Help us meet our goal of raising $50,000

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Update on Liberia

Since we have the $5,000 Inspiring Soles grant, we are now focusing on expanding our Liberia program to include 100 girls; we also hope to offer them some sort of meal plan, a stipend for books and uniforms, and we want to offer them some after school programs dedicated to raising awareness of reproductive issues, STDs, and other issues. I'm researching grants right now. We hope to have some grants out by the end of the year.
Our next board meeting is next week. I'll include notes from our last board meeting below and below that notes from my meeting with Bruce Grant, one of the founders of Engineers Without Borders.

MEETING 10/14/08


Where are we going:
Do we want to grow? And how? Growing small and slow seems to be the consensus.
Executive director discussion
Grant writing discussion
Possibly having paid positions.

Fund raising:
Fund Raiser 10/9:
1. We made $700 roughly.

We have roughly $10,000
Need to make a schedule of allotted money for the year.

Project Updates:
Update on Pakistan:
1. We are on hold at the moment, but things seem to moving ahead.

Update on Liberia:
1. Need to Clarify how much each student receives, where remainder goes, how many students we are sponsoring.
2. Need to start writing grants.

Update on Nepal:
1. Possibly look into finding a Nepali NGO to partner with. **If we find potential partners perhaps I can go meet with them in Jan/Feb 09.
2. Need to send money for Jamling.


1. Looking into 501(c)(3)
2. put together report of current financial status

1. Fix website so that people can donate and link to TMF
2. Grant proposal
3. Get specifics for money in Liberia
4. Get money from Justin and send to Jamling.

1. Look into Executive Director duties and salaries
2. Contact Boulder Reach
3. Check with Emily on GEI Video
4. Work with Tsoler on connecting with Jah Vintage
5. Contact Sarah (new graphic designer) about Logo

1. Continue working with PDCN to push forward on Pakistan project

Summary of meeting notes with Bruce Grant of Engineers Without Borders:

1. We need to create an auditable database from day one. All the “big charity watchdogs” (online sites) that evaluate nonprofits will only start evaluating us from the time we start auditing ourselves. We have to pay an accountant to do this. We have to be licensed or approved by these watchdog groups in order to get foundations to pay any attention to us at all. We also have to be recommended by these groups if we’re going to have any chance of getting a grant.
a. Also, foundations will find us if we are on these charity watchdog sites.
b. Charity groups:,, etc
2. We need to plan out a five-year plan now. Question: what do we want to look like in five years.
3. There is nothing wrong with paying ourselves to get going, but we have to be careful to not spend more than 20% of our income on overhead. We never want overhead to go over 20% of our income.
4. We need to do extensive networking as soon as possible.
a. We need to hit every female business owner on the Front Range. I have a list of the top 100 female-owned firms on the FR.
b. We need to get out and start talking with people in person, including legislators & politicians, businesswomen and men, and anyone else who might be able to help us.
c. We need to find an Angel donor.
d. Boulder Reach. We need to speak to these women.
e. We need to find out how to access charity lists and rolls.
f. Schedule a meeting with Heidi, the main fundraiser for EWB.
g. We need to get on Linked in and link to as many people as possible.
h. We need to find Top Tier people who can influence our success and tie us into other people.
i. We need to get in contact with as many other nonprofits as possible and learn from them.
j. Avoid faith-based orgs and government grants. The moment we take US government money, our Muslim students are at risk.
5. We need a marketing plan:
a. We need to write a quarterly email newsletter that we send out via constant contact
b. We need to figure out how to better market our nonprofit with Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing.
c. Annual Giving Challenge. Parade Magazine. 700 nonprofits registered last year. Through viral marketing they wanted to find out how many people could give how many people 10 dollars.

10. We need to start a “Year-End Giving” letter writing campaign now, so that we get letters out to 500 people before December. 80% of individual donors give money around holidays.
a. These letters should be from each of our board members and should be personalized.
b. These letters should include a powerful story about one of the girls we have helped.
c. These letters should also include the founders’ story
11. We should not focus on grants until we make more contacts because we will not likely get grants unless we know people in high places.
12. We must emphasize transparency on our Web site as much as possible. Everyone wants to know that we’re honest. We need to report every dime on our site or blog.
13. We need to find more board members, and we need to make sure that every board member brings at least two of these three things to the board: Time, Talent and Treasure (or Work, Wealth and Wisdom).
14. We need to have a “prudent reserve.” Which means we should always make sure to have a certain amount of money in the bank. In this case, since we have just $10K, we should make sure to keep $2K always in the bank. We can increase this number once we raise more money. Money has to come in all the time if it’s going out.
15. We need to build a donor list asap.
16. We should never write a grant unless we have a high expectation of winning that money. You have to know people in high places to even be considered.
17. We need to refine our Bylaws

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