Here's a funny story- so I was making my phone calls this afternoon for silent auction items and I called a Framingham area restaurant that is well known, it is a very nice place. I asked the lady who answered the phone who I should speak with about a gift certificate donation, she told me who to speak with, but then added how the restaurant wasn't doing any donations anymore because the restaurant business was so difficult these days, etc. I didn't say anything after she spoke, so she transferred me to the manager. I told him about PS and our event and he immediately responded by offering a $50 gift card. Usually, I have to go through a process where you ask, then send a letter, then follow up many times, so this was wonderfully simple. It was just so funny how his response was such a contrast from the receptionist- and it is an example of how important it is to follow through. I could have listened to what she said and just given up before I even talked to the manager, but no way was I going to do that.
I think it is also interesting how one finds businesses that won't donate to you unless you have an event with them. Now, I understand that businesses can't donate to every charity that asks- I totally get that. However, as someone who runs a charity, I can say without reservation that I will only be holding our events at locations that have already made donations to PS. Example- a few months ago, we received a golf outing gift certificate from an area golf course. The manager was very pleasant and after he said he would donate, he asked me to consider using their facilities for our future events. Today, I spoke with another golf course who flat out said that they wouldn't donate unless we held an event there. So, in order to get a gift certificate worth about $200, a charity has to give you thousands of dollars in immediate business? When the day comes that we hold a golf tournament for PS, and it will come, guess where I will be heading. Imagine if every theatre, restaurant, store, salon, museum, sports team, professional service required the charity to do business with them before they make a contribution. Imagine if the Sharks said that they wouldn't support Project Smile because no one on our staff went to a game. Obviously, I understand certain places give preference to people who frequent their business or have connections, but that doesn't mean that you eliminate everyone else.
What else is new? We received a $1,000 donation from the Walmart Foundation yesterday. I was so happy about that. They have donated for the past 4 years, but usually the donation comes in a little bit earlier. I had been thinking about it for the past couple of weeks and was wondering what was happening. I was getting pretty disappointed. It's not a huge amount of money, but it is very important. Repeat donations like this are the backbone because it allows you to add new fundraising while still having your base support.
Yesterday, I felt like I didn't get much accomplished during the day- my list had too few check marks next to it. I was also feeling anxious, so I decided that I couldn't go to bed like that. I went back to work at about 11:30 and worked until almost 2am. I got a lot done, particularly following up on a lot of emails that had been piling up and catching up on other things. I went to bed a lot happier because I felt like I had accomplished enough. We have 2 new police department donations scheduled for next week as well as another DCF donation, so I'm happy about that.
Today, I did our first photo shoot for the 2010 calendar. I can't believe we're working on the 2010 calendar. I remember when I was a little kid thinking how 2010 was so very far away, it didn't even seem like a real year- like it was too cool to be real. Douglas Fire was our first photo shoot. It was funny- I was outside doing the photos with the kids and the FF, when a friend who I hadn't seen in months came over. She was driving by on her way home from work and saw the group of kids getting their photo taken and knew it was me, so she pulled in to say hello. It was so unexpected and good to see her.
Anyways, that's it for tonight. I'm off to write my list, then bed. I'm trying to hold off the urge to have another frozen lemon popsicle- they are so delicious. The perfect summer dessert. Except, it is 58 degrees outside tonight and that doesn't exactly qualify as a summer night. I don't think they are particularly unhealthy. Well, off I go- I probably won't divert to the freezer. It is already 12:45 and I should go to bed at a decent hour and not spend extra time watching ESPN and sucking on a fabulous lemon popsicle- however tempting that sounds right now..