The overarching goal of the ENGL 306 Professional Writing class was to work collaboratively with our community partner, the Friends of the Community Garden, and co-run a fundraiser that would help them open up an endowment so they could begin to protect, support, and grow community gardening in Brown County.
Although the entire ENGL 306 class was united in making the FCG #givingtuesday fundraiser happen, we were split up into different groups to make the work flow more efficient. I took part in the Sponsor and Donor Relations team, also comprised of members Danielle Gardner and Abigail McIntyre.
While other groups focused on running social media campaigns and reaching out to the SNC community at large, we narrowed in on potential individual large donors and corporate sponsors. There was also a simultaneous widening of focus when compared to other groups since we had to create a document that could not only function for donors on the SNC campus, but be put into the hands of FCG to raise funds in the larger community.
This document became formally known as the sponsor and donor packet and was our team’s largest undertaking of the semester, but it is not our only work to show. We also created a proposal to participate in Waseda Farm’s Skip-the-Bag non-profit drive, and maintained professional connections with donors via thank-you notes (that’s really where the relations part of the Sponsor and Donor Relations team came in).
At the beginning of the project we outlined our proposed work and timeline so that both we and our community partner knew what work we were promising and when they could expect it by. You can view a PDF version of that proposal here.
Although the definitions of some of our documents as well as final deadlines necessarily shifted as in any multifaceted project, the spirit and quality of our work remained constant as well as collaborative. Each of our team’s finished documents were highly collaborative in nature, supported by their creation in Google Docs. Initial pieces and drafts of documents may have been first written by an individual, but regular meetings where we would collectively edit a document ensured that each document was promoting FCG’s voice and not any of our individual ones.
You can explore our three polished documents in the Professional Documents tabs, each written text created specifically for the needs of FCG: the Waseda Farms proposal, the sponsor and donor packet, and a thank-you letter written to President Brian and Dr. Carol Bruess of SNC for their large and generous donation.
Each document had its own intended impact and I am proud to say that each one reached its goal. All three can be measured by their clear, concise, and professional rhetoric that helped communicate our ideas to our specific audiences. Furthermore, the two documents written with intention to raise monetary funds fully succeeded in their purpose, and in a letter of evaluation by Dr. Scheler, our “contributions helped ensure that our month-long #givingtuesday campaign raised an estimated $3,464 for Friends of the Community Gardens—as well as over $6000 in estimated sponsorships and a significant range of secondary benefits.”
With all teams in our class working well internally and together, we were able to complete our project with flying colors and help FCG ensure that community gardening in Brown County can continue to grow.