Culture Shock San Diego
Culture Shock is a troupe of individuals who, through the power of music and dance, cultivate self-worth, dignity, and respect for all people throughout [their] global community. They utilize dance to cultivate education, entertainment, and empowerment to inspire positive change in the communities they serve. Culture Shock is a training ground for Hip-Hop dance; creating training and performance opportunities for dancers of all experiences to express their art.
Culture Shock was Fordable Fundraising’s first client back in early 2015 when Culture Shock founder, Angie Bunch was introduced to Janeal Ford by a colleague. Bunch founded Culture Shock Dance Troupe in 1993 when she gathered a group of Hip Hop street dancers to develop and perform intricate choreography, which combined the best of the current Hip Hop dance arts forms. As an expert in choreography and dance, none of this experience included grant writing. So, Ford was retained to help Culture Shock increase community support for its youth dance troupe program and dance productions, including Culture Shock’s incredible pop-culture interpretation of The Nutcracker.
The organization experienced several ups and downs over those next few years and was at risk of closing their doors for good when in 2019, dynamic leader Danielle Prince was recruited to leadership – first as Board Chair and then as Executive Director. When Danielle took the lead, the board was composed of individuals who were very familiar with the organization , but new to the experience of serving as a nonprofit board member. Culture Shock understood that they needed to get their board on board and needed some guidance moving toward a fundraising mindset that would help equip them to be effective ambassadors for Culture Shock.
The first step in bolstering the board was a board retreat. This took place in a single day and offered the board the chance to come together and set shared goals and come up with creative ways to work toward those goals. Executive Director, Danielle Prince, shared that this retreat “helped us think outside of our little box…we have a bigger box. Who do we know in the community? It helped us open our minds to [the idea that] maybe San Diego is smaller than we think.” This kind of creative approach to fundraising due to the shift in mindset resulted in a more engaged and effective board.
Culture Shock then hired Fordable Fundraising to craft their case for support and provide grant writing services. “There’s this fear that funds are not going to come in, and you don’t want to tap out your current donors,” Danielle expressed. Contracting out their grant writing with Fordable Fundraising has created an environment of trust and dependability of knowing that the work is getting done. “To be able to take this off of my plate, but know that someone is working on it is so helpful. Organizations with a Development Director may also want to consider this service because of the amount of freedom it provides.” Outsourcing grants frees up the time of the team to focus on what is most important, communicating with and building relationships with stakeholders.
As a result of Culture Shock’s dedication to their craft, and with a little help from Fordable Fundraising, Culture Shock is thriving and has growing momentum in community engagement and fundraising.