In December we were given a challenge. Raise $15,000 and it would be matched! You did it, in about a month! Even a few thousand more! WOW! The family making the original $25,000 gift and the match, hopes for us to use the funds toward capital expenses as we grow. It will be the seed money for when we’re ready to start Sophia House! The amount we raised as the match (except for a few gifts that were designated for capital) will go toward our operating expenses. Thank you everybody for your support and encouragement!
To find out more, read our Annual Appeal letter! To donate now CLICK HERE!
BOARD LEADERSHIP – Our Board is heavily involved in our development work – they ARE the Development Committee. Each Board meeting begins with a 1 hour hands-on task or planning session related to fundraising, followed by a 90 minute business meeting. We have 100% participation from the Board in that they each give and/or raise at least one SHERO gift. They also each cultivating relationships with our larger donors.
ONGOING SUPPORT – Our budget for 2014 is $90,000. How do we cover the costs? The Daughters of Wisdom (our founders) and The Sister’s of Charity, along with a private individual committed 5 years of support so that we could build a donor base. They began their support in 2010 and are giving less each year through 2014/15. The rest is privately raised or grant funded.. As a small non-profit with a big and growing mission, we depend on ALL our donors! EVERY gift has been important. It is our donors that make this work possible. We invite you to continue to help us grow, and invite you to invite others to join you! Here are ways you can give:
To help our development work, in 2012 the Executive Service Corp (ESC) did a sustainability study for us. Recommendation: work towards additional larger gifts with the goal of two $10,000 or four $5,000 donors annually. We currently have two $5000 donors (Robitaille Family Fund and a recent anonymous three year gift) and several personal gifts between $1000 and $4000. In recognition of our fifth anniversary, we have started a “Sunflower Circle” to thank these larger donors. We invite you to honor women who have been important in your life, by joining them with a gift of $1000 or more. One way to do this is through planned giving…
Bequests and Deferred Giving
Do you have a life insurance policy you no longer need? Are you finalizing your will? Do you have stocks to sell? Through gifts like these, you can reach your giving goal and help us grow! Please contact us for suggestions and to request a form on which to state your intent to make a planned gift to the women’s center. We cannot however, render legal or tax advice. For more information on different types of planned gifts, visit www.EpiscopalGifts.org. Please consult your attorney or financial advisor for further assistance.
Gifts should be made to our fiscal sponsor, Trinity Episcopal Church (247 Bates St. Lewiston, ME 04240) and designated as a restricted donation for The Center for Wisdom’s Women. Thank you for considering our future in your larger giving and long term planning.
SHEROs and other GRASSROOTS SUPPORT
Continuing to build support at the grassroots level is a critical part of our success. In 2013 we received just over $73,800 from 290 individuals (a 25% return from our full database) . That includes both smaller giving and our SHEROs who donate at least $1/day that we are open, averaging $20/month or $240 annually. A few give multiple SHERO gifts. We have over 100 SHEROs now with goal of 250. SHEROS will then be 55% of our income and will cover basic operating costs. SHEROs can be groups as well as individuals. We have begun approaching area banks and businesses for their charitable gifts, and so far thanks go to the following Business SHEROs:
Area churches that are SHEROs include the Brunswick Unitarian Church and Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Rangeley. (FMI on being a SHERO see the SHERO page.) Grants and Other Income: The ESC study recommended that we not exceed 11.5% of income in grants. We have taken their advice seriously, and apply for grants judiciously. We have received funding from United Way, JT Gorman Foundation, the Narragansette Fund, the Carignan Fund at Bates College, and two grants in our early years from The Maine Community Foundation that gave us a leg up. For information about general fundraising projects and events see the FUNDRAISING page. THANK YOU! With your help, our development plan will lead us to being self sufficient and assure our long term sustainability. We invite you to join our community of support! You can do so as a smaller donor, as a SHERO by making a larger gift or by including us in your planned giving.