'Tis the season for annual reports, Part I

I got two unexpected projects toward the end of the year: Annual Reports for nonprofits.

It’s been a while since I worked on an annual report, and I got TWO at the same time! Not one to turn down work, I accepted and learned a whole lot about two very interesting nonprofits in the Twin Cities.

The Hamm Clinic is a mental health clinic whose mission reminds us: “There is no health without mental health.”

From their website:

Hamm Clinic’s Mission is to provide:

Quality, culturally responsive outpatient mental health assessment and treatment for adults in our community, particularly the underserved and those who are unable to afford the full cost of care.

Expert training and education for mental health professionals.

Leadership in our community for effective mental health care.

The package included a six-panel annual report, two versions of an appeal letter, a remittance envelope, and an outside mailing envelope, all beautifully printed, assembled and mailed by Cornerstone Copy Center in Burnsville, my favorite vendor. They never disappoint and always meet my most ridiculous deadlines.

Writing and project management by Wendy Wehr, a gifted copywriter and marketing pro who specializes in nonprofits. She is a delight to work with!

Hamm Clinic for website.jpg

A history lesson at the lighthouse

Many of you know that I spend several months a year at our home on Cape Cod. We are lucky enough to have inherited the cottage where my in-laws lived year-round for 40 years. Thanks to modern technology, I'm able to work remotely from Cape Cod, and spend my free time outside at some of the most beautiful places I’ve seen.

Cape Cod, in addition to its natural beauty, is rich with history. I volunteer as a tour guide at three historic properties: Nauset Light, built in 1877; the Three Sisters triple lighthouses, built in 1892; and the Captain Edward Penniman House, built by a whaling captain in 1868. I love learning about the history of these landmarks and the people who built and cared for them, and then telling the stories to others.

Nauset Light is operated by the Nauset Light Preservation Society, a group of volunteers who interpret and maintain the light (and move it back from the edge when erosion inevitably takes the land). We received a generous memorial donation, which we have used to fabricate and install a “wayside” exhibit, telling Nauset Light’s story when volunteers are not on site. I wrote the copy and designed the exhibit — using strict guidelines from the National Park Service, who is the owner of Nauset Light — and tracked down historic photos from the National Archive and the local historical society.

Today, the first of two wayside exhibits was installed. I was not there to help, but I can’t wait to see it next time I visit the Cape. There’s an image of the sign on my Portfolio > More page.



Photo shoot

This morning we had a photo shoot for the cover of Sales & Marketing Management magazine. My friend, designer Kathryn Forss, art directed. She also chose the venue, the Minnesota State Fairgrounds near Saint Paul. It’s a wonderful place to take photos; there’s so much interesting architecture and lots of spaces, surfaces and textures to explore. Kathy lives in the neighborhood, so she is intimately familiar with the fairgrounds. Our model, Tim Houlihan, was funny, relaxed, and so easygoing. He’s a business consultant and a working musician, and he brought along a couple of beautiful guitars. Photographer Stan Waldhauser is a true professional and made it look easy to get just the right photos we were looking for. It really was a lot of fun! Being mid-October, it was a chilly morning but we're going to hang onto the nice weather as long as we can. Winter is not far behind.

 Kathy & I doing some test shots; Tim Houlihan with his steel guitar; a possibility for the cover.

Kathy & I doing some test shots; Tim Houlihan with his steel guitar; a possibility for the cover.