How to advocate for an organization

Do you want your favorite not-for-profit to be considered for our 100+ Women Who Care contributions? Each agency that wins the vote at one of our quarterly meetings receives at least $10,000 in individual donations from our giving circle. The amount is usually larger; because our membership ebbs and flows, the total amount donated is different each time.

Here are some steps to help you get started:

  1. Only current members of 100+ Women Who Care are allowed to nominate an organization. Only organizations that are registered with the Internal Revenue Service as non-profit 501(c) organizations are eligible for our support.
  2. Before you nominate an organization, do your homework! Sit down with the executive director or one of the board members and find out what the needs are, what the annual budget is, and what the organization would do with the funds if they were to be chosen by our organization.
  3. At the quarterly meeting, fill out a green nomination card with your name and the name of the organization you wish to nominate, and place your card in the basket. IMPORTANT: You may only write your own name on the nomination card – you may not nominate someone else to speak. Multiple people can nominate a single organization but duplicate speaker nomination cards will be removed from the basket. If your name is one of the three chosen from the basket, it is best to be prepared with notes!
  4. Each speaker has 7 minutes to make the case for their chosen organization; followed by a 3-minute question-and-answer period. No one else in attendance may answer the questions for you – it is OK to say you don’t know the answer to a question. If your card is pulled and your name is called, be ready! Advocating for an organization takes some preparation. Please take note of the following suggestions:

Start with a gripping opening line, such as: “75 women in our community are involved in a domestic violence dispute every month…” to make the plea personal from the start.

State your name and the name of the organization you would like to receive the funding.  Share what your relationship to the organization is i.e. board member, Executive Director, volunteer or other.

Succinctly tell the mission of the organization.

Share what the annual budget is and briefly identify their major revenue streams.  Tell the group how long the organization has been a 501(c)3.

Describe needs of the organization and possible use of any donations. Provide some background information for greater understanding of challenges, if you can.

Identify the impact the funding will have on the organization and their mission. This should include who, how many, and the profiles of those the funds will impact. Be prepared to answer if 100% of the donations will stay in Monroe County and, if not, where some of the funds will go.

Emphasize what this donation will “buy” for our community. Identify if any of the contributions will go towards administrative costs and/or capital expenses and if so, what that includes.

Explain the measurements currently used to evaluate the success of the organization.  If funding is needed for something new, suggest how the new dollars would be evaluated to ensure good use of the donations.

Stress how essential this program is and what our community will miss if your organization does not get chosen for our contributions.

End with a heartfelt ask and a thank-you.

 

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