Friday, January 17, 2014

Happy New Year

I just want to report that our present efforts are sowing some good success. We have already raised around $7,000 via our end of the year fundraiser with more funding on its way. I am setting the goal for this at $10,000, so we are getting closer to this. I want to report that our new website, our new Network for Good Donate button and our new multi-mailer approach seems to have worked! We are getting larger donations also, including several donations of $100, $200 and $300- more than on previous years! Also, we are seeing much more funding coming in by internet than ever before, and we are getting bigger individual donations as well. So, something we are doing seems to be working for us! Reassuringly, we were getting new donations each time we did one of our six e-mail blasts over the last two weeks or so, so we proved the utility and importance of asking via e-mail for donations more than once, as before we were too concerned we may be "bothering our supporters" with too many mailings asking for support. I think we have proven the opposite via this current end of year campaign...People seem to respond positively to these multiple reminder mailings.

So, we go into the new year with some positive movement. We are now planning for an Indigogo-style fundraiser in March, aiming at support for our MAP Asia office, which needs to pay its commitment to the GNF project it has signed onto. We will be directing future such "Crowd-fundraisers" at other MAP projects in the future, aiming for one every 3-4 months. With Leo's able help, we will be also utilizing our new website, blogs, twitter and Facebook accounts to reach more folks. This is something we are finally taking on- Social Media! So we are attempting to reach out further and wider, building up both our individual donor list and our foundation support, trying to especially grow our individual donor support that allows us to direct more funding at organizational funding support, which is rather urgently needed still.

MAP is still supporting its main campaigns, including the CBEMR work, the MAP Curriculum, QYS Campaign, the News, our Advocacy and Outreach, and our continuing network building. We now have over 5,000 e-mail contacts and 3200 mailing addresses, so MAP is growing our support and contact base. However, there is still much more to do. I am awaiting our bookkeeper's final budget report for 2013, and am in process of reapplying for $30,000 per year from Marisla for unrestricted funding. Also, I will be reapplying soon after for Munson funding to support the QYS campaign. Martin has a funding bid in with Sea World / Busche Gardens and has recently received grants from Disney Conserv. Fund and Singing Fields for around $30,000 total for work in Australia and Bangladesh. $45,000 just arrived for MAP Asia from McKnight Foundation, which is mainly aimed as a pass through grant to PMCR in Cambodia, though a small amount will help with admin. support for MAP Asia. 

Note: MAP Intl. (our US-based office) is not able to utilize any funding from these grants for its own admin. needs, though we are providing admin. support for accepting grants for these other projects. There are good reasons why we are not taking a percentage of such incoming grants, based mainly on the stipulations of the granters that no admin. fee be taken from their donation (Disney), or that the projects being granted need to cover their own admin. costs in Thailand (McKnight, GNF, EPIC), or in regards to Martin Keeley, his travel costs which he himself is paying for to carry out the projects that need reimbursement or at least some supplementing. My aim is to raise more MAP admin. support via our online fundraisers which then can be used to cover MAP Intl. admin. costs, but we are in need to raise the bar on what this form of fundraising can bring in.  

While I am at it, I want to mention the hiring of Vanessa Lopez, who is MAP's new QYS campaign coordinator. She just began working part time with us in late November. The QYS campaign is being funded by Munson, so it is important that we renew our grant with Munson soon, and as well, we need to do some "down home" fundraising, which Vanessa and I are now working on doing via so-called "house parties" and small-scale events, such as public speaking before church groups, school classes and clubs. We just met earlier this week to discuss these ideas and strategize for taking this on. Vanessa is also putting together ads for interns and volunteers, while furthering our networking and forming potential working  partnerships with other non-profits in Seattle. We believe that our work on the QYS campaign offers us much greater potential for expanding our public recognition and bringing in new members, volunteers and support for MAP. I would really like to see Vanessa work full time, instead of the quarter time we are now employing her to take on. She is also quite versed in social media, which when combined with Leo's efforts will be a good help.

Leo Thom is still with MAP doing great things for our organization, including the redesign of our website, the three new you tube videos, setting up our Donate Button with Network for Good, doing Social Media outreach, and preparing our future Crowd-Fundraisers. Please check out the new website to let us know what you think:

Sam's work on our newsletter continues to gain steam, and our mailing list sign-ups are proof of the growing interest in the MAP News. Julie continues posting news on our website, and works with Leo in managing the site. 

Leslie, our bookkeeper is donating her time for the last few months to MAP, but we need to provide better support for her services, as I do not feel we can expect her to be there as much as we need unless we pay her for these services. Again, I am awaiting the budget report for 2013 to send you. Our MAP 990 form for 2012 was finished in the Fall, and is posted now on the website.

After a four month hiatus, Ira is again working very part time (around 5 hours per week) for MAP, putting together LOIs to try to stimulate requests for full proposals. We are aiming for two LOIs submitted per week. I am still pursuing support from several potential funders, include=ding Tiuring, Synchronicity Fund, Qatar Foundation, PCI and others. Any of these could make a big difference and brighten up our New Year cheer!

That is all for now. Again, Happy New Year, and let's work together to make 2014 a great year for MAP and the mangroves!


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