We need to know who you are, where you live / work / meet and how many people depend on you.
Ideally, your focus is on children and youth living in Winona, Stoney Creek and Grimsby. (Some have even told us how many kids they include or impact in each of these areas).
The more detail and specificity the better. Be clear; don’t leave us wondering what how much money you need, tell us exactly; those that do it to the penny are taken even more seriously!
Tell us what you will do with the funds we give; feel free to tell us what will happen if we have to say ‘no.’
Unlike other organizations, we’re happy to give to people rather than clubs, teams and organizations. We’ve covered people’s extraordinary costs when they’re in crisis. Once, we paid for a one-of-a-kind wheelchair for a boy whose family had been rejected time and again. Again, we try to fulfill very real NEEDS.
We love to help those who have helped us. Many of our biggest recipients have already volunteered in one of our booths during the Peach Festival; we’re more than happy to return the favour!
We chuckle when the donation request is handwritten. We also take it more seriously. That’s because it’s likely based on a real ‘need’ rather than a ‘want’ and because the request is personal.
Were especially happy to help when the recipient has done a lot of fundraising and requires a specific ‘top-up’ to meet a goal. Some requests show detailed financials; others include letters saying why their request for funds has been rejected. In cases like these, we get out the Kleenex… and then we get out the cheque book.
Here’s a summary of the best request we ever received:
Not surprisingly, they got the money. We even wrote the cheque that night and hand-delivered it on the way home! Which reminds us: include your name, address, and phone number. It’s amazing – especially requests sent by email – that people don’t tell us who to make the cheque out to or where to send it. Having a phone number allows one of our members to follow-up if we have questions.
More than half the requests we receive barely get reviewed much less seriously discussed. That’s because:
Except during the summer, applications are reviewed monthly.
We’re a hard-working, all-volunteer executive. We simply don’t have the ability to reply to the overwhelming number of requests we receive. And, truly, many don’t come close to meeting our criteria.
If you’re a school group, our failure to reply to your request may be because we’ve already met with school administrators or staff to create a plan for the year. We have carefully considered plans with both Orchard Park Secondary and St. John Henry Newman Catholic Secondary Schools. We also give modest cash awards to the Most Improved Students at these schools and many local elementary schools every year.