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A History of a Charity in Twenty Objects (#8)

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#8. Guardian Charity Award (2004)   Previously on ‘A History of a Charity in Twenty Objects’…    We were stuck. We won’t rehash it (you can read it for yourself here ), but in a nutshell:  We needed £5,000.   We’d tried everything we could think of – applied for grants, developed proposals, submitted pitches, we’d even spent a day at IKEA Croydon with a donation bucket – and we’d come up with nothing. In fact, we were slightly worse off because our train fares to Croydon and the donation bucket had cost more than we’d collected.   Frustrated and dismayed, the Board of Trust called a special meeting to discuss options. Their conclusion: It was time to call it quits.  Ding dangit.   We just couldn’t see our way over, under or through. We were all devastated.   Lori Bean, a good, good friend and smart cookie, took Kourtney to Wagamama; over a steaming bowl of chili chicken ramen, she gave her an attitude adjustment:  “Do you have to pull the plug right now? If the final decision is to clo

London Children's Map

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Guy Fox London Children's Map First released in January 2006 and updated regularly, this simplified illustrated map of London is the perfect companion as you explore the city – or buy one as a souvenir of your visit.   This is an explorer's map. Designed just wide enough to be held comfortably by your favourite young adventurer as he or she decides on the next destination and plots a course.     Features:  Illustrated Map of Central London (over two sides, front and back) Over 80 London sites and landmarks, with website details Index, map grid and compass rose  Links to online resources (both fun and educational!) Stickers (it wouldn't be a Guy Fox map wit hout STICKERS!) The Guy Fox Children's Map series includes London , New York , Paris and Washington DC . The  London Children's Map is available from your favourite bookseller, or at Amazon.co.uk . RETURN TO THE GUY FOX WEBSITE HOME PAGE

A History of a Charity in Twenty Objects - #7

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#7. Grant Applications and Rejections (2001 to… well, Infinity & Beyond!) In 2004, we got stuck. We'd continued to apply for project grants. There were rejections here and there, which always hurt, but we were mostly successful in securing grants for new projects. The thing was, project grants could be used SOLELY for project costs. Nothing else. Project costs and that’s it. If a project required a baby elephant to meet its objectives, then we could purchase a baby elephant*.  But we couldn’t buy a stapler or a rubbish bin or even a ream of paper unless it was approved in the project budget. Don’t even think about paying for overhead costs like office space, utilities or salaries. (In the interest of full disclosure, funders would provide funding for overhead costs within a project. It was called ‘Full Cost Recovery’. In your application, you could request ‘50% of overhead costs for the duration of the project’ and, if the funder decided that was a fair allocation, the

A History of a Charity in Twenty Objects – #6

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#6. Annual Report (April 2003) Let’s hear it for listening!    Over the following year, it helped us completely transform our organisation and our work.    We listened to the children in our community, of course, who were telling us that they wanted to be  involved  in our work. They sent us drawings, poems and essays they’d created – to include in the Guy Fox magazine – as well as letters asking for drawing lessons.    The lightbulb went on in our heads. We needed to shift from creating educational resources  FOR  children, to creating educational resources  WITH  children. We needed to work directly with children. We could teach them about a historical topic and let them create a publication that would be distributed to their peers.   To do that, Guy Fox History Project would have to grow a bit!   So we  listened  to advisors and trustees. As well as funders and would-be funders.  Mostly, we  listened  to any organisation that was offering free training. We attended some useful sessi

A History of A Charity in Twenty Objects - #5

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#5. Guy Fox Baseball Cap (circa 2002) This tired old baseball cap doesn't look like much – especially after years of wear – but it helped inspire a GREAT BIG LESSON for us…. in  listening . One day in early 2002, Kourtney was at the John Harvard Library, wearing this cap  (must’ve been a Bad Hair Day). She glanced up from her research to find a young boy standing by the table. He asked, "You know about Guy Fox?" Amazed that HE knew about Guy Fox, she could only manage a tacit nod. He continued, "We get his magazines at school, but I can't read them ‘cause I have a…uh… I struggle… with my reading." “Maybe I can do something about that,” she responded. Satisfied with that, he disappeared. Hmmm… That conversation got us thinking: What could we do for children who struggled to read our magazines? How could we make our work more accessible? Time to do some learning! We contacted the Royal National Institute for the Blind and the British

A History of a Charity in Twenty Objects - #4

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#4. ‘History on the Sly’ Magazines (2000 to 2004) ‘Guy Fox History on the Sly’ was officially launched at the new Tate Modern on Friday 14 th July 2000. That sounds impressive, right? A launch event at Tate Modern!  And we s’pose it was. But it didn’t start out that way.  Let’s back up a bit.  Just before the first magazine went to press, Manjeet Edwards of the Peabody Trust called Kourtney and encouraged her to hold an event to celebrate the magazine.  Kourtney looked at her budget – the same one that had not stretched to meet the delivery costs (See Object #3 ). There was about £35 left, certainly not enough for a party! Food and drinks, maybe, but a venue? No way. Another ‘hmmmmm…’ moment (there’ve been a lot of those over the years).  And then a crazy idea (there’ve also been a lot of  those  over the years!): What if Tate Modern would allow us to hold a launch event?   The thought bubbles circled: ‘You never know…’  ‘They

A History of a Charity in Twenty Objects - #3

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#3. Blue Trolley (May 2000) What you see here is our Transportation Department – our battered, beloved blue trolley.  When Kourtney applied for that grant from the Peabody Trust ( Object #2 ), she included a budget. Having never done a funding budget before, there were bound to be some mistakes.   Indeed, that budget wasn’t even a twig compared to the robust, well-researched budgets that we submit in our funding applications now. It guesstimated the various line items and confidently stated: “I will re-work / re-design the project to accommodate the funding which is made available to me.” For Distribution Costs, Kourtney guessed ‘£200 to £300’. After all, how much could it cost to send out 5,000 magazines to 65 primary schools? Well. A lot more than you might expect.  (In fact, distribution is one of our most expensive activities. Often,  SENDING  a Guy Fox book is double the cost of  PRINTING  one! ) As we said, there were bound to be some mistakes. You