Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Latest and Greatest

So what's new? Today was a bit of a slow day- I'm not sure why, but I felt like I was moving like molasses- it took me a while to get things done. I did get two of our annual donation request letters done which was good. I still have to work on our November newsletter, that definitely needs to get done tomorrow- I have so much good news to put in it!

There is an update from the email that I got last week which was rather annoying- right after I finished blogging about it, I got another email from someone else who was connected to the person who sent the original email. It was even more annoying, I wrote back immediately, but it was unsettling and it was difficult to get to sleep. There was more communication the next day and the upshot is that we are no longer partnering with this person for an event. The thing is that one can only work with people who are straight forward and stand by their word. We had met last winter to discuss this event and agreed to certain terms. Now, the person wanted to change the terms that we had already agreed upon. We had worked together before on an event. Project Smile was supposed to receive $5 from each ticket to the event and we also did a silent auction. When it came time to give us the money, the person told me in the morning that we would be receiving a check for a certain amount (less than $2,000), when I went to meet them that afternoon, they sent me a text as I was walking to them that said that they had expenses to cover and the amount was going to be $500 less than what they told me. I didn't see that text. They met me, didn't mention the text and gave me a folded check- I left and as I was walking back, I looked at my phone and saw the text, then looked at the check. I was rather shocked that $500 managed to disappear in a couple of hours, but at that point there wasn't much that I could do. They also promised me a couple of auction items for the silent auction which they never gave. I had to refund one woman her money later on because I didn't have the gift certificate to give her.

I probably should not have agreed to work with this person again based on that experience. But it did raise some money for Project Smile. We helped with the marketing and other things, the other person did most of the event planning and organizing- and they got most of the ticket money. When we met this year, we agreed to do the same thing as last year- $5 of the ticket to PS and we do a silent auction. They wanted to change the arrangement and not allow us to do a silent auction. Instead, they were going to do their own silent auction to help raise money for their own for profit business. Now, I have never heard of a silent auction that didn't go to a charitable cause. Obviously, that is not what we had originally agreed to. They then said that they usually donate 15% of the silent auction proceeds to the charity. Again, that was not what we had agreed to and I also think it is incredibly misleading for the people who are bidding on the auction items. Most people would assume that either the entire amount or at least most of it would go to charity- not a measly 15%. They also said that usually the charity helps find sponsors for the event- another statement which didn't make sense. We never discussed that and there is no reason why we would help them find sponsors to cover their own costs. We need to find sponsors who directly support Project Smile- that's where our focus always has to be.

I wasn't prepared to agree to these changes in terms and it was decided that the person would give the event a different name and we would not be involved. I did walk away from the money that it would have raised- it wasn't very much, but it isn't always about the money. It is about working with the right people and being involved with events that I want to be associated with. We did the fashion show this fall which raised money for Project Smile, so that more than makes up for what this event could have brought in. I know that I made the right decision. 

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I'm off to eat my grapefruit, read some more and head to bed- and write my list before that. Until tomorrow friends...

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