I want to talk about transparency. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I am a huge car fan, especially when it comes to classic muscle cars. I recently took my 1965 Mustang to a mechanic to have the engine swapped for a larger one (what another type of swap is there?). The mechanic quoted me a price that we agreed on and then proceeded to call me after two days and said things were more complicated than he thought and it would be almost double the price. I want to talk about transparency because without it, how can we trust who we give our money to? It dawned on me that although my car example and giving to a nonprofit are different, in both scenarios the individual giving their money wants to make sure he or she is putting the money to the best possible use. Without full transparency, it’s hard to make an informed decision as to whether you want to purchase a product or service or donate to a cause. So, from start to finish, I want to show the life of a donation. It all starts with you, the donor. You decide, for whatever reason you may have, to donate to help others in need. You go to our website and donate. The money you donated goes into a fund to be used specifically for granting the needs of a local child, someone who has been nominated by a professional in their community because that person believes, despite the hardships, that the child will succeed and change their life and the lives around them with just a little help. The nominator (usually a teacher, coach, other child advocate) submits documentation asking for assistance for that child. We, the board, review the application and reach out to the nominator should we need clarification. At our next meeting, we pull out that application and review it together asking questions like ‘is it feasible to grant that request?’, ‘Will this help the child?’, ‘What else can we do to help this child?’ When we decide that this is a good use of donor funds and we would be honored to help the child, we work with the nominator to get all the details set and grant the request. Lastly, and everybody’s favorite part, we get the opportunity to deliver the request to the child. It is a simple process but it is why I joined The Wish List Project. This process allows us to connect the best intentions of our donors to the most wonderful, deserving children. Every penny of every dollar of it. And we will never call you up saying it’s more complicated than we thought and we need more money to make it happen.