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This article was originally posted on the Americans for the Arts ARTSBlog on October 10, 2014:

Ever come back from a conference inspired, energized, and ready to unleash your brilliant ideas on your colleagues? You’re cruising along on a creative high until you hear, “That’s a good idea BUT…” followed by the reasons why it can’t be done.

When yours truly was a young worker bee, I heard some reasons that made head/desk contact a regular occurrence:

“We don’t need a blog. Nobody reads those. They are just vanity projects for people with big egos.” – executive director of a large nonprofit

“Why on earth would we ever want to post anything on YouTube?” - marketing director at a federal agency

More likely, though, you’ll hear something like, “I’d love to but we just can’t spare the money/time/staff for that.” If you want to avoid the quick, early death of your idea, getting the go ahead from the authorizers in your organization will be your first challenge.

Read the rest at the ARTSblog >

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When you were a kid, did you ever Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF with the iconic orange box? That tradition started in 1950 when Mary Emma Allison, a school librarian, saw a UNICEF booth in a department store while shopping for winter coats for her children. The booth inspired an idea and Mary Emma drafted her three children into service going door-to-door collecting coins that Halloween.

"We were real little, and my mother was behind us, and we were trying to explain it, and there were these memories of terror, actually," said daughter Mary Jean Thomson. "But people are generous. We got money and candy, so my parents knew it was a go." [source]

The first year they collected $17 which they donated to UNICEF to help children in postwar Europe. What started as a family activity spread to the local community and in 1953, the U.S. Committee for UNICEF took the campaign national. By 2010, the year of Mary Emma's death, the campaign had raised $160 million.

"If you tell children how much power they have — a dime can buy 50 glasses of milk — that's really kind of powerful," Thomson said.

Photo: U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Flickr photostream: Historical Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF

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