I have been sitting on some news for awhile now.
Nope, not baby news.
I have described what I do for a living a few different times in this blog. You know that where I work is a not for profit organization. That means we are not paid by the government, we are not funded by the government, we operate independently, and are governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.
The programs we run through our organization do cost money to run, and we get that money through successful funding proposals, by applying for grants, through fundraisers, and through donations to our organization. Just because we run a successful program one year, doesn’t necessarily mean we will be able to run it next year, if we can’t come up with the money to do so. Finding funding sources is a full time job when you work in not for profit, and the more eyes peeled for opportunities, the better. At a meeting with community partners, one of our staff was made aware of the Aviva Competition. After learning more about it, we put in a proposal, which many of you supported by voting online. We were not successful, but others were, because they found out about it, thought “what the heck?” and applied.
Back in January, I came across another possible source of some money, went to one of our senior staff, and asked if we had ever applied for this specific funding. She said we hadn’t so I asked her what she thought. She put it in my hands and so I did the write up for it. It’s an ongoing source of funding, and you could be notified at various points throughout the year if you were successful, so after making our submission, neither of us gave it much more thought.
About 6 weeks later I received a phone call at home from that senior staff member, to let me know that my submission had been successful – we had won what we applied for - $2000.
Now, $2000 is great, a welcome addition to any not for profit organization, and in this case, the money was going directly into the program I was most closely tied to, which was great too, but that's not the point of this blog post… there is more.
My senior staff member informed me that I needed to call this funder back to discuss my availability for an interview and photoshoot.
Yes. A Photoshoot.
Why? Because the “funder” was a magazine. And parts of what I had written was going to be published in that magazine, along with my photo and interview. In their June 2010 issue.
Perhaps you’ve heard of it…I don’t know.
TODAY’S PARENT MAGAZINE???
Only the leading Canadian Parenting Magazine.
I had won a “Reader with a Cause award” which is published in every single issue of Today’s Parent (12/year). “Readers with a Cause” write a story about a children’s charity that makes a difference in the lives of Canadian kids. In January I submitted a story about THE BUS program at Rural Response for Healthy Children, and 6 weeks later was notified that it, and I, had been selected for the June 2010 issue. In March a photographer from Toronto came and did a photoshoot on my front porch, which you will see in the next issue of Today’s Parent, about to hit shelves and be mailed out to subscribers, anytime now. They told me to dress like it was June. So there I was, in March, on my front porch, in capris and red toenail polish.
My submission was based on my experience as a parent with THE BUS program at RRHC before I became an employee, but I did write that I am now employed in the same program I used to attend as a parent, and explained it in more detail.
Besides the $2000, we will gain national exposure. Parents from across Canada will learn a little bit about who we are, and why we exist. Maybe nothing will come of that.
Or, maybe something will. You never know.
And that’s the lesson. This is a national magazine, and there are thousands of children’s charities across Canada. When my senior staff member told me to make a submission, I don’t think either one of us really thought anything would come of it.
But they called us only 6 weeks later. We had nothing to lose, so we took a shot, and in a few short weeks, everyone across Canada and beyond who reads Today’s Parent Magazine, will know about THE BUS program and RRHC.
Oh and there’s something else too.
At the end of each year a panel of judges reviews the 12 “readers with a cause” from the past year. They then choose 3, who each then receive an additional $8000 for their cause.
Another $8000. Could you imagine? All because I took a chance, took a longshot.
It may not happen.
But it might.
Never say Never.
4 hours ago