Here’s an example of a successful LOI (letter of intent) (used as an example by permission):
Organization name—Advocacy Inc.
Organization other than 501(c)(3)—N/A
Type of supporting organization—N/A
Project description—The NM Guardianship Project helps caregivers get guardianship or adoption for children, ensuring a safe and stable home with the person who is providing care, nurturing and protection. Parents are deceased or suffer from substance abuse, incarceration and health issues. Project families are provided a social worker that visits the home—safety is evaluated and services for the family reviewed providing the tools for the child’s healthy development. The Project serves families statewide. Overhead is kept low maximizing externs from UNM Law School, NMSU Social of Work and CNM; electronic file storage; telephone, mail and internet communication with remote clients; and, telephonic appearances in distant judicial districts. Funding will be used for guardianship and adoption and to reach rural New Mexico. The Project strives to ensure that children living without parents have the emotional and financial stability that is necessary for them to become healthy members of the community.
(UPLOADED: Letter of Interest SUBMITTAL.docx)
Project duration—(01/00 to 01/20) Project has been in operation continuously since 2000 and is expected to be continued indefinitely.
Priority Area—Health & Human Services
Geographic area—New Mexico
Mission, vision & aim—Yes
Here’s an example of a successful Full Proposal (used as an example by permission):
Project name—NM Guardianship Project
History—Advocacy, Inc. was created in 1988 by a group of attorneys who came together to provide quality legal representation to children in foster care, representing children as guardians ad litem and youth attorneys in New Mexico. In 2000, the Advocacy Board of Directors recognized that it would be in the interest of our youth and the community to prevent these children from ever entering the foster care system, avoiding the constant uncertainly of changing homes and placements. This led to the creation of the NM Guardianship Project, hereafter referred to as the PROJECT, which was conceived to help caregivers, typically grandparents, obtain a legal relationship with that child, ensuring the child continues to have a safe and stable home with the person who is providing the child with care and nurturing. This ensures that children can develop safe attachments to a caregiver early in their lives, resulting in healthy, happy children, and breaking the cycle of poverty and attachment issues.
Activities/Goal—The PROJECT goal is to ensure the safety and stability of New Mexico children, so that they may grow to their full potential as healthy, secure members of our community. The PROJECT’s primary activities are representing New Mexico families through legal guardianship and adoption of related children and providing access to services to any family caring for a child. We provide service throughout New Mexico. Local clients can come to the office, while distant clients are assisted though mail, telephone and the internet. We appear telephonically in distant courts to reduce costs, and are working to establish Skype and other web-based telecommunications with clients. During our legal process a social worker visits the client’s home, assessing the needs of the family. The social worker can evaluate any of the behavioral issues reported by the family and can do follow up visits to ensure that the child’s needs are being met and to ensure emotional, mental and physical health. In addition, we also provide regularly scheduled dinners at our office for local and visiting clients. These dinners allow families to network with other families and share experiences with others who are experiencing the same issues, and to learn more about services that are available to address emotional and physical trauma the children have suffered. We have also found that it is often a relief for children to know that they are not the only kids who have parents unable or unwilling to parent them. The PROJECT also provides telephonic and online services. We take calls statewide regarding basic legal issues that families face. We offer free assistance with Powers of Attorney and Caregiver Affidavits, a tool for caregivers who are caring for a child while the parent is not able to do so; and, we provide free notary service for these documents, and our documents and explanations are available on our website for anyone to download and use.
Social Problem Addressed—Attachment issues are known to be created at a young age, when a child does not have reliable caregivers. When a parent is unable or unwilling to care for a child, the family often steps in to care for the child; however, due to underlying substance abuse or mental health issues, the parent, instead of allowing a responsible person to care for their child, may use the child as leverage to get the family to support bad habits. So, the child is left with family and often the parent threatens or does remove the child unless the parent’s demands are met, placing the children in a precarious and traumatic situation. The child is prevented from forming a healthy attachment with the caregiver and the caregiver is helpless to stop the behavior and has no legal right to interfere with parental custody. When the family is powerless to stop the parent from removing or endangering the child, the State may take custody of the child, resulting in foster care and often multiple placements, further affecting the child’s ability to attach. The PROJECT was created to prevent this situation. Guardianship and adoption provide a legal relationship that can block an inconsistent parent from removing a child. According to the 2010 US Census, there are 79,392 children in New Mexico cared for by others. These children live in safety and security—shielded from abuse, homelessness and unstable living conditions that can lead to unhealthy attachment behaviors. The Population Reference Bureau reported in 2005, that grandparents alone “informally care for about twelve times as many children as our nations foster care system” allowing the child to develop healthy attachments and become independent later in life. While the parents may fail the child, often there are relatives and other caregivers willing to step in and provide the child with the stability and support that child needs to form healthy, effective attachments with others.
1-The PROJECT provides representation for families seeking guardianship and adoption; assesses family needs and services to assist a child who has experienced the trauma and loss of a parent; and, provides legal information, advice and referral for families struggling with children who have unstable parents. We provide Powers of Attorney and Caregiver’s Affidavits to help families stabilize and care for children whose parents are unwilling or unable to parent.
2-A leader in child representation and the parent agency of the PROJECT, Advocacy, Inc. contracts, trains and supports attorneys to represent children in the foster care system. We have first hand evidence of the damages children suffer with unpredictable caregivers. A child suffering from the most severe form of attachment dysfunction is likely to have multiple placements in the foster care system because of their extreme behaviors which can be overcome with a family who will step in and prevent the disruptions at the start.
501(c)(3) form (UPLOADED: 2007 12 Dec Determination.pdf)
One time vs. Ongoing—Ongoing
COMMITTED: IOLTA $30,000 •Frost $10,000 •NMCLS $16,888 •Rio Rancho CF $10,000 •State Bar $15,000 •UWCNM $28,500 •Private $5,000
PENDING: Best Buy $10,000, Chase $10,000, Dr Scholl $20,000, Sandia $10,000, WalMart $20,000
AGENCY: NMAOC $533,000,state contract for rep of children in state custody
•Board of Directors: a ten (10) member, volunteer board who steer the agency’s mission;
•Executive Director: the full time director manages the day to day operation of Advocacy, Inc.;
•Project Director/Staff Attorney: the full time PROJECT director/attorney manages the day to day operation of the PROJECT;
•Office Manager/Legal Assistant: the full time manager maintains the files, database, clerical staff, current cases and activities;
•Paralegal: the part time certified paralegal attends college and provides clerical and staff support;
• Law Student Extern: the part time University of New Mexico law student will provide legal research and attorney support;
•Social Work Student Extern: the part time New Mexico State University social work student will provide client support and assessment; and,
•Senior Citizen Service Employee Program (SCSEP) extern—the Goodwill Industries extern will provide clerical and staff support.
(“Yes” Follow-up)—0.5 (part time) clerical
• Provide direct civil legal services to 10 people per month (120 per year) who are seeking to formalize their care-giving arrangements; and,
• Provide brief legal service, information and referral to 600 people per month (7,200 people per year) regarding guardianship, adoption and related issues.
• Provide stability for families by securing court-ordered guardianship or adoption for children abused, neglected or abandoned by their parents
• Provide information about the requirements of guardianship, adoption and alternatives
• Address child care, education and underlying emotional and attachment issues of the families we serve
• Address financial needs of guardians
1. We track people served using modern technology. We document daily inquiries, phone calls, files open for representation, court-appointed guardianships and adoptions, website hits, cases referred to our social workers, benefits packets sent out to families and people attending our Guardianship meetings into our database.
2. Clients are interviewed by staff at three, six, nine and twelve months. Clients continue to receive contact from us as needed to address additional issues.
3. The child’s development and success are tracked through our interviews. Surveys seek information concerning the child’s current living arrangement, social needs the child might have, and the child’s maintenance of a relationship with the parent. We utilize the Search Institute’s developmental assets for student and family success to measure our program’s success and to identify new partnership needs. If the child is struggling in any way, we evaluate the situation, and can provide a social worker to visit the home.
Annual Fund or Campaign—No
Application Experience—The application process was easy to use. The printed application summary was very easy to read and great for the file. I enjoy using an online application.
Here’s an example of a successful follow-up report (used as an example by permission):
Project Length (To Date in Months)
Activity Level (Were There Inactive Periods)
Follow-up 1 (inactivity length)
Follow-up 2 (inactivity reason)
Project On Track?
The lecture series enjoyed hosting five returning schools and two new schools (Sewanee – The University of the South, Princeton University). The series continued to attract its share of luminaries in the academic world, including Jessica F. Nicoll (Director and Curator of the Smith College Museum of Art), James Mundy (Director of the Loeb Art Center at Vassar), and Christopher L.C.E. Witcombe (Professor of Art at Sweet Briar College whose professional website has the distinction of currently being the fourth of 139 million listings when Google-searching the term “art history”).
Presentations from this program attract alumni and lay audiences. However, we were pleased that museum colleagues from the Ruth Funk Center for Textiles at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL joined us for the Vassar College presentation “Building a University Art Collection in a New Millennium.” The topic was perfectly suited for them and their young institution, and they appreciated the opportunity.
The 2012 series experienced a few challenges this year. While almost all of the returning schools had good attendance, particularly the two new schools had relatively low attendance. This was not unexpected for Sewanee (their interest in participating may not have been to activate their own alumni base; however their topic was extremely campus-specific), but Princeton’s poor showing was surprising. The school’s Treasure Coast alumni association is large and very active; however, we believe in hindsight that their alumni here are more interested in activities with non-arts speakers such as athletic and economic presenters. The full series finished with 465 attendees, down from 716 the year before.
While the Vassar College topic was particularly appreciated by our colleagues at FIT, it was however not “thrilling” to many in attendance, according to anecdotal conversations overheard between the guest speaker and alumni. Their attendance was also lacking compared to past years.
Goal Corrections Needed?
Follow-up (describe corrections if needed)
This year’s series is spurring us to reconsider the invitation process for schools and possibly the number of presentations in the series. We have heard from schools in the past few years that prioritizing travel for alumni meetings is getting more difficult; this of course makes it coordinately more challenging for us as well. Fortunately when a strong alumni group provides an engaging speaker and interesting topic, everything works out well – we want to make sure our program is designed so that this happens with every presentation.
(this form thoughts example from different report)
As far as the web form I just completed, I found it to be refreshingly appropriate. Too many times we get hung up on data and quantifiable information, without looking at the whole picture. Your questions were thought provoking, and asked for a more realistic picture of the work we do. Thank you.