Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Keys to Our Success

Corporate Funding

McGraw-Hill encourages its employees to lead events for non-profit organizations as part of its Global Volunteer Day Community Partnership Event. My proposal for our Operation Write Home card-making event was accepted -- and we sprang into our action.

Location, Location, Location

Even before submitting the GVD proposal, I was considering where to hold the event. A colleague shared information about a local scrapbook store, Scrapbook Art, that was just 5 minutes from our office.

Further investigation revealed that Scrapbook Art already sponsored monthly events for Operation Write Home.

It sounded like we had found the perfect place!

Perfect Partnerships

Next, I contacted Caron and Amy, the owners of Scrapbook Art. Both Caron, who is a proud military mom of a son who has been deployed overseas, and Amy were eager to help. They put me in touch with Jeri, a longtime customer who sponsored the monthly OWH events.

As it turns out, Jeri had a few partners-in-crime who were more than willing to join in our efforts. Jeri, Denise, Stampin' Up Sue, and other volunteers spent countless hours designing and prepping kits for the big day.

Great Designs

Our volunteers designed cards that were both cute and duplicatable (for novice card-makers). We also designed cards that were generic in nature, as well as some cards that were gender-neutral.

Great Pre-Event Material Prep

As I mentioned, Jeri, Denise, Sue and other volunteers assembled materials that allowed for quick card-making. Embossing, inking, and stickling -- as well as xyronizing -- were all done in advance by this wonderful group of ladies to maximize our time on May 21.

Making the Most of our Budget

Again, Jeri, Denise, Caron, and Amy came to the rescue.

Jeri and Denise were our number crunchers and looked for the best deals for envelopes and cardstock for card bases. They also became experts at using leftover scraps to design new cards, such as the multi-colored 'Hello', 'You Make Me Smile', and 'Love You' cards.

In addition, Caron and Amy graciously offered us a discount on materials we purchased from them, such as patterened papers and adhesives.


Following introductory e-mails and phone calls, we all met at Scrapbook Art for a major planning session. Periodic mini sessions were routine. (The proximity of the store to our McGraw-Hill office was so helpful!) We also made regular use of e-mail and a wiki to keep everyone informed.

We promoted the event a number of ways:
  • posting on the McGraw-Hill Intranet site
  • listing the event on OWH's calendar
  • e-mailing colleagues at McGraw-Hill
  • manning a table at a McGraw-Hill lunch-time promotional event
  • e-mailing participants of Scrapbook Art's monthly OWH events
  • posting information at Scrapbook Art
The Next Step

We are meeting this week to plan for next year's event!


Yolanda said...

Wow! Thanks to McGraw Hill for encouraging your service. What a great bunch of cards! My fave is the one in the last photo with three diamonds. I like the design balance and colors. Glad you are repeating the event this year!

Jan Hunnicutt said...

Wow, what fun to visit your blog today! I loved seeing all the card photos & the ladies making OWH cards, how fun! What a wonderful card making year you've had! Thanks for all your efforts for Operation Write Home :)

Sherry Hickey said...

Hi Sybrina, thanks for the detailed step-by-step description of your planning & execution of a successful cardmaking party for OWH! I admire everyone who hosts a party; it's on my to-do list. There are some very pretty cards shown! Happy New Year!

glowegal said...

Gorgeous work and how awesome is it that you've planned such successful OWH events! Well done!! You've got a new blog follower, wish I lived closer so I could partake in a OWH card making event, too!

Kathryn said...

How awesome! Keep up the great work. This is a great list of tips for people trying to get a partnership like yours started. :)

Karen McAlpine said...

Great Job! And, I see some really nice designs in the bunch! Happy New Year.

Sue D said...

Great tips!!