A Note From Our CEO
Thank you for considering a gift to Sew Powerful. It’s an honor to serve you as you seek to make a difference in the world. Let me share a few things that might help you understand more about how we operate, how we handle funds, and how we are held accountable. I hope these benefits of our model will reassure you that a gift to Sew Powerful is a wise use of your funds.
Donated Management: We created Sew Powerful as a “Parallel Organization” alongside our company, Liberty Jane Clothing. For many years we simply did “Liberty Jane Gives Back” campaigns to raise money for sewing projects. But as things have progressed we felt the need to get more formal. So, formally, while Sew Powerful is a stand-alone organization – it gets much of it’s support from Liberty Jane Clothing. Things like web-hosting, graphic art, photography, purse design, financial controls, office space, and management. It’s not a corporate foundation or a family foundation, it’s a parallel organization. The best way to think about the relationship is that Liberty Jane Clothing acts like the “big sister” to Sew Powerful. We pick up the tab – it’s our treat! By doing the work of running Sew Powerful on the U.S. side of things – we are in essence donating the management of Sew Powerful, which enables the charity to have near zero overhead related to these types of expenses.
Accountability To A Gifted Board: We are incredibly grateful to have a gifted Board of Directors filled with senior managers from various organizations and companies. They have massive non-profit management experience and work with us directly to ensure we are operating at the highest levels of integrity and efficiency.
Magnifying The Impact Of Cash Giving: We have several donors that give us “in-kind” donations of services.
- A good example is the Google Foundation – they give us over $100,000 a year in free advertising on their Adwords Network. That is incredibly generous, but the limitations of that gift are obvious.
- Another example is World Vision – they ship the Sew Powerful Purses from the United States to Zambia free of charge – that saves us a huge expense.
- Finally, as previously mentioned, Liberty Jane Clothing donates the management services to run Sew Powerful.
But cash gifts are different to us. A cash gift is, in many ways, the most helpful gift because of the flexibility that it provides. So we are incredibly careful when it comes to spending donor cash. You might call us ultra-frugal, or crazy cheap, or maybe just financially conservative. Whatever you want to call it – when it comes to spending donors hard earned money – we take an extra hard look at things and work to find ways to double, triple, or quadruple the impact of that giving. For example:
- When we train a seamstress in our program she is asked to make many practice garments. These are all children sized items so that they can be gifted to the Needs Care Centre For Orphans. So training a seamstress blesses children in need as well as the seamstress.
- When the Sewing Cooperative participants make the MHM supplies they are paid 7 Kwacha per completed product set. In that way they are paid for their work and have a reliable way to make an income. But they are also helping to keep girls in school and ensuring that the girls of their community grow up literate and well educated.
- When we pay a knitter to make the school uniform for children – we also allow the parents to pay in micro-installments so that they can afford the cost of the school uniform. In this way the parents feel empowered, the children get a uniform and can attend school, and the knitter has reliable work and a way to make money.
Our Standing U.S. Expenses: The only ongoing expense we pay for in the U.S. with donor funds is the monthly bank fee to send the money to Zambia.
Finally, let me also share that Cinnamon and I are the largest cash contributors to Sew Powerful. So when I say we are ultra careful, frugal, and thoughtful about spending donor money, it’s because I am personally invested. If there is any way I can be of help to facilitate your giving – please don’t hesitate to contact me. Simply use the contact form below. I’d be honored to help you brainstorm ways you might make an impact through our program.
CEO, Sew Powerful
Officially Registered & Reviewed
On December 26th, 2013 we received our formal I.R.S determination letter allowing us to receive tax deductible contributions from individual donors.
Sew Powerful has been registered as a non-profit in the state of Washington since 2010.
Our Certified Public Accountant is Jake Hanes, licensed in the state of Washington. Call him any time: 253-288-8829