Monday, July 30, 2012

Wrapping Up July

I can't believe July is almost over- that means we are only a month and a half away from the Date Auction, only 2 1/2 months to the Anniversary Celebration and a few weeks left to wrap up the calendar, plus we have 4 fashion shows between now and mid-October. So much going on!

So what's the latest? Well, last week we did another donation to Boston PD. We donated over 250 stuffed animals and a 100 books and coloring books/crayons. Here is a really nice photo from our donation that their photographer took. I particularly love the lighting in this photo.
I finished one grant last week- it was a pretty straight forward grant application. This was our first time applying for this grant. The company has expanded recently and we fit in with their funding priorities. I don't know when I will hear back. I have another grant that I need to get done this week.

Things are moving along well with the Date Auction. We have a new sponsor on board who will be doing a partial financial donation and an in-kind donation of gift certificates that we can give to the 'couples' and perhaps use in the silent auction. I've also heard back from another sponsor that was already on board for the Date Auction and they are helping out with some gift certificates too. The marketing is coming together. I need to speak with Lisa about getting some of our ads finalized. We are still waiting for a few more logos from sponsors.

Here's a funny volunteer interaction. I received an email last night from someone who wanted to volunteer, asking me if she should send her resume over. I wrote back to her today and then she responded a few minutes ago saying that she actually wasn't going to have time to volunteer- we hadn't even discussed hours. I'm not sure why people bother to inquire about volunteering and then change their mind less than 24 hours later.

Anyways, back to updates- I did calendar photos with a 1 1/2 year old little girl today. She was so adorable. She was also the best dressed little kid that we've photographed this year. Her mom dressed her in a little sailor dress with matching hat. She looked absolutely lovely. I haven't loaded the photos onto the computer yet, but from looking at them on the camera, they looked cute. It's hard when kids are that age because they don't want to sit still and smile for very long!

Well, there is lots more to write about, but I have a lot of emails that I need to catch up on. Tomorrow, I need to work on the usual things along with wrapping up calendar sponsors and photos, date auction and anniversary celebration work and make some progress on the next grant. Until tomorrow friends...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Latest and Greatest

So what's the latest? Well, I received a $100,000 donation... OK, that didn't happen, wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to announce a donation like that! Things are chugging along slowly. The biggest challenge right now is wrapping up calendar sponsors. I have 2 1/2 months that need to be filled. One of our board members will be taking care of one of those months, which is great. There is a potential sponsor who will hopefully be taking another month, but that is not a definite and I need another half sponsor. I also have two sponsors from last year that I've been trying to get commitments from. I've reached out to other potential sponsors, but I don't have any commitments. I'm not sure of who else to contact for sponsorship.

Calendar photos are coming out great. It is always a lot of fun doing the pictures. We have a lot of new children featured in the calendar. I'm doing photos at an ambulance company in Cambridge tomorrow morning. I have about 5 more photo shoots that need to be done. One is already scheduled for early August. I don't have a calendar cover photo yet. Usually, when I take the photos, I know as soon as I look at them on the computer if they are a contender for the cover. There have been a ton of great pictures, but there hasn't been one that has jumped out as an obvious cover choice.

I've been working on getting more auction items. I've been reaching out to some of the ladies from the WSN networking group that I'm a member of. They've been really responsive with donating items for the Anniversary Celebration silent auction, so that's been really good. I keep trying to add new donors as well as contacting the previous donors. Right now, I'm particularly looking for jewelry, outings, tickets to events and restaurant gift certificates- but obviously, all donations are welcome.

Well, there is lots more to write about, but I'm tired and starting to forget. I'm off to watch Leno, write my list and head to bed. I already had a ton of watermelon tonight, so I'm holding off the urge to go and eat some more. Until tomorrow friends...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Reaching Goals

Well, we hit a good mark today- we have reached our sponsorship goal for the Date Auction and we also reached our goal for ladies to be auctioned off. Of course, I still keep working on obtaining new sponsors and there are some others that I'm waiting to hear back from, but it means that almost all of the cost to produce the event is now covered. That is always a big relief.

I emailed out the date auction recruiting flier to our PS database yesterday. We've had a lot of ladies sign up over the last few days. It is a really nice group of women- very pretty and from a variety of backgrounds. We auction off 20 ladies- some times a bit more, but I always have even more on the list because we always lose a couple before the event. Pretty soon, I will have to start a wait list as well. I always get nervous because for the longest time, I have only a few people signed up, but then the ball gets rolling and before you know it, the list is full. When it comes to getting the guys signed up, it is a different story! It has always been the same way- the ladies sign up months ahead of time, send in all their info and are good to go. A lot of the guys take a really long time to send in their info and it takes a while to even get them signed up. It has always worked out in the past, but I go through the same thing every year. I still get really anxious even though I keep reminding myself that it is always the same way.

We're getting closer to our sponsorship goal for the Anniversary Celebration, but we are still a little short. I reached out to other sponsors today who have been involved in the past and I need to work on reaching out to some more new sponsors. I've been working on auction items too, but definitely need to get more.

Things are moving slower with calendar ads, although I was given two new potential sponsors to reach out to and I contacted two other potential sponsors. The month that I was concerned about on Monday definitely needs a new sponsor- so that leaves 2 1/2 months that need sponsorship. The calendar heads to print in August, so there is not a lot of time left. I really need help with getting these done. I did photos at Upton Fire today of a fire fighter and his ten year old son- they looked so much alike. The boy wants to be a fire fighter just like his dad. I think I got some really good photos. I actually only have a few more departments to photograph, so that is good.

In good news, I found a grant tonight that we can apply for from a local store which our efforts fit perfectly into. I need to get working on that soon. I would love to have more help with all of the things that need to get done, it is so challenging to get to everything.

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I'm off to write another lengthy list for tomorrow. I don't know what the heck I was doing when I was writing my list last night- I wrote repeated two tasks twice on the list. I guess that is another way to quickly get through a list- write the same task down a few times, so when you did it once, you can check it off multiple times! Until tomorrow friends...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Polly Progress

Well, today was a day of progress- a little bit of everything (except grants) got worked on. I had a list of 13 items to work on and I managed to get through 12 of them (the grant was the exception), so that was really good. A lot of days, I get to barely half the items.  The trick to getting through your list is to write super easy tasks (ex. 1. turn on computer, 2. check Facebook, 3. look at email...) Just kidding- those are not really on my list!

One of the main goals today was following up with people- I was following up with date auction sponsors and also people that had signed up to be auctioned off, but hadn't sent in their complete info yet. I was also working on getting more calendar photo shoots scheduled. On the disappointing calendar news, it looks like another month might need an entirely new sponsor. I already knew that I had 1 1/2 months left to fill, but I'm not sure what is happening with this other sponsor- it doesn't look that good. I emailed a new potential calendar sponsor late this afternoon and left a voicemail. I have another potential sponsor I am going to reach out to in the morning. I need help with getting more calendar sponsors on board.

I spoke with one of the date auction bachelors this morning about cross promotion with the radio station that he works with. He was featured in the dating column in the Boston Globe magazine and I had reached out to him on FB to see if he wanted to participate in our event- I had a feeling that he would be a good candidate. It turns out that he also knows one of the other bachelors being auctioned off. It is such a small world! It's only in the early stages for the cross promotion, so I don't have any details yet. The radio station is also involved with NECN- the channel which our hosts work for, so it is a really good tie-in.

I made a lot of progress late last week with one of our big grants. Tomorrow, I will review the grant, make some final updates and then submit it. I also have two other grants that I need to start working on.

There seems to be a lot of turnover lately with some of the people that I work with on events. The lady at Sofft Shoes emailed me this morning to let me know that she is leaving- she has been great to work with. The marketing director at one of the malls that we're having a fashion show fundraiser at soon left her job last week. I spoke with the marketing assistant today to check-in about the event and everything looks good. I emailed her all the photos of the ladies that will be modeling so they can pair them up with the retail stores. It looks like they are going to be having some cool stores involved in the show. The marketing assistant is also going to be one of the bachelorettes that will be in our auction!

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I'm off to watch Headlines on Leno, eat some more cherries, write another extensive list for tomorrow, read some more of the last Hunger Games and head to bed at a decent hour. Here's hoping for an equally productive day tomorrow. Until tomorrow friends...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Happy Surprise

Well, today was a very good day. I finally emailed over the grant that I had been struggling with. Even though it was done on Friday, I still had some revising to do and put the attachments together. I felt invigorated after emailing the grant- it is always such a satisfying feeling when a grant is submitted. I zoomed down to the post office and there was an envelope from the same foundation which donated $10,000 to us in December. I opened it before I even left the post office. Inside was a grant for $5,000! You can only imagine how happy I was. I totally wasn't expecting this donation. When good things happen like this, it makes everything worthwhile. It feels like an angel is sitting on your shoulder, willing you along through the rough times. It has been difficult with getting things together for the calendar, working on the big events, grant writing- none of it comes easy and there are times when it looks like it won't come together. Now it feels like we are turning the corner and things are moving along in the right direction. This grant is another sign of the good things that are happening. To this foundation that has donated $15,000 to us now, thank you. Thank you for believing in our work as much as I do. I spend a lot of my time convincing other people to support our work, so when a Foundation chooses us without my asking- it is so very special.

In other news, our website home page has been retooled and looks great. It had been looking a little messy with all the additions over the years. I had been wanting to make some changes, but was concerned about the cost. Our website is one of the most important things we have, so it is a priority to keep it looking smart. Our web host suggested that we make some changes and the price was rather reasonable. He finished it last week and it looks awesome. You had to scroll down too much before to find out the main info about PS, that problem is gone now. Check it out when you have a chance and let me know what you think!  I also updated all the scrolling quotes from departments that we donate to. Our web designer also added a Press page which lists all the press we received along with the Channel 4 news clip and the radio interview with Candy O'Terry. I love the way everything looks.

 I spent this evening catching up on office work- updating some data base info, cleaning up, catching up on thank you notes. I still have more organizing to do, but progress is getting made. I'm going to do a bit more desk organizing now and then enjoy my day off tomorrow. Happy 4th July friends! Until next time...