By Erin Hall
At the beginning of each new year, most people start thinking about goals. Career goals. Personal goals. Fitness goals. Financial goals. Even weight loss goals. These goals tend to be based on hopes, dreams, and desires, but they can also be based on needs. Let’s face it, we all have things we need to achieve, like stable budgets, social connections, and healthy habits.
Putting that notion into practice, we encourage tenants living in YWCA Greater Cleveland’s Independence Place supportive housing to set ambitious, but manageable, goals for their lives. To do this, Life Coaches help them to find the resources and build the life skills to achieve them. They work toward better budgeting, higher grades, learning parenting tools, and finding and maintaining employment.
Our tenants are inspiringly successful at achieving their goals. Two of our young people are enrolled at a four-year university, and another six are enrolled in two-year programs or vocational schools. Participation in our parenting classes has increased from 10% to 65%. 45 of our tenants have engaged with Cleveland Jobs Partnership, and we are set to launch a new jobs collaboration with Connecting the Dots, which focuses on young people who have aged out of foster care.
Organizations have goals, too. When a nonprofit organization sets goals, those goals are often based on what must happen to achieve data-supported results. For example, as a permanent supportive housing facility, we set goals for occupancy level, participation rates, and length of stay by each tenant. These goals must be reached in order for our organization to achieve the outcomes our leadership, board and donors expect. Just like our tenants, and just like you, YWCA Greater Cleveland has financial goals. To that end, we need to raise funds on an ongoing basis to sustain our programs.
This year, YWCA Greater Cleveland has a goal to raise $120,000 through our Annual Fund, made up of unrestricted gifts, large and small, from individuals. We challenged ourselves by increasing that number from last year’s goal of $95,000, because we’ve seen a 23% increase in individual giving in our last two fiscal years. Nearly seven months into FY15, we’ve raised 54% of our $120,000 goal.
You can support us in reaching this goal. Now through June 30, any contribution to the YWCA Greater Cleveland Annual Fund will be matched by the NORD Family Foundation, up to $25,000. We’ve already raised and matched $5,000, but every dollar counts, so we hope you will consider a financial gift to us as you reach for your goals in 2015!
Erin Hall is the Manager of Advancement Services at YWCA Greater Cleveland. If you have questions about giving to YWCA Greater Cleveland, feel free to call Erin at 216-881-6878 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.