Thursday, October 9, 2008

Getting Back on Track

Things were getting back on track today- I'm feeling back to normal. Thank you so much to whoever left that nice posting on my blog last night, telling me to feel better. It still amazes me that people actually read my blog- so when they take the time to comment- it is extra amazing!

So what's new? I was working on a grant that is due on Friday. It needs to be overnighted tomorrow. It is done, but I'm sitting with it- I have a tendency to do that- sit and look at the grant for an extensive period of time- making sure that I have everything right and it is presented the best way possible. This one is pretty simple, but I haven't written any grants in a couple of months, so I'm paying extra attention to it. I was just proofing it a few minutes ago and was getting upset thinking about how much time I have to spend fundraising and how that takes away from our actual service- distributing the stuffed animals and other items. It is a very hard situation to be in, because without the funds, there is no program and I have no job- but of course, our program is our whole reason for existence, so in a certain way I feel guilty when I have to focus so much time on fundraising. As long as I'm the only person running Project Smile, there isn't really a solution to the problem. I need help- I need someone to come in and work on our program full time or someone who can work full time on fundraising. They are both full time jobs. But until the day comes when I have the money to hire someone, our problem will be here.

There is so much that I can't get to during the day and it is actually pretty dreadful. There are an incredible number of police/fire departments to contact, more public speaking, events that could be planned, grants to be identified and written, more donations to Department of Children and Families, more nursing homes outreach, more development of our online presence and recruitment of volunteers, more development of corporation participation- the list goes on. I know that everything is small steps, but it is frustrating to know, to see how things should be and contrast that with the reality I face every day. I am proud of how far we've come in 5 years, but that doesn't change the situation. There is no way I can spend less time fundraising- I don't actually spend enough time on it- and we already run on bare bones. There is no fluff in our budget.

I don't mean to sound so frazzled- I try to avoid thinking along those lines and just keep breaking things down into small pieces and working as hard as I can and try to balance things the best way I know how. We've reached 20 new police/fire departments this year, expanded to nursing homes and working with children entering foster care- so we are definitely making progess. I just want it to be more- want to accomplish more. But at the same time, one can't run a business or live a life on love alone- the bills keep coming in, the car still needs gas, phone needs to be paid, items do need purchased and girlie does need a salary so she can live.

Well, that's it for tonight- I'm not trying to be a debbie downer- was actually in a good mood earlier today, working on the grant, getting auction items to people and working on the halloween event- basically being productive. Things are still not sorted out about Halloween participants. I was trying to book a magician for the event- I spoke to a few, but they all wanted a fee that was well beyond anything we could afford- $450 for a 1 hour magic performance- at a charity event for children in Worcester. I did find someone at a reduced rate who is a magician, but he is going to do balloon animals/decorations for the kids. Now I need to come up with some more fun activities and get the flyers printed. I'm still trying to follow up with some of the safety participants who commited to the event, but now are unresponsive. I think one of the organizations might have gone out of business- their phone just rings and rings and no one responded to my email yesterday. If I didn't have to spend so much time following up with people- I honestly could add 2 more hours to each workday- at least. It's probably closer to 3.

Tomorrow I have a meeting with a woman who runs a marketing/pr company. So hopefully it will go well and we will be able to work together. OK friends, I am off to print my grant application and get it ready to be mailed in the morning. Until tomorrow...

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