Ben Franklin: History You Can Talk To

Learn More About Ben

Some basic 'Ben' info is at the bottom of this page.   Learn about 'Ben' and our other Five Rivers Fundraising programs here:

Five Rivers Fundraising (a part of The Washington Shakespeare Festival - WSF) advises community groups on ways to achieve their goals, fund their initiatives and develop community support


"Ben Franklin - LIVE!"  represents only ONE of our programs.  WSF & Five Rivers offers many different ways to improve your non-profit's positions: 

·       Fundraising Events/Performances

·       Auctions

·       Training Seminars (for your staff or as part of a fundraising conference you host)

·       Publicity from a grass root p.o.v.

·       Speaking: Keynote, Motivational

Five Rivers creates easy to access affordable programs that are fun, educational, interactive and community building.


Please call us. You'll talk to a real person, not a phone tree.


 See the article on us at the international fundraising idea page: The Showcase of Fundraising Innovation & Inspiration (SOFII) at at  or go directly to SOFII's article on Ben Franklin's fundraising program by clicking here

or here


An example of one of our basic proposals is at the bottom of this page:



To Chat with Dr. Franklin, you may 'check out' his Facebook Page at Facebook

Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin


Dr. Benjamin Franklin

Born in 1706, a little more than a decade after the Salem Witch Trials ended and at the threshold of the Age of Enlightenment, Benjamin Franklin embodied the energy and vibrancy of this new nation. A self-educated man, Franklin recognized, early on, that knowledge was the key to self-improvement. Throughout his life, Franklin referred to himself as a printer, but Franklin's pursuits as a scientist, innovator, inventor, statesman, and social thinker literally revolutionized his world and continues to impact our lives today.

Recommended Reading

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is the quintessential Franklin in his own words. Since then many excellent works have been written about Franklin including: Benjamin Franklin, An American Life by Walter Isaacson; Benjamin Franklin by Edmund S. Morgan; The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin by Gordon S. Wood; Benjamin Franklin by Carl Van Doren; My Life with Benjamin Franklin and Mon Cher Papa by Claude-Anne Lopez.

For Young Readers:

Ben Franklin Almanac by Candace Fleming; Biography of Benjamin Franklin by Tom Streissguth.



Ms. S____ has presented a situation to our COO, GregRobin Smith. 

1.     Our City has skateboarders.

2.     Our City has no city sanctioned public place for Skateboarders to practice their activity

3.     Our City attempts to restrict open Skateboarding with no viable alternative

4.     Therefore: Five Rivers Fundraising Recommends the Following Position be Taken:

5.     Whereas: Skateboarding is a viable and positive social activity with a large following and the positive economic impact to the community and city to match.

6.     Whereas: If Our City were to facilitate the public-private partnership to develop a skateboard park, it would be a positive solution to a now negative situation.

7.     Be it resolved: A public-private partnership should be developed between the skate boarding public, the businesses that supply that population with boards, fashion, protection equipment and repair services, civic leaders, insurance companies, the Police, land-use commissions, the Parks Department and construction firms to develop and maintain a Skateboard Park

Action Points:

A)    Call a gathering of Skateboarders, Skate-Friendly Businesses. Invite your Insurance Agents (The ones that cover your cars, houses and businesses).

a.     Use your email lists and the friendships developed in the Skate community.

b.     Make a flier and have Shredders (what we call Skateboarders in Seattle) distribute it in appropriate locations (no illegal posting.)

c.     Distribute the notice to the Skate-Friendly Businesses. Invite them to inform their customer base about your group.

d.     Inform Skate equipment manufacturers of your intent.  They may have ideas and resources to help. Ask for their suggestions and help.

B)    Invite your local representatives to attend your meeting.

C)    Meet (Location suggestions: Community Center, Church, Chamber of Commerce, a Park)

D)    Declare your issues and intents to the assembled group

E)    Ask for volunteers who may have expertise in these various areas or connections with Government organizations. Ask for contact information for support.

F)     Form an Organization

G)    Communicate with cities that have Skateboard Parks (I know Seattle has one).  Appoint someone to connect with their organizers to advise you and share their strategies with you.

H)   Establish a committee to write the City representatives. Organize petition drives. Create a Web presence with Twitter/Facebook and other on-line media presence.

I)      Celebrate with community building activities

a.     A Fundraiser at a Restaurant (such as the Our City Grill).

                                                        i.     (It’s good publicity and a community building activity for the Grill)

b.     A Skating Demonstration at an approved, public location.

                                                        i.     This will take some negotiation with businesses and their insurance provider.

c.     Five Rivers can provide and help create programs* that can be used for Fundraising/Community building, including

·       Fundraising Events/Performances

·       Auctions

·       Training Seminars (for your staff or as part of a fundraising conference you host)

·       Publicity from a grass root p.o.v.

·       Speaking at Keynote, Motivational, Organizational events

*(NB – these suggestions are made gratis. However, actual events we participate in do require a fee.)

I hope you find these suggestions useful.  My very best, GregRobin.

GregRobin Smith COO Five Rivers Fundraising.   814-713-1776