Among the most awkward – but most important – things we’ve had to do to sustain and grow Community Building Art Works is ask our friends and supporters for the money necessary to run our programming. But from the start, in order to expand our reach and pay our artists, we have always needed the help of our community.

Fortunately, we have some pretty great friends, so we haven’t had to do it alone.

This year we had the immense privilege of working with the incredibly generous and talented team at Be The Change Revolutions. Human connection is at the heart of our shared work, and BTC has been our partner in launching #MissionBelonging, our initiative to make the world a little less lonely.

Earlier this year, BTC Revolutions agreed to bring aboard their people-centered approach to communications to help with our giving season fundraising campaign. Their support, through both sponsorship and guidance, was a gift that multiplied itself throughout our #GiveBelonging campaign. This gift continues to grow even now as we near the end of the year.

In his book The Gift, Lewis Hyde explains that while a commodity is purchased and used up when it is consumed, a gift increases each time it is passed between giver and recipient. Each member of our community knows this. Our teaching artists share their craft, our participants multiply it by sharing their work, their truths, multiplying the potential of art.

BTC Revolutions captured the spirit of our work in a campaign that embodied Hyde’s concept of how gifts grow as they circulate through a community. When CEO Amanda Hite and Chief Intelligence Officer Brandon Hill, co-founders of BTC Revolutions, personally stepped in to plan this campaign with us, they encouraged us to lean into the support of our community. They inspired us to ask a group of community members what belonging meant to them, and to encourage and empower CBAW supporters to set up their own fundraisers online and in their offline communities.

Our friends and supporters responded to this call to raise funds for #GiveBelonging. This approach not only helped us exceed our goal, but gave us a way to involve our supporters, sharing our work in a meaningful way with some of the people who matter most to us, and giving them the tools to share our work with the people who matter to them.

Amanda and Brandon’s strategic advice let us empower our supporters to share our message with the people in their network, inspiring others to learn about CBAW and become supporters.

This is just one example of how BTC Revolutions’ support grows as it reverberates through our community.

Because of BTC Revolutions, our dedicated Community Builders who fundraise for us, the support of committed activists like Jeffrey Wright and Kimbal and Christiana Musk and the hundreds of donors who pitched in to make our goal, we will share 10,000 hours of belonging with our community of veterans, health care workers, and civilians with life-giving creative programs next year. We are immensely grateful. We hope you’ll share and multiply this gift with us.