearning modules, and improve your program’s marketing.