Thursday, June 25, 2015

Still Need You

“If you ever need a group to make cards I think my group at work would love to do this during our slow time in the winter. Just let me know.”

After seeing that comment we wanted to make sure we’re all on the same page, we ALWAYS could use more cards! Unfortunately we can never tell how many cards we’ll get a quarter. First, there are several groups who’ve expressed interest in making cards, but haven’t found free time during the week. Then as touched on in a prior post, people often hosts events, but don’t get a chance to send them (Seal the Deal). Then it’s very rare that we get groups to Stream It, consistently make cards on a quarterly basis without us reaching out requesting additional cards. And to be honest, most of the time we’re BEGGING for people to make more cards!

Here’s more insight. Since we're a certified non-profit, we have to keep track of ALL our expenses and donations! So we decided while we're tracking that, we can also watch where ALL the cards are coming from and going to with detailed formulas in our excel chart. For example, there’s a formula which shows if people made cards the last quarter:

  • =IFERROR((B61-VLOOKUP(A61,'Q1 2015'!$A$15:$B$70,2,FALSE))/VLOOKUP(A61,'Q1 2015'!$A$15:$B$70,2,FALSE), "None Last Quarter")

In summary, what the formula does is shows us the percent difference (e.g. 20% more cards than last quarter) for each group quarter over quarter. But if a group didn’t host an event the prior quarter, it simply shows us “None Last Quarter”.

With that excel chart we start to reach out to groups who’ve made a bunch in the past but have a ‘None Last Quarter’ next to their name. This way we can make sure that we’re not heckling people who just made cards.

While looking into all this data we learned there’s no way we can get over 1,000+ cards without at least one group making 150+ cards. Here’s a breakout of who did that in each of those prior quarters:
Q1 2013
             o Mayfield Junior School – 227 cards
             o Northwestern – 202 cards
             o University of Illinois Chicago – 169 cards
Q4 2013
             o PHD Media – 223 cards
             o Isobar – 164 cards
Q1 2014
             o CervantesKids – 356 cards
             o QuickenLoans – 163 cards
Q2 2014
             o KForce – 675 cards
Q3 2014
             o QuickenLoans – 285 cards
             o Millward Brown – 187 cards
Q2 2015 (as of June 5)
             o Minnesota State University – 413 cards
             o Hickory Woods Elementary – 237 cards
             o Huron Consulting – 222 cards

As you can see, we often get HUGE stacks of cards from HUGE companies….but what you can’t tell is how many times we see “None Last Quarter” on our chart. Also, based on our promises to hospitals we need 1,250 cards each quarter! So no matter what else is going on, WE STILL NEED YOU!

#WeStillNeedYou #UpliftingSpirits #EveryCardCounts

To see more pictures and stories please check out our website, like us on Facebook page, follow us on Twitter , visit our Google+ page, or visit our LinkedIn page! Also, check out some of our videos on YouTube!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

In Debt

Thinking about it….we’ve been through a lot. When we originally thought about making Cardz for Kidz! a certified organization, we didn’t understand how much work needed to be done. We at first were thinking it would just be with immediate friends or coworkers. When someone told us we should make it certified we said “OK sounds good” before we knew what that entailed!

Here’s a checklist of things that we needed/need to do in order to continue to grow and connect with more children:
  Submit Articles of Corporation to IL Attorney General (2 pages)
   Submit Bylaws to IL Attorney General (7 pages)
   Submit Charitable Organization Registration Statement (3 pages)
   Submit IRS Form 1023 (40 pages)
   Design/Animate Logo
   Set up Bank Account (6 pages)
   Design and Build a SECURE Website ($5,000)
   Annual Attorney General Paperwork (2 pages)
   Annual Federal 990 Form – would have been 4 more pages - “would” being the keyword!

That’s a lot! Especially since all the “staff” at Cardz for Kidz! are employed with 9-5pm (on good days it’s more of a 9-6:30) jobs, we understand there’s NO WAY we could do it by ourselves. What sparked this post was while we were trying to get together our annual Federal 990 Form. We reached out to our friend who’s a certified accountant, Robyn Fuller, to get her advice on how we should complete it. She told us based on how little we were bringing in we could simply complete the e-Postcard version. That was less than a page and took a maximum of 5 minutes (that’s on top of getting a national organization to make cards and put their logo on our site).

So we’re definitely missing a bunch of people, but we once again wanted to thank the people who made it so we exist and have had the opportunity to reach a total of 13,000 children in 6 different countries:

  • The first four points on the To-Do list:

o   We touched base on this during our first blog post, Once Upon a Time, we’re thankful that our three friends Veronica Farley-Seybert, Grace Adoroja & Ndu Ozor stepped in to complete the 50+ pages for us

  • Logo Design:

o   Originally started as a brief discussion, but thankful that Arron Davis quickly designed and animated the logo for us. Now that’s on our t-shirts, website, FB page, business cards…..
  • Bank Account:

o   To this day surprised with how AMAZING Zina Meltser has been! For example, after the Pledge Allegiance event we deposited the checks at a BMO Harris bank in downtown Chicago. BUT we forgot to get the check numbers so we could include that in our tax deductible receipts to the donors. Within a day of reaching out to Zina, she sent us scanned copy of each check and the donation slip!
  • Raise Funds for the Website:

o This is all thanks to PHD Media. They held an annual #PHDBigHug day. During the event they raised money in order for us to build our site. In addition, we connected with the designers at their event. It was a long time coming, but as we always say, the website was worth the wait/weight.

  • Annual Attorney General Paperwork and Federal 990 Form:

o Thanks to the help and direction of the people above….we can fill out those 3 pages all by ourselves!! J

In summary, in order to be a 501c3 certified organization that is recognized by global corporations, as well as aligning with government requirements there’s a lot that needs to be done. Thinking about how we guarantee that we’ll never require, or even suggest, people make a donation to participate, we’re always thankful when people volunteer to help out. So although everyone listed above told us their contributions were free, we’re still IN DEBT to you and #ForeverThankful for how you helped us!

#InDebt #UpliftingSpirits

To see more pictures and stories please check out our website, like us on Facebook page, follow us on Twitter , visit our Google+ page, or visit our LinkedIn page! Also, check out some of our videos on YouTube!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Seal The Deal

Thankfully so far this quarter has changed!!! As of June 5, 2015 we’ve already received 1,334 cards! For a bit we were on a downward trend (e.g. Q1 2015 – 891 cards), but after Q2 we’ll be proud to update the image on our website,

But thinking about it, we only show the amount of cards we’ve RECEIVED each quarter…..not how many were made. You’d be surprised how many people MAKE cards, but never ship them. Recently here are a couple quotes from conversations and/or emails.….don’t worry we made sure they’re PG!
  • I still have cards that I need to try and get to you!!!”
  • “Aww man, I keep forgetting I have to get you the cards”
  • “A few months ago some of us here in the office got together to make cards and I have been holding on to them to send them to you.”

In order to prevent those types of comments, we made some changes. We’re always trying to stay behind the scenes, but we made some changes so people can easily participate. For example, we made modifications to our How-To page so you can easily see where to ship the cards.

Based on the emails and responses we’ve been receiving we know people have done the hard part- making the quality cards. Then, due to the updates to our site, we understand people can efficiently find where to send their “artwork”. Now, all we need to do is find out how to inspire participants to send the packages (aka SEAL THE DEAL).

#SealTheDeal #UpliftingSpirits

To see more pictures and stories please check out our website, like us on Facebook page, follow us on Twitter , visit our Google+ page, or visit our LinkedIn page! Also, check out some of our videos on YouTube!