Anyone who makes a charitable donation, be it $5 or $500, wants to know that the hard earned dollars they contribute went to support something meaningful. Too often, though, we make a donation to an organization because we’re moved by the work they are doing, the difference they are making or the people they are serving, but we don’t really know how that donation helped make these things happen. We get a sense that it was a good thing to do or that it was helpful, we just don’t know exactly how.
Many of GUIDE’s donors support specific programs like Georgia Teen Institute and know that their donation is going directly to fund these valuable pieces of GUIDE’s work. Donations like these help run these programs by providing for staff time, materials, lodging, meals and every other big and small expense that a program might have. However, there are many other things that general, or unrestricted, donations to GUIDE can help fund. We want to share with you four ways that GUIDE uses general donations so that you know precisely what work we may use your contribution to support.
Feeding Hungry Volunteers
GUIDE is fortunate to have a number of volunteers who support our programs by serving on committees, work groups and task forces like our Gwinnett Alcohol Prevention Project (GAPP) members and our Youth Advisory Board (YAB). These youth and adults participate in meetings, data collection and community awareness events, and they implement a number of important community change strategies. While we have funding to support the work that these groups are doing in the community, all of those funds prohibit us from purchasing food and drinks with their money. So, when we have a lunch time GAPP meeting or want to provide snacks at a YAB meeting after school, GUIDE depends on donations to feed these dedicated volunteers.
Keeping Technology Up-To-Date
As we move into the new year, we know that it’s important for us to embrace the rapidly changing technology in order to provide the most high-quality programs and services to the youth and adults in Gwinnett and across Georgia. Donations to GUIDE in early 2014 allowed us to invest in a digital camera with video capabilities and a smartphone with an excellent camera to increase our ability to capture good photos and videos of the work we do. As technologies change, GUIDE seeks to stay abreast of current trends to effectively serve our participants. Donations give us flexibility to upgrade computers, enhance our equipment and have the smartest resources at our fingertips.
Connecting With Youth
Our Georgia Teen Institute summer program is funded in large part by a grant from the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. This grant covers all aspects of the summer conference and some of the year-round follow up for 30 Youth Action Teams across the state. The funding does not, however, cover reaching out to and staying in touch year-round with the incredible youth and young adults who staff our program each summer. We know that the connections that GTI provides to these youth make it more likely that they come back to staff future GTI programs, more likely that they continue to make healthy choices and more likely that they remain involved in their school and community change. When GUIDE receives donations that we can put toward these youth and young adults, we are able to send care packages, provide meet-ups and events to foster more connection and keep the GTI fire burning year-round.
Providing Staff Development
One of the best ways to ensure that GUIDE is providing the most cutting edge, meaningful, quality programs and services is to give every staff member opportunities for professional development to hone skills, increase knowledge and gain new information. Unfortunately, attending conferences or taking classes isn’t usually covered by grants. In order to afford for our staff to stay current with the latest in substance abuse prevention, youth development, technology and other relevant topics, GUIDE depends on donors.
There are, of course, multitudes of other ways that GUIDE uses donations, and we’re always happy to share those with our supporters. We are always grateful for donations to the work that we do, whether it is an in-kind donation from our Amazon wishlist, a financial contribution or volunteer hours. As this year comes to a close, we would love the opportunity to put your donation to work and share with you the difference it can make!