This month, Family Promise received a $7,500 donation from the University of Wyoming Ethics Club.
Our Fund Development Committee first learned of this group when one of its members, UW student Katie Funk, emailed us to let us know her club had $8,000 to donate to local organizations. She and her husband, Kelby Funk, had chosen to research Family Promise as a possible beneficiary.
We were, of course, thrilled. Nonprofit organizations spend countless hours seeking funding opportunities, and this one simply appeared in our inbox. Board Vice President Linda Melcher took the lead on answering the written questions Katie had provided, which ranged from information about our program and its director to how Family Promise embraces ethics-related principles such as integrity, transparency, and rule of law.
Linda and Family Promise Executive Director Ava O'Hollearn met with Katie and Kelby to further discuss the Family Promise program. The Funks created a slideshow to present at the UW Ethics Club meeting, where many other local organizations - such as Casa of Laramie County, Wyoming Community Foundation, Ark Regional Services, Boys & Girls Club - were also highlighted. Club members decided that the bulk of their funds should go to Family Promise. Thanks to an additional contribution by the group's advisor, Kent Noble, every other organization presented received $500.
Linda said the entire process was delightful. She emphasized her favorable impression of Club members. "The presentation Katie and Kelby created was absolutely professional quality. It was worthy of any boardroom." She went on to say that all the Club's members were engaged and passionate about this work.
The UW Student Center for the Public Trust is "a network of UW students who demonstrate a commitment to ethical leadership," according to Noble. Participants have opportunities to attend training sessions and conferences, serve the community, and contend in business ethics competitions. While the group has multiple funding streams, their primary source is the John P. Ellbogen Foundation. Noble explained that for this project, "the goal was threefold: 1) to learn more about philanthropy; 2) to learn more about the worthwhile causes in our community; and 3) to make a difference in the lives of others."
Katie Funk echoed Linda's sentiments about what a meaningful project this was. "Kelby and I were both really impressed by how open and honest Ava and Linda were with us regarding Family Promise of Albany County’s mission as well as its financial integrity... We know that the money will be used wisely for the good of the community."
Thank you to the University of Wyoming, Club members, Kent Noble, and the Ellbogen Foundation for this extraordinary opportunity.
(Pictured, from left: Matt Schlanger, Ethics Club President; Mary Garland, Ellbogen Foundation President; Ava O'Hollearn, Katie and Kelby Funk)