Charleston Conference Spotlight: “Fund Your Dream” Preconference Preview

by | Oct 2, 2017 | 0 comments

Fund Your Dream: Business Strategy to Support Your Innovative Initiative

Monday, November 6, 1:00 – 4:00 PM

Podcast Preview

Cost: $150. Registration is available as part of the main Charleston Conference registration page. If you’ve already registered for the conference but wish to add this preconference, or any other, please email our Conference Registrar, Sharna Williams, at [email protected].

Session Description: For innovative work in the academic and cultural sectors, funding rarely comes easily. You may have a newly-funded Digital Humanities project or be considering an idea for a new initiative, such as an OER or digital collection. Whether you are the Principal Investigator for a grant-supported project or are leading an internally funded project, chances are you are being encouraged to start to look for additional sources of support.

This workshop introduces participants to business strategy fundamentals that can help them build strong initiatives positioned to attract a range of funding options.

Participants will engage in a brainstorming session to identify potential funding sources that might be the best fit for their project. We will review the gamut of options, from the most obvious (more grants, Institutional support) to the more provocative (corporate sponsorship), and everything in between. Participants will be guided through a process to start to identify potential alternatives, consider the key questions to ask, and identify ways to test the models they are considering. We will focus on ways to identify your audience and stakeholders, and discuss strategies for securing their support.

In this workshop, participants will:

  • Gain exposure to business strategy fundamentals
  • Learn about financial models that have worked for others, and what makes them successful
  • Participate in a hands-on exercise to identify the various types of “value” in their project. Is it in the content? The technology? The expertise gained? Or just a pure “mission” play?
  • Identify at least one promising source of support to explore in more detail
  • Define the questions they will need to answer as they test the viability of this option

The session is hands-on! While the instructors will offer brief presentations and copious examples of successful projects and lessons learned, there will be ample time for discussion and group work, so that participants are able to immediately start to apply these ideas to their own work.


Brian Keith, Associate Dean for Administrative Services & Faculty Affairs George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida

Brian is the senior administrator for the areas of Human Resources, Staff Development, Grants Management, Facilities and Security, and Finance and Accounting for the Smathers Libraries. This system includes 405 employees and annual funding in excess of 34 million dollars. Functions under his direction include recruitment for all library positions; employee relations; compensation plan design and administration; performance management; tenure and promotion administration; and grants administration, including feasibility assessment, and pre- and post-award processes. He also gathers, compiles, analyzes and interprets statistics and information related to library financial activities; develops and maintains budgets and management reports on all library income and expenditures; enhances the accumulation of financial and statistical data for library departments, Deans and other library stakeholders; and provides library administration with in-depth analyses of pertinent financial activities to maximize the capacity Libraries’ resources. Brian has a distinguished record of service to the profession and has noteworthy accomplishments in research and scholarship.

Nancy Maron, President, BlueSky to BluePrint

Nancy works with publishers, librarians and other innovative project leaders to define, test and refine assumptions about new and existing products and services. She honed her skills in over 20 years of experience working at the nexus of publishing, higher education and technology, most recently with the not-for-profit organization Ithaka S+R, where she led the team focused on Sustainability and Scholarly Communications.

Kimberly Schmelzinger, Founder, MeanLine Publisher Services

I am a consultant providing customized research solutions to scholarly publishers. Among other projects, I conduct research for the AAUP (for whom I prepare the AAUP Annual Statistics), and I have recently completed two projects funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, both related to estimating the cost of publishing a humanities monograph.

More info on conference schedule.

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