We are so grateful for the generous grant we received from St. Gregory’s, Deerfield to support our new administrative assistant. She has already proven to be worth her weight in gold! Here’s how Stacy described it to the Missions Board:
Jacqueline (Jack) Clark, our work-study intern whom you are funding through your grant, has been doing marvelous work with us. In a ministry with a highly transitional congregation― university students!― having good, easily maintained information systems is crucial. This may seem hard to connect with the work of proclaiming the Good News and sharing God’s love, but consider these ways she has already made a difference:
- A new student wants to get involved. By getting his/her information set up well right away, we can track that student through his/her career at the University of Chicago and be able to stay in touch with that alumnus/a after graduation, encouraging that person’s support financially, as a member of our board, or as an advocate for these sorts of ministries. Jack has gone through our donor database, which is substantial but had been inconsistently maintained over the years, cleaned it up by tracking down missing names and information, and is coordinating information between the various online data and communication systems we use.
- If we want to apply for a grant that allows us to broaden and deepen our ministry on campus, having a good overview of what information we have on file is essential. It allows us to gather the appropriate resources to show our previous work on such an issue, its prior success (or failure), who was involved and the continuity between past, present and future. Jack has gone through all of our files, reorganized them, and developed a list of what is there― and what isn’t, so we can track it down and include it.
- A ministry like ours relies on donations and its tax-exempt status to keep costs low and to be able to keep the majority of its resources focused on the students and their programming. Soliciting in-kind donations and tracking the tax-exempt procedures for vendors is a time-consuming process and not the best use of the chaplain’s time. Jacqueline has already managed to procure a donated computer, replacing a machine that more than 10 years old and inadequate for our needs.
- Most important, at a time when non-profits and congregations are facing financial uncertainty, having Jack allows the chaplain to be more present and effective with the students, which is the main thing, and to move the chaplaincy forward in our development and fundraising efforts, which will make us more stable for the future.