A Big Headstart for Edstart
Rebecca Lapres, President of Vancouver based St. Giles Pre-School shares her inspirational story with us:

" St Giles is BC's oldest parent participation pre-school - with a diminished enrollment this year - but excellent facilities and two superb early childhood educators - we decided to open the doors to help several disadvantaged children who otherwise couldn't afford the monthly dues under an initiative we called "Edstart". We needed extra funding - $20,000 to accomplish this however and realized that it would take more than a garage sale to get us there! We are regular subscribers to the newsletter [BIG's Funding Opportunities Newsletter -Ed.] and were inspired by the numerous success stories written by small organizations like ours.

We decided that anyone with a good cause can fundraise from foundations and corporations! Bolstered by this belief we - the board - decided we had nothing to lose and everything to gain. We decided to focus on Canadian foundations and using BIG's search, created a list of over 350 foundations interested in funding children's education or assisting children. Next, we sent out simple letters of inquiry and we ALSO included a "summary proposal" and request amount - just "in case" we encountered instant decision makers.

Results so far? We sent out 325 letters during the last week of August
In the last 90 days, we received 125 replies
We've received two cheques for $6,000 (!)
We have been asked to submit four full proposals
We are being considered for funding by four other foundations

Our biggest mistake? Not paying attention to the "geographic scope" information in BIG - this was the most common reason why our request was turned down
Our best move? - including a "summary proposal" - we got immediate cash this way
Next Steps: Thank-you letters, full proposals and follow up with those foundations we haven't heard from yet.

Thanks for everything to everyone at BIG Online - this wouldn't have been possible without you."

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