International Social Work Solutions, Inc. Annual Report 2018
March 14, 2019
Respectfully submitted by: Thea T. Bader, LICSW
“We feel so honored to have ISWS as part of the work we do in Guatemala. The Needs Assessment was more comprehensive than we could have hoped. We are excited about the possibilities in these communities; we are already seeing our work evolve in significant ways. Our team and I agree that you surpassed our expectations.”
Rachel Zelon, MSW, CEO, Hunger Relief International, Sept. 2, 2018
2018 Total Donations: $8,518
Total Donations 2016, 2017, and 2018: $27,457
Total Stipends to Support Social Work Projects, 2016, 2017 and 2018: $8,454
Bank Balance as of 12/31/18: $19,426
Donations have been from several sources in 2018: 1) 100% board of directors’ participation both through Give/Get donating and auction item donations for the silent auction, 2) Family and Friends through Facebook #GivingTuesday and other, and 3) Wines Around the World Fundraiser, silent auction and ticket sales.
Expenses increased in 2018 with the board decision to purchase Board of Directors and Foreign Travel insurance for a combined total of $2,341.63. Additionally, ISWS purchased a year of Constant Contact email marketing capability used for the Wines Around the World fundraiser invitations and tracking. Legal fees decreased this past year due to the acceptance to the nonprofit program of pairing pro bono attorneys with charity organizations at Lawyersclearinghouse.org. All other expenses remained stable from 2017.
ISWS has enough funds to provide stipends to at least 5 recipients at $2,500 in 2019 each from donations given in 2018 without additional new donations or grant money.
Membership of the board of ISWS has remained a constant over the course of 2018, with all members working well together to advance and promote the goals and mission of the organization. The Wines Around the World fundraising event was a complete board effort with the Event committee taking a leadership role. Sub-committees such as the Applications and Recruitment Committees have worked well to bring recommendations to the board after careful deliberation and discussion. As in 2017, there was unanimous decision to add new board members to the ISWS board. The search for talent in areas of marketing and social media, finance and ties to larger social and professional circles was ongoing throughout 2018.
The most meaningful accomplishment of ISWS work in 2018 was the increase of stipends awarded from 1 in 2017, to a total of 5 in 2018. The collaboration between ISWS and Hunger Relief International (HRI) started strong in the beginning of the year and ended stronger at the end of 2018. Two very well received projects in Guatemala City and Peronia saw 5 experienced social workers provide valuable assistance to HRI and the in-country staff there. The Needs Assessment report was gratefully received by Rachel Zelon, CEO of HRI while the training of teachers and staff at the High School in Peronia and El Limon was seen as a complete success. Many discussions have occurred since the trip to help make the trainings a sustainable, continued and regularly scheduled program in 2019 with ISWS recipients voluntarily giving their time and expertise to lead the seminars.
Additionally, ISWS was accepted and included for the Poster Presentation at the NASW Symposium in Washington, D.C. in June of 2018. There were several conversations and contacts that were made during the time there with possible continued connection with Social Workers Beyond Borders. Many social workers in attendance expressed interest in the ISWS mission.
ISWS was also accepted into the Lawyersclearinghouse.org community as a worthy nonprofit charity looking for pro-bono attorneys with nonprofit expertise. ISWS was connected with Jason Cotton, Esq. who assisted in several ways: amending our By-Laws to better reflect the mission, providing valuable information to benefit ISWS such as recommending Foreign Travel Insurance and creating a Release of Claims form to give to future recipients. His help gave the organization a stronger safety net with which to operate going forward.
Finally, but not the least of importance, ISWS had its first successful fundraising event, Wines Around the World. Tickets sales of 60+ people, with over 40 silent auction items ranging from jewelry to a vacation at an Italian villa and delicious finger food created a wonderful atmosphere of an informative, fun, and meaningful event. The event proved to be an excellent vehicle to display the ISWS mission and its success, as well as engage donors in an activity designed for fun and connection. It was definitely mission accomplished and goals achieved.
There are several new initiatives and goals for the upcoming year:
- Work on grant applications for a joint project between HRI and ISWS for work in Guatemala City (El Limon) and Peronia to specifically sustain the Training the Trainer program begun in 2018.
- Work on ISWS grant application to assist in funding international social work projects.
- Invite and include new board members committed to the ISWS mission with skills and experience to help carry ISWS to the next level of development.
- Continue to help fund global projects around the world by increasing the number of stipends from 5 to 10 or more in 2019.
- Plan a meaningful Board Retreat, possibly to take place in the Fall of 2019 to continue and enhance board collaboration.
Thea T. Bader, LICSW
March 14, 2019