Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Grant Work

Just over 1 day to Thanksgiving! So what's new? Not a heck of a lot today. I was focusing on the grant that I need to finish tomorrow. I finished the evaluation section from last year's grant that was awarded and I'm working on the new grant application. It's not that difficult, but I'm struggling with it- there comes a point in grant writing (and a lot of other things too) when one struggles in the beginning- trying to get the idea across in the best possible way, and then there is a breakthrough moment and things fall into place. The breakthrough moment hasn't happened with this grant yet, but I'll get there tomorrow. I don't want to work on Friday, so it needs to be finished tomorrow. After that, I have another grant to work on and then many calendar sales. I don't expect to reach many people tomorrow, maybe with the police/fire associations, but generally speaking it isn't much of a day to get in touch with anyone. Calendar sales are dreadful and I'm running out of ideas- even worse is that not only do I have about 680 of them in the house, but another 40 floating that I will need to get money for.

I managed to send out the GoodSearch email by myself today on Constant Contact, I used one of their templates and took the sample letter that GoodSearch had on their site. It is scheduled to be sent at 9am tomorrow. It was one of those things that I wish I could have delegated to someone- it didn't take a lot of time, but it was time that I could have better spent on other things.

I'm tired. I went to bed at 2:30 last night- I was going to bed early, but then I got caught up with deleting old emails- I have thousands of emails in archive. Reading some of the old emails got me thinking about next year's fundraising and goals- I need to find new grants to apply for and I need to work on more events. Ideally, we should have a fundraising event every month, that isn't realistic, but if things go well with this event planner, we could be doing an event every 3 months as well as the date auction and anniv. event. I get overwhelmed- there is so much that I want to accomplish next year- I try to break things down into manageable tasks, but the bottom line is that I need to start raising some serious money if we are going to expand the way we need to. I desperately need staff and that doesn't come without money in the bank and steady money rolling in so that we can maintain payroll. I'm doing the job of too many people and because my time is so stretched, I'm not achieving enough at any job. I get frustrated when I think of what we could be doing as opposed to what we're doing now. I know the economy is dreadful and we've come a long way, but that's not the point. With the money and right resources, we could be better, so much better.

I was thinking last night that if I died suddenly, then Project Smile would most likely die with me- not most likely- would definitely. It's not that I'm so gifted no one could do my job, it's that there is no one that I know who has the time that it requires, the ability to live on the tiny salary that comes with this job or the interest to take it over. It is heartbreaking to think of that happening- we've done good work these last 5 years and I don't want that to end just because I'm not there. I want the day to come when Project Smile doesn't need me anymore, when it can flourish under the strong leadership of someone else. I was reading about how to live to be 100 today and one of the ways is to never retire and always have plenty of exercise- however, I don't want to be a 99 year old great grandma running around carrying boxes of stuffed animals to police and fire departments!

Well, it's 12:18 and I'm going to bed- since I really am trying to work on the earlier bedtime. Tomorrow's goal is to finish the grant and work on calendar sales. It is now officially 1 day to Thanksgiving! I love the holidays! Since there is always so much food on Thanksgiving, I'm trying to spread it out a little- I made a cheesecake for the very first time and tried it when I came home tonight- it was good! I'm holding off the urge to go and eat some more- it is calling my name...very loudly!

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