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We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Question: What are your initial steps in trying to find a donor?

Reynold Levy: So, donors are at the cross section between their interests and whatever your non-profit institution does. So, in Lincoln Center’s case that means that the potential donor universe would - could embrace an interest in a particular art form, could embrace an interest in a major civic institution that’s an economic engine on the Upper West Side, could embrace a major tourist attraction, could embrace an institution that cares a great deal about the education of kids, could embrace an institution that provides an enormous amount of free service.

So, you take a look at the spokes of that wheel that reach into various corporate foundation and individual communities. In Lincoln Center’s case that is pretty easily done because most people vote with their feet and find themselves in our concert halls and in our venues, so our donors are literally all around of us, many of them. And so, we do some research on them and then we go see them and talk to them about Lincoln Center.

QuestionHow do you approach these prospective donors?

Reynold Levy: Well, you do a lot of research into the other donors who support other institutions that do similar work. So, if you're trying to raise money for theatre, you look at a lot of theatre playbills and see who’s given generously to theatre, who’s on theatre boards, who are theatre producers. If you're raising money for ballet you’ll look at dance companies. If you're raising money on the Upper West Side you’ll look at people who live on the Upper West Side, care about the community that thrives. So, your research is very much a function of what you're raising for or where your institution is situated, functionally and geographically.


The First Steps for Finding...

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