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Sister Rosetta Tharpe, The “Godmother” of Rock’n’Roll

Section: Blog

You’ve heard of Elvis Presley. And we’re going to guess you’ve also heard of Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis. So why is it you’re not familiar with the person credited for inspiring these legendary performers?

She’s Sister Rosetta Tharpe, a gifted guitarist and the undisputed godmother of rock’n’roll. Her list of musical disciples reads like a who’s-who of legendary ‘50s and ‘60s figures. Tharpe’s unique guitar style blended urban blues with traditional folk music and incorporated a pulsating swing sound that is one of the first clear precursors of rock and roll. All this in the 1930s and ’40s — way before anyone had even coined a term for this kind of music.

She was born Rosetta Nubin in 1915 in Cotton Plant, Arkansas to parents who were both performers. Her mother was a singer, preacher and mandolin player for the Church of God In Christ, who encouraged her daughter’s participation in music. Young Rosetta quickly became a musical prodigy. After a move to Chicago, Tharpe became prominent in that city’s gospel music scene. In 1934 at 19 years old, she married a minister named Thomas Thorpe, but they divorced shortly thereafter. Rosetta kept his last name, slightly altering it to “Tharpe.”

Upon signing with Decca Records in 1938, Tharpe issued singles that were instant smashes. Tharpe dared to play guitar aggressively at a time when female guitarists of any discipline were rare. This eventually lead to her falling out of favor in the gospel world, as she crossed over into more mainstream music.

In the spring of 1964, Tharpe toured Europe as part of the Blues and Gospel Caravan. A concert, in the rain, was recorded at an old railway station in Manchester, England. The band performed on one platform while the audience was seated on the opposite platform. View this legendary performance here, and keep your ears open for some amazing guitar solos. Tharpe enjoyed several late-career highlights, including a 1967 performance at the Newport Jazz Festival.

Her health quickly deteriorated in the early 1970s. Tharpe passed away in Philadelphia in 1973 as a result of complications from multiple strokes. Learn more about Sister Rosetta Tharpe in a biography by Gayle Wald.

 

iPads Bring the e-Journal Back to the Table

Section: Blog

Have you contemplated taking your ad journal digital, but faced push-back from stakeholders who insist the journal belongs ON the table? Well, here is the solution. Your e-journal can be showcased in elegant tabletop iPad displays for easy viewing from every seat!

iPads can be synced to play in unison for a dramatic “wow” factor — guests simply watch the e-journal “pages” turn. For a more casual event, iPads can be set to interactive mode, allowing guests to flip through ads and take selfies to post to social media, complete with your event hashtag. The display frames can be customized with thematic artwork or with the logo of a major underwriter for an extra level of recognition.

iPads can be used in conjunction with or in lieu of large presentation screens. Now, with Event Journal, the choice is yours. If you would like to learn more about this elegant event technology, click here.

Unveiling Event Journal’s sexy, new platform

Section: Blog

Event Journal’s new EJ:17 platform has launched and, yes, we said sexy! Think of it as Event Journal’s same great product — with an extreme makeover. While EJ:17 will officially roll out in the new year, just like a new car, it’s being pre-released for December events.  Some of its new features include:

  • Sleek, responsive design
  • Improved social media interaction
  • Full screen splash page
  • Customizable “Enter Site” button
  • Top and left Navigation options
  • Upgraded settings for sponsor recognition tiles
  • Enhanced ad gallery featuring larger ads
  • Expanded photo gallery and sharing features
  • New font varieties

We know clients and supporters alike will love the new framework, especially when viewing the websites on mobile devices. Take a look!  View sample website

6 facts you should learn about your fundraising event attendees

Section: Blog

Guest Blogger Sarah Tedesco, Executive VP, DonorSearch

Maybe the big day of your fundraising event is just around the corner. Maybe it just wrapped up and you’re cleaning up decorations. Maybe you just formed a committee and are months away.

Whatever stage of fundraising event coordination you’re in, it’s never the wrong time to think about the role prospect screening can play.

What’s prospect screening? Prospect screening, or research, is the process through which an organization studies data on its donors and potential donors to gauge their giving capacity.

Throughout this process, nonprofits learn main facts that help them determine a prospect’s:

  • Warmth toward their organization
  • Ability to give a gift

Both of which are the key to understanding what makes a donor tick. Once a nonprofit has that information, they can leverage it to design the most effective solicitation strategy possible.

Since your fundraising event attendees are all either established donors or prospective hopefuls, it’s critical that your team finds the time to screen your guest lists.

No matter the timing, as you begin your research, there are some important facts to look out for in your search. They include the following categories:

1. Contact Information and Basic Personal Details
2. Past Giving History
3. Philanthropic Involvement
4. Professional Connections
5. Predicted Giving Level
6. Wealth Markers

From these knowledge categories, you’ll be able to build out robust donor profiles and solicit donations from your event attendees in no time.

Just like donor engagement should occur before during and after an event, prospect research can have a role in all three phases:

  • Before: To decide whom to invite.
  • During: To decide which attendees warrant extra attention.
  • After: To decide the best plans for follow up and stewardship.

To learn more, please click HERE to order your FREE 8-page white paper, written by Sarah Tedesco, Executive Vice President of DonorSearch. It is filled with useful information to help you get the most out of your organization’s next event.