You are on page 1of 7

1 WEJ PROPOSAL MEMORANDUM TO: FROM: DATE: SUBJECT: grant Lu Rocha, Executive Director, WEJ Kimberly C.

, Ali D., Bridget Greenfield November 23, 2010 Application instructions for Chicago Community Trust capacity building

Requested Amount: $10,000 For which program area are you applying? Capacity Building SUBMITTING THE FINAL PROPOSAL After WEJ completes the Letter of Inquiry, CCT will evaluate the request and potentially invite WEJ to submit a full proposal. If CCT requests a full proposal, they will also provide email instructions about completing it online. Use the responses below to fill out the online proposal submission form, following any additional instructions from CCT. Following submission, CCT typically notifies Management and Organizational Development grant recipients of their award within two to three months. The responses below follow specific character count guidelines dictated by CCT. If you wish to edit responses, be mindful of the specified character counts prior to submission. Additionally, please see Appendix A for a more detailed project budget. Project Name: This field was completed in the LOI. Follow CCTs instructions on what to type here. Project Summary: This field was completed in the LOI. Follow CCTs instructions on what to type here. Requested Amount: This field was completed in the LOI. Follow CCTs instructions on what to type here. Facility: WEJ holds business meetings and events at 4071 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL, 60613, a house owned by WEJs Executive Director Lu Rocha. WEJ partners with Pilsen Alliance and Juan Diego Community Center to hold classes at those facilities. Financials (If using a fiscal agent please use financial data from the organization that is applying, not the fiscal agent): Year prior to most recently completed fiscal year, i.e., 2008. Revenue amount for year prior to most recently completed fiscal year: $1,252 Expenses for year prior to most recently completed fiscal year: $1,833 Surplus/(Deficit) for year prior to most recently completed fiscal year: ($581) Net Assets for year prior to most recently completed fiscal year: $789 Most recently completed fiscal year, i.e., 2009. Revenue amount for most recently completed fiscal year: $0 Expenses for most recently completed fiscal year: $522 Surplus/(Deficit) for most recently completed fiscal year: ($522)

2 Net Assets for most recently completed fiscal year: $267 Current fiscal year budget, i.e., 2010. Revenue amount for current fiscal year budget: $7,500 Expenses for current fiscal year budget: $7,625 Surplus/(Deficit) for current fiscal year budget: ($125) Notes to Financials: In 2007 and 2008, WEJs fundraising generated $4,057, which was spent from 2007 to 2009. In 2010, WEJ received a $15,000 Catholic Campaign for Human Development grant. WEJ received the first $7,500 installment in September and distributed funds to its partners as accounted for in 2010 expenses. One Concise Statement Summarizing This Grant Request: WEJ requests $10,000 to create a website. This website will enable WEJ to inform potential funders and volunteers about their mission to decrease domestic violence by increasing financial literacy; network with other groups; sell participants goods and services; and provide educational resources. Executive Summary of Project: Women for Economic Justice (WEJ) reduces gender-based violence by developing economic opportunities for women that lead to their financial independence. The organization is currently operating without a website because it lacks funding and the technological knowledge needed to design and maintain one. Without a website, WEJ does not have a venue to inform the public about their mission, network with other co-ops, sell their participants goods and services, and provide educational resources for their participants. WEJ requests $10,000 to develop its website. A web presence will allow people to learn about WEJs mission and goals, including co-ops and individuals interested in supporting WEJs work. With the help of a website, WEJ can further help women increase their financial independence and decrease their vulnerability to domestic violence WEJ has facilitated four sessions on financial literacy to a group of approximately thirty women. A component of these sessions is skill-building, which teaches women how to produce and sell goods and services. Without a website, WEJs participants have limited opportunities to sell their wares. Participants can increase their customer base and build sustainable businesses by selling via an online store. The organization will also provide on-going online resources for former and current participants to continue building financial independence. A CCT Management and Organizational Development grant would allow WEJ to partner with a company called Non-Profit Soapbox (NPS). NPSs managers and designers will create, design, and host an easy-to-maintain website for WEJ. NPS will train the WEJ staff to update and maintain the site. NPS can also include an online store and PayPal donation option. WEJ can determine if they are helping participants sell their goods and services by monitoring the sales through the online store. WEJ will monitor donations through PayPal. Through Google Analytics, free web analytics tool that NPS will build into the website, WEJ can evaluate the effectiveness of the website. By tracking activities like page

3 views and average time on the site for everyone who visits, the organization will determine if they are informing the public about their mission, connecting with potential supporters, and providing economic literacy information to current and former participants. WEJs website will be functioning within approximately three months. NPSs average timeline includes two to three weeks for discovery and planning, two to four weeks for designing, and two to four weeks for launching and testing. Once the website is completed, WEJ will spend the rest of the year maintaining and updating the site with monthly technical support from NPS. With a grant from CCT to build a website, WEJ can improve their business operations and continue to support women in their quest for economic literacy and financial independence, ultimately empowering them to decrease their vulnerability to domestic violence. Need/Issue Statement: WEJ works to decrease domestic violence by helping women gain economic independence. First, women take classes to learn budgeting, checkbook balancing, and other skills. Then, they build sustainable business plans, and finally, they open their own businesses. Since WEJ focuses on programming and operates with a very small staff, they lack the funding and expertise to focus on business operations like public relations, networking, and fundraising. WEJ needs operational support, and a CCT grant will help by supporting the creation and maintenance of a website. Through a partnership with Non-Profit Soapbox (NPS), a full-service web development company, WEJ can maintain their website easily and cost-effectively. NPS provides a project manager and designer to create the site, then security and hosting services, staff training, and technical support. This website will be the first step in building stronger operations for WEJ, enabling them to continue providing valuable programming for women. Goals Statement: WEJs most important short-term goal for the website is to educate the public about their mission: that by increasing womens economic literacy and financial independence, WEJ will reduce their vulnerability to domestic violence. Another short-term goal for WEJs website is to connect with other co-ops and individuals. With such connections in place, the organization can share its curriculum with other groups and cultivate a funder and volunteer base. In the next 2 to 3 years, WEJ will use their website to provide participants with a means to sell their goods and services. By selling via an online store, WEJs participants can build sustainable businesses that reduce their vulnerability to gender-based violence. As resources grow in the next few years, WEJs website will provide on-going, accessible economic literacy information to current and potential participants. Moreover, a website would provide continued support for participants once they leave WEJs classroom.

Strategies/Activities: Through their website, WEJ will share information with the public and their participants. First, the group will inform the public about its goals by featuring WEJs mission, history, staff, participants, and other key facts on the site. This about us feature connects WEJ with potential donors to raise awareness and funds. Interested funders will be able to donate money directly on the website via PayPal. The organization will also provide information about how increasing womens economic literacy and financial independence reduces their vulnerability to domestic violence. Two examples of possible informational resources are downloadable fact sheets and scholarly articles. WEJ will connect with other co-ops through its web presence. People cannot easily find information about the organization unless WEJ is searchable online. The site will serve as a point of connection by providing contact details like email addresses and phone numbers for WEJs staff. WEJ will provide participants with a means to sell their goods and services online, allowing them to build sustainable businesses. An online store eliminates the overhead costs of opening a physical storefront. The online stores customer base could also be converted into financial supporters or volunteers for WEJs future projects. WEJ will supply participants with on-going resources by offering accessible economic literacy information on the site. This information will include budget tips, links to other websites, and money management worksheets. Once participants leave WEJs classroom, they may not have access to continued economic literacy support in their communities. The groups website will support them by extending the curriculum to their communities via the web. Potential participants will also find information about joining WEJs classes and meeting locations, times, and topics. Workplan/Timetable: WEJ will build a website that meets the stated goals by implementing the following workplan. The organization has identified its goals for a website as: informing the public about its mission; connecting with other co-ops and individuals; selling its participants goods and services; and serving as an on-going resource for participants. WEJ would next need to choose a provider, designer, and hosting service to provide the expertise needed to create the site. The group has already selected a provider that works specifically with nonprofits to design, build, host, and maintain quality websites. This provider, Nonprofit Soapbox (NPS), will give WEJ the functionality, support, and cost-effectiveness it needs to create and manage a website, including registering a domain (e.g. www.womenforeconomicjustice.org or www.wej.org). Next, WEJ will create the sites content and determine what structural elements, tools, extra buttons, and functionality will most effectively meet WEJs stated goals. See Strategies and Activities for specific details on what content the organization will include. WEJ may also identify additional content that will support future goals. NPS provides management support in developing content for the site.

5 After launching the site with starter content, WEJ will maintain the website by adding new tools, updating content, adding features like a blog, or building custom pages as needed. NPSs monthly fee includes support for maintenance and a user-friendly content management system that will allow WEJ to maintain the site on its own. Finally, WEJ will need to evaluate the site for effectiveness. WEJ will determine what content is most effective, what needs adjustment, and how to optimize the site for all users. Using Google Analytics, a free web analytics tool that NPS will build into the site, WEJ will see page views, clicks, usage patterns, trends, referral sites, and a wealth of other information that will provide a holistic evaluation of the site. With these visitor statistics, WEJ will continue to improve the sites effectiveness in meeting WEJs goals. WEJ will implement this workplan over one year. According to NPS, the groups website could be up and functioning in about three months. NPS allots two to three weeks for discovery and planning, two to four weeks for designing, and two to four weeks for launching and testing. NPSs project manager will keep this timeline on schedule. After the initial three months, WEJ will spend the remainder of the year maintaining and analyzing the website for effectiveness. Organizational Capacity/Prior Experience: WEJ Executive Director Lu Rocha has worked with community womens organizations to establish domestic violence programs. She has advocated for survivors of domestic violence for more than 13 years. She also teaches classes about gender-based violence at DePaul University. She founded WEJ to address economic justice issues faced by survivors of domestic violence. The Board has experience in urban planning and policy, community development, and advocacy for victims of gender-based violence. Their collaborative efforts have dictated WEJs mission and goals. However, Rocha and the Board lack the technical knowledge to create a website. To reach these goals, WEJ will partner with NPS to create a website that will allow them to unite with other activists, advocates, and academics. The organization has developed a financial literacy curriculum, facilitated financial literacy sessions, and established a community collaborative to promote their goals. With a website, WEJ can continue to grow. Impact Evaluation: The impact of the project will be: WEJ will inform the public about their mission, network with other co-ops, sell their goods and services more efficiently, and provide resources for participants. Outcome 1: A website will raise awareness about the link between economic literacy and domestic violence. It will also serve as a public relations tool for WEJ. Measure 1a: Using Google Analytics, WEJ will monitor the frequency with which visitors download specific information from the site. In the web development process, the organization will set page view and usage goals. Measure 1b: Within the first year, WEJ will accept at least $500 in financial support via their websites online donation portal.

6 Outcome 2: With their website, WEJ will network with other co-ops. By establishing these connections, WEJ will open new markets for selling participants goods and services and find new models for continued growth as a co-op. Measure 2a: Within the first year, WEJ will connect online with at least three other co-ops and demonstrate these connections by linking to these co-ops on their website. Measure 2b: Within the first year, at least three other co-ops will link to WEJs site, driving traffic through referral. WEJ will use Google Analytics to evaluate what other sites link to theirs. Outcome 3: Participants will sell their goods and services more efficiently via an online store. Potential customers can search for WEJ goods and services online. Pictures of the products will be on the website. Measure 3a: Participants customer base will expand beyond their communities to other cities and states. This expansion will be measured through purchase orders and the overall sales profit. Measure 3b: Participants will build a sustainable business via the online store. Balanced budgets by participants will demonstrate this sustainability. Outcome 4: A website would provide educational economic literacy resources and offer continued support for WEJ participants outside of the classroom. Measure 4a: Using Google Analytics, WEJ will monitor the frequency with which visitors download specific information from the site to determine what information users find most useful. WEJ will set page view and usage goals Measure 4b: After one year, WEJ will survey participants about their usage of the website. This survey will not only show whether participants are using the site, but it also what content they find most useful.

7 Appendix A In addition to the design, security, and hosting services, NPS also offers initial staff training and continued technical support for their clients. Their basic plan includes three hours of email support per month with the option of phone support for an additional monthly fee. NPSs prices are found below, and their Web site is www.nonprofitsoapbox.com. Service Setup (project manager, default template, 2 hours of training on how to update the site, assistance with launching the site) Monthly subscription (hosting, updates to Soapbox, security upgrades, emergency support, 3 hours of email support per month) Optional custom design (design strategy session, two unique design ideas, a final design) Optional phone support First year total cost with custom design and without phone support First year total cost with custom design and phone support Continuing yearly cost without phone support Continuing yearly cost with phone support 199 (per month) $9688 $12076 $1188 $3576 5000 (one time) 99 (per month) Price 3500 (one time)