December 10, 2009 // Franchising.com // When a group of artists, businesses and music teachers got together to put summer arts camps under one umbrella, the result was CASSA, the Calgary Arts Summer School Association.
"I wanted to develop a summer arts program because I had personally experienced musical studies at the Banff Centre for the Fine Arts as a piano student, and later on, was a piano coach at Musicamrose," CASSA's Cofounder Linda Kundert-Stoll said. "I had such memorable experiences that I wanted others to experience the same, so it is our philosophy that everyone can attend and not be held back due to finances, age or a lack of skills."
The Calgary Arts Summer School Association (CASSA), both introduces individuals to the arts, and enhances the skills of those who are already involved in performing, literary or visual arts. Today, CASSA has 12 different programs for students aged four to adult.
"We create well-rounded personalities and above all, help keep children occupied and hence, out of trouble," Stoll said. "We are a truly proactive charity -not a reactive one."
While CASSA has been around now for 17 years, it has not been spared by the effects of the economic recession.
"Our numbers have gone down, especially the number of adults in the various programs and fundraising has been a major challenge," Kundert-Stoll said.
A recent collaboration with ActionCOACH, the world's leading business and executive coaching firm, will help them raise $70,000 by the end of the year.
Business Coach Cheryl Dyck is offering the organization business help so they can accomplish their fundraising goals by enlisting them in Coaching for a Cause - a global pro bono business coaching program, which will help the not-for profit and charitable sectors raise at least an additional $2.5 million in donations within a six-month period, beginning October 1, 2009.
The brainchild of ActionCOACH founder and Chairman Brad Sugars, over 100 charities and non-profits are participating in this program - a combined value of $1.8 million.
"Besides helping Kundert-Stoll and her team with financial goals, I also aim at helping them increase their long-term goals as well as improve management, processes and team efforts," Dyck said. "I would like the team to eventually operate more independently so Linda can concentrate on further growing the organization."
Dyck selected CASSA for this campaign because it provides opportunities to the young and the old in the field of arts.
"I am passionate about helping charities and non-profit organizations and have been doing this for many years now," she said. "CASSA allows people to grow and develop their creative side and I am excited to help them with their goals and contribute toward the art scene in Calgary."
Barely a month into the coaching process and Kundert-Stoll is already raving about the results.
"I am finding that every week I am getting 'wow' moments with my coach Cheryl," Kundert-Stoll said. "This week I experienced my first networking meeting and after listening to several coaches from various companies speak, I realized I have the best."
Dyck is confident the Coaching for a Cause program will make a huge difference in the world of charities and non-profits globally.
"Most non-profits cannot normally afford this sort of business help and support, so this is a great global initiative," Dyck said. "I believe you 'give to gain,' so this should be an annual program for the ActionCOACH community."
Kundert-Stoll's long-term vision for CASSA is to grow into a year-round program.
"I would like us to be situated in our own building and eventually, be able to pass it on to someone who is as passionate about this cause as I am," she said.
According to Kundert-Stoll, the overall art scene in Calgary has improved from having CASSA around for over a decade and a half.
"We are the only organization, which offers a multitude of programs," she said. "We also bring in special clinicians for our teachers so they can constantly improve their craft; our teachers are passionate and absolutely phenomenal."
Coaching for a Cause is an innovative new program from ActionCOACH, the world's number one business and executive coaching firm that makes pro-bono coaching available to charities and non-profits worldwide.