Thursday, December 14, 2006

Crystal Award!

I just received notification that we have been recognized as 2007 Partnership Winners by the Texas Association of Partners in Education! We have been recognized with the Crystal Award, which is the highest award, in the category of Collegiate Partnerships. For more information check out All the districts we work with were included in the nomination, but the committee awarded us in particular for our work in a small district, Snyder ISD. The award itself will be presented in late January at an awards dinner. I'll make sure to post a picture.

Meanwhile, congratulations to our 1,700 children and their parents, as well as the 72 home visitors, 18 coordinators and the Texas HIPPY Staff here at UNT!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Texas Parent Child Initiative

(l-r) Lynn Goldstein, Mary Greene, Carla Weir, Frances Guzman

Friday was a milestone day for HIPPY in the Lone Star State! The Texas Parent Child Initiative was established to support and seek funding for HIPPY in Texas. After an 18 year presence, Texas HIPPY has grown into its own non-profit organization. This does not change our wonderful relationship with the University of North Texas or the Texas HIPPY Advisory Council. It does however allow the Board of Trustees of the newly established Texas Parent Child Initiative to fundraise, seek foundation grants and otherwise promote HIPPY and other parent child initiatives in Texas.

Founding Board Members are Frances Guzman (Board President, and staff member at the Intercultural Development Research Association); Lynn Goldstein (Board Treasurer and member of the National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Dallas Section); and Mary Greene (Board Secretary, and KERA Director of Outreach). They named me, Carla Marie Weir as the Executive Director.

Thank you to Frances, Lynn and Mary for making the idea a reality, and to Janet Wright, attorney at Dell, Inc. for providing pro-bono legal services to establish the Texas Parent Child Initiative.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Doing some reading

A few months ago I attended a Resources Now! Conference and got a lot out of it (it was put on by: It really revved up my thinking in terms of sustainability and diversification of funding. One of the benefits of the conference was that each participant received a subscription to the Chronicle of Philanthropy--it has been impossible to keep up with reading it, but the ones I have read have given me a lot of great information and ideas. That's where I read reviews of two books I've since purchased, and am now reading "Robin Hood Marketing: Stealing Corporate Savvy to Sell Just Causes", by Katya Andresen, and another book "Fundraising Basics". I'm not quite finished with the Robin Hood book, but so far it is EXCELLENT! Here's a good summary on another blog:

As a result of all this input over the past months, these are some of the ideas to follow up on:

  • Developing a donor base of small and larger donations
  • Putting on one or more "doable" fundraisers, such as events
  • Developing one or more corporate partnerships
  • Writing corporate or foundation grants
I'm in the incubation phase still, lots of thinking and planning, but I'm going to have to break out of this or else I'll just get stuck here. Also, time is an issue, if we don't get our AmeriCorps funding, the state office will not be funded for next year. So, with the leadership of the Advisory Council, as well as the newly forming "Texas Parent Child Initiative" non-profit, we can begin to move forward with some of these plans.
I'm always amazed that after 18 years working in HIPPY, this job can still be new to me. I'm always learning, always being challenged. This new venture is truly making me step out of my comfort zone. It's very exciting, a little scary, and definitely a move in the right direction. That's what "doing some reading" can do to you...