ON ORGANIZATIONAL LETTERHEAD
August 18, 2004
Mr. Bob Vickers, President
The Robert J. Vickers Foundation
P. O. Box 1225
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Dear Bob, [use first name and comma ONLY if it is a close, personal, first-name-basis relationship]
Greetings! The introduction paragraph is purely to connect. . . Either 1) first- or second-generational connections/relationships, 2) geographic connections, and/or 3) field of interest connections/relationships.
It has long been said, "So goes the ‘family,’ so goes the culture." If that is true, we are in serious trouble!
Marriages are falling apart at an increasingly alarming rate. More than half of the couples getting married today will get divorced within 5 years. However, of the 50% who stay together, only 25% have a close, satisfying relationship. Isn’t that amazing–only 12.5% of the couples in America are satisfied in their marital relationship?!
That’s only the beginning–listen to these statistics:
• Low-income families are less likely to be able to afford marriage, counseling, and other help.
• In 90% of divorces, the father no longer has a meaningful relationship with his children within five years.
• 2,750 children watch their parents separate or divorce every day in America.
Children from broken homes struggle in school, are more likely to become involved in alcohol and drugs, and are ten times more likely to find themselves in trouble with the law. The erosion of the family as a cornerstone affects society in many ways. . . and the effects are reaching into tomorrow. As today’s adults, children whose parents divorced in the 1970’s continue to struggle emotionally and relationally as a result of their parents’ divorce with expectations of failure, fear of loss, fear of change, and fear of conflict.
What is even worse, children from those divorced families have a risk of divorce that is two or three times greater than children from married parent families –thus, continuing this cycle of family damage. What must break the heart of God is that we KNOW The Answer to stop this erosion of society: Jesus.
And the family is God’s primary instrument to pass faith in Him from generation to generation. Dr. George Barna shares that 40% of those choosing faith in Jesus Christ did so through the influence of family members. 40%! This transition of faith and love from earthly parents to a heavenly Father is much easier when a couple is in a happy healthy marriage and children see it and are around it. However, when earthly fathers or mothers are absent it makes an understanding of this loving God more difficult for children.
Several years ago, George Barna’s research revealed that if a church wins 100 youth or children to Christ, it will gain 3.5 family units into the church. If a church wins 100 women to Christ, it will gain 17 family units into the church. But the same study reveals, however, that if a church wins 100 men to Christ, it will gain 93 family units into the church. We MUST reach men and women in marriages–their families will follow. Efficiently building The Kingdom means reaching, teaching, and sending families.
In order to better reach the world, we must keep families together and moms and dads happily united. How do we reverse the multi-generational effects of divorce? How can we narrow the gap between dissatisfied and satisfied couples? We desire to work with couples to help strengthen families and rebuild communities. We provide help, hope, and healing to hurting families. The Appalachian Valley needs a Center–a physical place that exists entirely to facilitate the building of families.
Your strategic plan starts the second piece of paper in the cover letter. . . Here's our plan:
You can help make and sustain these plans to reality. We are currently in need of reaching the next level–and we are excited about the partnering together with funders that share our vision.
We need help. We need your help. Please review the enclosed proposal and support this vitally needed work. I am respectfully submitting it for your consideration. If you need additional information, or if I can answer any questions, please feel free to call me at (660) 747-6390 in my office or on my cell phone at (660) 747-6390.
We would greatly appreciate your financial support of the work. The harvest is ripe and the laborers are busy reaping and asking for help. Now is the time to invest in and leverage resources into empowering evangelization. People need help. We need help to help them. Thank you very much for your consideration. I am excited about establishing a partnership with you that will bear much fruit for the Appalachian Valley!
Audrey Briande, Founder and President
Appalachian Valley Enhancement Project
Appalachian Valley Enhancement Project
Organizational Mission and Vision Statements:
Appalachian Valley Enhancement Project exists to engage in the betterment of the Appalachian Valley, striving to develop our youth, enrich our elderly, educate donors to the needs in the area, and to strengthen our community through mentoring and leadership.
Our vision is to provide a state of the art developmental facility in the Appalachian Valley for children and adults creating an environment for all ages to enjoy and prosper through sports, the arts, and education. Our desire is to foster a community culture in which every child is valued, challenged, and expected to succeed. To ensure a family like atmosphere is promoted, bridging the gap between children and adults.
Project Description and Mission Statement:
(3 or 4 sentence MAX–don’t have this if you are asking for general operating support)
Target Market and Geographic Area Served:
(4 sentences and include demographic, descriptive info)
You are the expert. . . who is your audience?
Appalachian Valley Enhancement Project is a project of the National Heritage Foundation which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in the State of Virginia in 1980. We are governed by a Board of Directors and also have a Board of Regents that help guide all activities (See Page 6). Also see attached 501(c)(3) IRS Department of Treasury Determination Letter.
Ms. Audrey Briande, Founder and President (660) 747-6390, Voice
Appalachian Valley Enhancement Project (660) 222-1111, Cell
P.O. Box 1225 e-mail: Audrey@ValleyEnhancement.com
Warrensburg, MO 64093 Website: www.ValleyEnhancement.com
Financial Request and Purpose:
The needs of an visionary organization like ours are substantial. Our current and immediate needs are such that we are asking you for a grant of $ 35,000 (or any portion thereof) toward our general operating budget. See List of Immediate Needs on Page 5.
TOTAL AMOUNT REQUESTED: $ 35,000
Evaluation and Accountability:
The progress and effectiveness of Appalachian Valley Enhancement Project will be determined by ongoing analysis and oversight of staff, Advisors, and Board of Directors. Because we are committed to integrity, we are willing to complete any reasonable evaluative measure that you request.
Appalachian Valley Enhancement Project
People are hurting and, more times than not, they have very few places to turn to for help. . . Up to 50% of all marriages will end in divorce and three of every four children in America will grow up without both of their parents in the home. With the breakdown of the family and a society that has drawn away from honest communication and social interaction, people feel very isolated in their pain and problems. Although everyone longs for acceptance, significance and unconditional love, few people know where to go for help.
A growing number of Americans today see morality as subjective and have developed their own version of "morality" with little regard for a solid foundation. This tolerance has led to a tremendous erosion of the core of our society. . . the family. Today, more than any other time in history, the American family is under attack.
Today... half of all new marriages end in divorce (even within the church).
Today... an additional 6.7 million Americans are separated.
Today... the divorce rate of Christian marriages is higher than that of non-Christians.
Today... the United States’ divorce rate is double than Europe’s divorce rate.
Today... one million children will see their parents go through a divorce within the next 12 months. Half of those children will see a second divorce before age 18.
Today... 24 million children are living away from their father. Tonight, 40% of America’s children will go to bed without their father in the home. More than 33% of the children won’t see their dad this year at all!
The statistics could go on and on about divorce, separation, and fatherless homes. These tragedies have led to a cycle of men and women entering a marriage covenant without the faintest clue of how to maintain a successful marriage and raise children to become responsible adults. We haven’t had it modeled to us. But the destruction of the American family isn’t just isolated to families ripped apart by divorce. In our attempt to fill the void in our lives, the distractions of "the world" –materialism, career pressures, social stress, finances, temptations–are leading families away from true intimacy. They’re stealing our joy. The busy life is taking over what’s really most important...simply putting our trust and faith in God and following his infallible plan for our marriage and family.
The problem is clear. . . the American family needs help and equipping in all aspects of relationship building! Our culture makes it too easy and acceptable to just bail out when the going gets tough. We believe God designed a family to have a mom and a dad in the home modeling open communication, conflict resolution, healthy boundaries, and the security of unconditional love. And He gave us the blueprints for how to accomplish it. Families simply need to be equipped with these tools and learn how to implement and experience God’s plan for their family. . . not a perfect family, but a real family committed to loving and honoring one another.
The benefit to marriages. . . If a family can learn to have a home with an environment of unconditional love, humility, and grace, a man and woman will experience the truest sense of spiritual, emotional, and physical intimacy and the marriage will flourish.
The benefit to children. . . children who grow up in a home with a father and a mother are more secure in their identity, are less susceptible to peer pressure, and are more likely to have a healthy, committed marriage of their own. They’re also less likely to drop out of school, become involved in drug and alcohol abuse, be sexually active, and become involved in crime and violence. A healthy, intact family equals healthy, intact kids.
Last, but not least, the benefit to society. . . As Abraham Lincoln once said, "The strength of a nation lies in the homes of its people." It is our belief that the family is the backbone of society as a whole. History shows that if a society wants to survive, it must strengthen and continue to build upon the biblical institutions of marriage and family.
We must be there to help these hurting people. They need a place where they feel safe to enjoy their families and around people who will listen to them and take time to hear their particular struggle: people to help them see that there is hope for healing, joy and peace beyond their circumstances. They need to know that they are not alone and that they are significant and accepted just as they are.
They need someplace to go that is clean, safe, and secure–to play games together, to build family- and community- relationships. They need to be able to be around other people who are building their own family and . . .
Our Strategic Plan:
We exist to fill the need! We provide a safe opportunity for individuals to resolve their personal and spiritual conflicts and pain and move forward to function in a healthy, productive manner. Here’s our plan. . . . . (insert the strategic plan. . .)
Having been raised in the Appalachian Valley, Audrey Briande and her family have been involved in community-building through businesses, philanthropic ventures, and in many other ways for several generations. However, Appalachian Valley Enhancement Project was formally set-up in 2004 in order to facilitate the larger development of programs and projects that will directly benefit the community as a project at The National Heritage Foundation.
Budget Summary and Plan:
(2 or 3 sentences and refer them to the attached Budget Page.)
This program is ongoing and in process at this time. The only barrier to expansion to fullest is financial.