GOAL-SETTING, FUNDRAISING, AND BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS, OH MY!

Things have been quiet with the GardenWorks project, but we are ramping up for a big 2013! Goal-setting, fundraising, and building partnerships are happening behind the scenes, and I'm excited to share new information about next year.

Perhaps the most important news is that I have some great volunteers lined up for the 2013 growing season. A new friend with a strong interest in vegetable gardening and passion for the cause has teamed up with me to plan for next year, and volunteers from last year have agreed to help us again. One of the recipients of a garden earlier this year promised to help build next year, which was incredibly rewarding to hear. I've also met some new friends since my little one started kindergarten who are ready to dig in. And, my daughter's Daisy troop will be building a garden as a service project in the spring! It's exciting and humbling to have so many people interested in helping others in our community through this project. 

Other exciting news is that we will launch a Kickstarter fundraising campaign in January. If you've never heard of Kickstarter, it is a website which helps you develop a "crowdsourcing" program, where many people can contribute to a project based on a dollar amount goal. I've read about some very successful campaigns, and have been connected with Todd Jones of Elmhurst that used Kickstarter to fund his project and has offered his advice. Look out for the launch of our campaign in January.

We are also in the process of meeting with other nonprofits in the Glen Ellyn and Wheaton area who serve the needy in our community. Last year we worked with the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry, and we hope to continue this partnership, while also teaming up with People's Resource Center and Bridge Communities. All three organizations have reported an upswing in the number of families who need their help, and I'm excited that GardenWorks will be able to help some families produce their own food.

I'm currently in the process of applying for 501c3 nonprofit status from the IRS, which will be huge! Having this status will enable all donations to be tax-deductible, and offers a greater level of credibility to the program. If anyone has any special experience with this and would like to pass along any helpful hints, I'd love to meet up with you for coffee - my treat!

I'll be sure to keep you updated with new developments as they happen. In the meantime, please feel free to share this post with anyone you think might be interested in what we have going on. If you have any ideas, or would like to help in any way, please email me at tinakoral@yahoo.com. Have a Happy Halloween!

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