The necessary evil of non-profits… grant writing! Grant writing is not the hardest thing, it is finding grants and getting them that is hard to do. As a non profit we offer services free to all the families we see. So, every forensic interview we conduct is free to the family. We have to find a way to pay our utilities, buy office supplies, and pay our employees on our own. It seems to be harder and harder to find money. Many places will give money to purchase something for our CAC but not to actually help it stay up and running. Although it is nice to have a new computer, or other machine, it really does not help the families we serve. Also, our location is a down fall. Southeast Kansas is not highly populated and the population is mostly at the poverty level, so asking people for money does not seem appropriate.
So this is where fundraising comes in. However, with that you have to be very careful. The hours you spend on fundraising cannot be used for your pay if the pay you receive is funded by a grant. Also, materials for fundraising cannot be purchased with funds that were not given for fundraising. It really is confusing!!!
Let me tell you a little about our non profit though. Our non profit is Children’s Advocacy Center, Inc located in Pittsburg, Kansas (extreme southeast Kansas). We offer forensic interviews, court advocacy, and anything else we can do to help families. We serve children who have been physically, emotionally, and sexual abused. We also see children who have been neglected and/or witnesses to a crime or abuse. The majority of the children we see are sexually abused. As a forensic interviewer I talk to the children and it is recorded so the attorney prosecuting the case can see what the child said and hopefully from the things the child told us evidence can be found. For instance, if the child said they were wearing a certain shirt and the perpetrator left some sort of fluid on the shirt, it could be used for evidence. You would think working with children we would see more money from the federal government or state government but that does not happen. We do get funding from the state and federal but it funds about 1/3 of our non profit.
Many times people say to me “I don’t know how you do that job” My reply “If I didn’t do it, who would”
I have also posted the link to our website if you want to see more of what the CAC does.