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Living

Partnerships

P.R.O Kids partners with over 200 community organizations. Because of the generous support of our partners we are able to put hundreds of children and youth into extra-curricular programming every year.

Partners

P.R.O. Kids Partners share in providing program spaces to children and youth who have financial need. Organizations donate spaces in their programs and P.R.O. Kids fills these spaces with children who have applied for assistance (P.R.O. Kids does not actually offer activities or run programs; it merely matches spots and people).

The P.R.O. Kids Coordinator is responsible for verifying that there is financial need in the family before making the referral to an activity provider. He or she will discuss financial status with parents and verify this information by checking with the reference that is provided on each application. References are checked once a year.

Once the family’s financial need has been verified, the P.R.O. Kids Coordinator will contact the activity provider and confirm that there are spaces available in the program. If so, the name of the child and their parent(s)' contact information will be provided for the organization. Parents must then register their child, identifying themselves as being P.R.O. Kids approved. The registrar will validate this by checking the list sent by P.R.O. Kids. 

See the P.R.O. Kids Partners List

NEW PARTNERSHIPS
Is your organization or business interested in joining P.R.O. Kids' efforts?

To become a partner, your organization must donate one or more registration spaces in your program on a seasonal basis to P.R.O. Kids. These donated spaces will be filled first. P.R.O. Kids may pay for additional spaces up to the same amount as the donated number of spaces, depending on the demand. For example, if your organization donates two spaces, P.R.O. Kids fills these spaces at no cost. If P.R.O. Kids approves a third and/or fourth child for your program, your organization can invoice P.R.O. Kids for the additional spaces used.

When there is demand beyond the originally agreed-upon number of spaces, the P.R.O. Kids Coordinator may ask the partner about extending the number of child participants at a shared cost. There is no obligation to extend beyond the initial agreement. A cap for placements can be set by the partner or by P.R.O. Kids at any time during the placement process.

 

A benchmark used to establish the number of spaces that an organization may consider donating is 1% to 2% of total registrants in the program. If there is less overhead for the organization, this percentage can easily be increased. Keeping in mind that this is a community service, it is important that no organization gain a monetary profit from the P.R.O. Kids effort. At the same time, we realize that costs must be covered and do not want any organization burdened by P.R.O. Kids placements.

P.R.O. Kids recognizes that at times, a partner organization will find it necessary to recoup the costs of donating spaces to P.R.O. Kids. This can be done though special fund-raisers or events. The gains made through these efforts should not exceed the value of spaces donated to P.R.O. Kids. Promotion of such fundraising efforts should be promoted as “Supporting P.R.O. Kids [with the name of the specific program]”. 

P.R.O. Kids wants to hear from our partners. Although we establish the parameters, there is always a degree of flexibility as long as both parties are in agreement. 

WHY PARTNER WITH P.R.O. KIDS?
Partnering with P.R.O. Kids is a win-win situation. Organizations will have increased enrolment and a sense of having been socially responsible and fulfilled their civic duty. These partnerships also provide a necessary and indispensable service to the community. At a time when many families are in financial distress, it offers positive opportunities to children and youth in Thunder Bay who may be surrounded by negativity otherwise. P.R.O. Kids takes on the responsibility of establishing the eligibility of families who apply and matching children with activities. This facilitates placement and enrolment of kids in programs.

Features of P.R.O. Kids

Security & Confidentiality:
The partner organization will assign one representative to be the contact for P.R.O. Kids. This person will receive a list of the children being referred to that program. Families sent to register with the program provider will identify themselves as P.R.O. Kids support recipients, which can be verified with the list. Once registered, participants are integrated into the program/activity with all other participants. The identification of children participating through P.R.O. Kids is to be kept confidential within the organization. Only the people who are involved with payments and decision making within the organization should be aware of this information.

Funding Structure:
P.R.O. Kids is a service offered through the Recreation & Culture Division of the City of Thunder Bay. While the City funds the position of P.R.O. Kids Coordinator and all administration expenses, all costs associated with placing children in programs must be raised through fundraising efforts. Funds raised for P.R.O. Kids are used directly to pay for children to access community programs. On average, P.R.O. Kids must raise $70,000 a year to place 1300 children in activities. A P.R.O. Kids Fundraising Committee is in place to execute annual fundraising initiatives. 

Verifying Family Financial Need:
One function of P.R.O. Kids is to ensure that the children being referred are indeed in situations of financial need. A verification system is in place. If a partner is uncomfortable with any of the referrals made through P.R.O. Kids, it is important for this to be brought to the attention of the P.R.O. Kids Coordinator for further analysis. P.R.O. Kids wants to ensure that only children in need of the service are placed in programs. 

Look under Publications for a downloadable PDF of the complete Partnership Terms & Process.  

Promoting the Partnership

PRO Kids Stamp 1

P.R.O. Kids has developed a graphic image called the "P.R.O. Kids Stamp", which can be included on advertisements. It identifies an organization as a P.R.O. Kids Supporter. Families recognize the stamp and will apply for those programs through P.R.O. Kids.

The stamp is available in blue and black and can be found under Publications.

FAQs

How do I become a partner?
Call P.R.O. Kids today at (807) 625-3212. With a brief telephone conversation and exchange of contact information, we can get the partnership underway.

How many people within the organization will have access to the names of children?
Names of children should be kept confidential. Only one or possibly two key people in each organization should have access to the P.R.O. Kids list. These people are often on the executive of the organization (e.g., Registrar or Treasurer).

Is there flexibility with the number of spaces that an organization can donate from one year to the next?
The P.R.O. Kids Coordinator contacts each organization prior to placing children. At this point, the option of increasing or reducing the number of spaces available is discussed. Sometimes the demand for the activity determines the number of spaces an organization will agree to accept. We attempt to be as flexible as possible.

When does P.R.O. Kids pay for spaces?
P.R.O. Kids will purchase a number of spaces equal to what the organization has donated. However, we cannot purchase in excess of the number of donated spaces. For example, if the organization donates two spaces and there are two applications for this activity, there is no cost to P.R.O. Kids. If four children apply for the activity and are approved by P.R.O. Kids, the organization may invoice for a maximum of the extra two spaces. As P.R.O. Kids must fundraise in order to pay for additional spaces in programs, we appreciate any discount the organization can afford to give.

What kind of recognition will our organization get?
P.R.O. Kids publishes three to four ads in The Key, Thunder Bay's Guide to Community Programs, identifying and thanking each P.R.O. Kids partner organization. Other ads may also be published in local newspapers. Additionally, there is partner recognition and linking provided on our website. All P.R.O. Kids partners are given a plaque and provided with an annual year bar in recognition of continued support.

How do the families find out that our organization is a P.R.O. Kids Partner?
People who need the service recognize the P.R.O. Kids stamp. Organizations are encouraged to use this stamp on their printed advertisements. It is provided to the organization in PDF format and can be found under Publications.