A Message from Spare Key Executive Director, Erich Mische
Since 1997, Spare Key has been hard at work serving families with housing grants.
We are proud and privileged to have been able to serve over 3,500 families with $3.5 million in housing grants during that time.
Our motto, "No matter the illness. No matter the injury. No matter the income. We help families Bounce and Not Break," has been our guiding force from the first mortgage we were able to make.
This month, we launched a new platform to support that mission: The Help Me Bounce Program
This powerful new platform combines crowdfunding with Spare Key's direct financial support to help leverage social media to raise more funds to support a family with their mortgage payment.
Additionally, the Help Me Bounce Program provides a real-time blogging feature for families that allows them to share the progress of their family member's medical situation with their friends and family.
As we enter our 21st year of helping families "Bounce and Not Break," we are mindful of the unique challenges facing many non-profits, including our own:
- Donors have made different choices on how to exercise their personal philanthropy.
- Donors want to have more control of how their philanthropic dollars are being used.
- Donors want certainty that the money they are donating is being used for the purposes intended.
- Donors want to maximize tax benefits from their charitable contributions.
The Help Me Bounce Program is intended to give donors those options, and a sense of security and comfort that their generously given dollars are going toward the purpose they intended. Spare Key is committed to continuing to find ways to serve more families than ever before. The Help Me Bounce Program gives us the tools and the ability to achieve that goal. Over time, we will add more features and capabilities that will leverage other resources to support families in need facing a medical crisis of a loved one.
For now, here are some of the immediate benefits of the Help Me Bounce Program.
HOW IT BENEFITS DONORS
The Spare Key Help Me Bounce crowdfunding allows donors to choose how they wish to donate to Spare Key. They may choose to make their donation directly to Spare Key and permit us the flexibility to support families with mortgage grant payments, or they may choose to designate their Spare Key donation to a specific family's mortgage.
- 100% of a donor's gift is tax deductible, whether given to support Spare Key's general fund mortgage grant program or restricted to support a specific family.
- 100% of the donations received by Spare Key and restricted to a specific family can only be used for a mortgage payment. Donors will have 100% assurance that the funds they donate are being used for the purpose they intended.
- 100% of donations received by Spare Key and restricted to a specific family will be used to make a mortgage grant on that family's behalf. Spare Key receives no administrative fee. While there is a small credit card processing fee, it is our hope that donors will cover that cost and, if not, in the short-term Spare Key will cover the costs of credit card processing fees.
- 100% support of all approved applicants is Spare Key's goal in using the Help Me Bounce Program.
HOW IT BENEFITS FAMILIES
The Spare Key Help Me Bounce Program is intended to:
- Allow Spare Key to serve more families.
- Reduce the amount of time it takes to let a family know if Spare Key can help them with their mortgage.
- Speed up our ability to make mortgage payments for families who have been approved for a mortgage grant.
- Minimize paperwork and administrative processes.
- Provide direct financial support from Spare Key, our donor base and family's own personal networks and connections.
- Provide a blog feature to allow families to keep friends and family updated on the medical and health status of their family member.
HOW IT BENEFITS SOCIAL WORKERS
- Eligibility requirements do not change under Help Me Bounce.
- In fact, we have expanded eligibility effective May 1, 2018, to include parents or legal guardians of children 18 years and younger to apply for a grant if they are the sick or injured family member.
- Social Workers will be asked to complete a brief form, via an email link, that confirms a family is eligible under Spare Key's guidelines to apply for a Spare Key mortgage grant.
- And, because we are eliminating all paper and web-based applications, Social Workers do not need to hunt down a fax machine or wait for a family to get them a piece of paper to complete in order to ensure a family applies for a mortgage grant to Spare Key.
As you can see, there are many important benefits of the Help Me Bounce Program. We are excited to launch the platform, and even more excited to see just how impactful this concept can and will be over time.
Spare Key's mission has always been to provide families with the ability to focus on the care and recovery of a loved one rather than worry about how to make their mortgage payment.
The Help Me Bounce Program is our way of recommitting to this mission, strengthening it, broadening it and sustaining it in the years ahead.
Thank you for your support and generosity to Spare Key and the families we are honored to help "Bounce and Not Break."
Erich Mische, Executive Director