Growing Up Knowing (GUK) provides programming for students and their parent/caregivers across Mississippi. Our three signature programs are evidenced-based, teaching bullying and abuse prevention to Pre-School and Elementary families and comprehensive sex education to Middle School families. Our programs are implemented by trained Facilitators and offered virtually or in person, according to the location and wishes of the sponsoring community partner. Every program is free, with no cost to families or partners. GUK uses printed materials in primarily three ways. First, we provide printed packets for each program, regardless of format. Students receive a packet geared for their use in the session, and parents/caregivers receive a packet as well. Depending on the program, printing costs can vary but typically average approximately $200 per program. Due to the demographics of the families we serve, printed materials are key to our success. Many of the families we work with do not have access to a home computer or internet service provider. This is why we mail out paper packets, even when the program is being implemented virtually.
Secondly, GUK does an annual fund-raising campaign with letters that go out to our data base. We typically send out 1000 - 1500 physical letters along with sponsorship information. These are written by our board president and are invitations for the recipient to support our mission by donating. Costs for this include letterhead, envelopes, printing, and postage. We have found this to be an effective way to reach our donors as many of them prefer to send in a check and use the letter as their tax receipt.
Finally, we provide each Facilitator with a printed notebook which they reference when implementing a programming session. Several of our Facilitators are trained on all three programs, so they require three different program guides.
Growing Up Knowing also uses print materials at information fairs and professional conferences. At these events we provide color brochures that describe our three signature programs as well as informational fliers and sponsorship sheets. Business cards are also provided for each staff member.
Currently, Growing Up Knowing does its own printing in-house or at Office Depot. Our letterhead is printed locally. Next to salaries, printing is GUK's biggest expense. Any support we can receive for this would be greatly appreciated. As the Executive Director, I have searched for funding with various foundations and corporations. I have found that operational expenses can be difficult to cover. Most funders prefer to see their awards go more directly to the students and families we serve. Printing is still a necessity for us, due to the technology gap experienced by those we serve.
As with many non-profits, the global pandemic has affected GUK's ability to increase funding. Many of our past funders turned their attention and resources to medical, food, and basic education requests. We have had to cut staff hours in order to continue meeting the demand for programs. To date, we have not had to turn away any of the community partners we serve. We are proud of that fact, and appreciate your consideration.
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