Making a Greater Impact in a Challenged Economy!

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Faith Works
City & State:
Organization's Mission Statement
MISSION: to promote the common good by developing everyday people as effective community leaders that address community-level problems and seek solutions through research and civic engagement. VISION: one day ALL people will experience the justice and opportunity that is extended by the American promise.

Submission Information

Impact Essay
Making a Greater Impact in a Challenged Economy! For almost a decade, hundreds of volunteers from congregations across North San Diego County have come together to advance the vision of Faith Works: that one day ALL people will experience the justice and opportunity that is extended by the American promise). Although they successfully made many advances (including: partnering with community clinics to extend 200+ children healthcare, securing funds to build sidewalks so hundreds of children can walk safely to school, and convincing one city council to build 300 new units in a affordable community) they long had to struggle without even basic materials to promote stories of success. A new wave of economic upheavals also made it almost impossible to secure funds necessary to accomplishing further efforts. In addition, new efforts were greatly needed after hundreds of visits with families in local congregations brought to light that many youth were under great stress. Though members of all ages had a strong desire to seek solutions to issues (like rampant bullying at local schools and numerous episodes of youth violence) they just did not have the tools to communicate with members of the business community how important these issues were or to launch a campaign to seek funds necessary to their crucial objectives. Hiring professional designers was an option they simply couldn’t afford. Costs of printing alone were beyond their collective reach. In fact, it seemed like our community champions had finally hit a great wall. They needed a solution in order to move ahead. They needed a superhero, but none were in sight until… One day, a mild-mannered staffer came across the website of Tech Soup listing low costs they are able to offer non-profit organizations on industry-standard software (including Adobe CS4 Design Premium). She reminded several members that one had a background in graphic design and several were willing to learn how to use new software. She then suggested that the organization purchase the software so that members could create create the essential items themselves. Cheers of “Hurrah!” were followed by an order, intriguing logos, electronic headers, and a brilliant brochure (which has already helped increase membership, gain visibility of new community partners, and attracted funding through new foundations, local corporations, small businesses, and a first-ever annual individual-donor campaign). All items were created via both Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Print costs were also greatly reduced through processing smaller batches at a local copy shop and compressing finished items into an MS Word format so they can be sent ahead of meetings through email. A first-run newsletter is currently being created in Adobe In Design. These newsletters will primarily be circulated electronically (eliminating print costs) and black and white versions will be printed at member churches and distributed to new congregants without access to the Internet or email. Despite all recent challenges, Tech Soup, Adobe and a mild-mannered staffer saved the day for Faith Work’s volunteers and the 21,000 families they are now able to serve more effectively!
Submission Category
Environmental Impact Print/Photo