While the sponsor and donor packet was my group’s main responsibility for the Friends of the Community Gardens (FCG) fundraiser, time constraints necessitated we work on another document first: a proposal to be the donee of Waseda Farm’s November Skip-the-Bag drive.
The Skip-the-Bag program is an initiative put on by Waseda Farms in De Pere, WI which donates a dollar to a selected non-profit every time a customer skips receiving a bag in a given month. Securing the November spot for the Skip-the-Bag drive would ensure that FCG would be receiving a concrete donation that they could depend upon, so this application was of the utmost importance.
The timeline in our team’s project proposal had us completing a presentable draft of the sponsor and donor packet to Waseda farms by 10/20/17, but we ended up having to move much quicker than that. Dr. Scheler first made contact with Waseda Farms about applying for their Skip-the-Bag program on October 9, and that same day asked us to complete a proposal to send to Waseda by the end of the week.
To be able to get the proposal done on time, our team changed the way we originally thought about the document. As mentioned before, we originally thought we were going to complete as much as we could of the sponsor and donor packet to show Waseda Farms, but being down to the wire as we were, it seemed superfluous. We needed to cut to the chase and so we made a proposal specific to Waseda, only including information relevant to their application.
Take a look at the full proposal here.
Out of a two page proposal, we took one page to introduce the Brown County UW-Extension Community Gardens Program (BCCG)* and their mission to promote food justice through community gardening as well as their monetary needs. We began the proposal by first acknowledging the values of Waseda’s Skip-the-Bag program and then used a character-equating tactic to both transition easily into talking about BCCG’s mission while simultaneously showing how in line the two programs were with one another. In this page we also used problem-framing to introduce the jeopardy that community gardening in our area is in, and how becoming Waseda Farm’s November donee could help.
The second page of the proposal consisted of facts pulled from BCCG’s White Paper, written by Dr. Drew J. Scheler, Margaret Franchino, and Bethany M. Thier, to help prove to Waseda that BCCG was a reputable program that had real effects in the greater Green Bay community.
With both the written piece and fact sheet, Waseda Farms accepted our proposal and FCG was able to become the November donee for their Skip-the-Bag initiative, and other teams in our class were then able to promote the program and urge the community to Skip-the-Bag.*
Changing our thought process regarding the Waseda proposal from a generalized version of the sponsor and donor packet, to a specific application tailored to Waseda shows our group’s ability to be flexible under changing responsibilities. Instead of working on one major product for our project, we instead created two.
We were also able to finish the proposal for October 15, with Dr. Scheler only making some minor edits before it went out. Finishing the application by October 15 meant we were actually almost a full week ahead of schedule according to our original timeline, and we were able to illustrate our ability to work well under tight and continuously changing deadlines.
Overall, this document was effective because our work was able to complete its intended purpose and secure the November spot for Waseda’s Skip-the-Bag program, which contributed an estimated $1,000*** to FCG’s #givingtuesday fundraiser.
*The Waseda Farms application was one of the earliest documents created for the FCG fundraiser, and not all of the administrative logistics had been sorted out on the community partner’s end yet. Thus BCCG appears as the lead donee name rather than FCG, although the money is specified as going towards the Friends of the Community Gardens Fund.
**Graphic design on poster provided by Bethany Thier.
***This number is estimated off of Waseda’s October Skip-the-Bag donation since the final numbers were not yet available at the time writing this portfolio.