Thursday, November 20, 2008

Economic Worries

Greetings! Today was a fairly quiet day. Quincy had to be rescheduled which was disappointing, but not that big a deal. I was working on calendar sales- without any progress. I was catching up on emails and contacting new departments, but didn't get through to anyone either. I can't remember what else I was working on- I hate it when that happens. My mind is full of what needs to be done, I can't remember things that happened today.

I'm so concerned about the economy- I know everyone else is too and compared to the situations that some other non profits and businesses are in, we are doing great. We are doing fine right now- we pay our bills on time, I can make payroll, our program is running without financial interruptions- although I need office help in a major way. But if that was the only thing I focused on, it would be a pretty short sighted perspective. I'm trying to spend some time working on next year's financial plan and there are major issues surrounding where our money is going to come from. Just because we're OK now is no guarantee we're going to be OK nine months from now. I'm working on doing more events next year in order to increase funds, but are we going to be able to find sponsors? And will we sell tickets? I think that as long as we plan events smartly, we will be OK. Keep the financial goals smaller, ticket price affordable and make it a kick-ass great event and people will show up. Grants are another story, but it means that I have to spend more time researching new grant opportunities and networking to develop contacts. I'm trying to find rational solutions to a potentially critical problem for us. I'm good at keeping costs to a minimum- I've been doing that for four years. It gets scary though- it seems every day the economic news gets worse.

I have a lot to do tomorrow- calendar sales and contacting new departments are the top priorities, but I also need to work on 2 grants, send our web updates to our weh host, update the photos on my blog- they are too old, work on my December calendar for work related events that I want to attend and there a few other things that need attention too. Calendar sales are urgent- however, I'm not going back to door-2-door sales- i did that for 2 years and it was horrendous. The first year wasn't as bad, maybe because I didn't know what to expect. Most people were relatively pleasant, but some people were so rude. I consider myself pretty good at handling rejection, but there were many times when I got in my car and bawled. We had practically no money in the bank, I had 1,000 calendars to sell which were our lifeline for money then, it was cold and I had to deal with people shutting doors in my face before I even finished what I was saying. The worst ones were people who smile- tell me what wonderful work I was doing and then close the door. I almost got attacked by 2 german shepherds once- I knocked at a Hopedale door and the two dogs came to the window and started barking. The window was half open and they were pushing at the screen to get out- the screen started to come off the window to the point where the dogs had their heads out the window and were trying to get the rest of their bodies out too. i was so frightened- I tried to stay calm and backed up down the walk and out the driveway. All I could think was that it would be a pathetic way to die- mauled to death on a front lawn in Hopedale, trying to sell a stupid $10 dollar calendar for charity.

Anyways, enough on that topic. It is 12:31- I'm working really hard on getting to bed before 1am. I was in bed 20 mins earlier last night and it made a difference this morning. There was other good news that I forgot to mention- our tax exempt status has been extended indefinitely. We were issued an "advanced ruling" in 2004 which was set to expire on 12/31/08, the IRS just sent a letter explaining that our status is continued without us having to file any additional paperwork. Tax exempt status is of course a cherised thing- without it, there would be pretty much no donations coming in and we would lose the discounts we enjoy on certain services as well as other things. When I first started PS, I thought that non profits were automatically tax exempt- they're not- they have to apply to the IRS for tax exempt status. I remember when i first started PS, I got a non profits for dummies book and in the book they said that 75% of all non profits bring in less than $25,000 in annual revenue- of course, my first thought was when are we getting in that special 25%? We came close the second year and by the following year there was no looking back.

OK enough blogging- I get very chatty late at night- partly because I'm a night owl and also because I relax and my mind starts to wander onto all sorts of topics. But my 1am curfew is practically here, so off I go- until tomorrow...

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