Reality Check: efM at the crossroads

It feels for all the world, to me, like *we* are in a recession, pay no attention to the National Bureau of Economic Research who indicated the the trough of the downturn occurred in June of 2009.  I’m not an economist- but, hell, they are only right half the time.   Call it whatever you want, efolkMusic.org, our “flagship” nonprofit, is suffering, on our last leg, donations are way down. Who (in our folkie world), after giving what they can to social service non-profits, has much left (or desire) to save folk music?  And really, who do we think we are, that we could make a difference? And what is our place in a world with Facebook and Reverbnation, iTunes, Pandora, and the amazing Grooveshark??? Remember when MySpace was hot? We are chasing a speeding bullet that is a click away from our website, in a buggy! Get real!!!

The status quo is not acceptable. We can’t limp along begging for change any longer.

The realities:

  • It’s a tough time to be a nonprofit, especially arts NPOs; food and medicine come before art
  • We can’t compete with our better-financed “neighbors” on the web (just a click away) in content, design and function
  • efolkMusic has been around for 11 years now, and the old guard is tiring- it’s a common problem, an organization that needs “renewal” but doesn’t have the desire or energy
  • I am responsible, as founder and operator, for where we are, and what happens next, and am suffering from 3rd degree burn-out. I’m a piano player, not a turnaround genius.

SO what should we do? As a nonprofit, we are in a sense “owned” by the community, so I appeal, not for money this time, but for the collective wisdom of the folk community. You tell me, should I just pull the plug? Is there someone out there with a vision and energy who is interested in a friendly takeover? Are we still relevant? Are there any other alternatives?

Can I just say arrrrgh!!!? PLEASE  comment.

Chris Frank
Founder and Chief Musical Officer


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