WELCOME TO 2018!
I sent this out to my current clients a few weeks ago, but it has valuable information for anyone thinking of hiring us to help advocate. Enjoy!
First off, let us wish you a Happy New Year. 2018 promises to be a productive year for Nelson Advocacy and we want to start the year by announcing some changes. If growth is anything like 2017, it will be a roller coaster that will wildly benefit my clients, their families, and their education.
The primary announcement is that we are raising our rates effective February 1st, 2018. Our current $25 per hour fee is not sufficient to cover all the costs incurred running this business. We are sad to raise our rates, but also happy that it will enable us to offer our clients a higher level of service. There is also an added benefit to it detailed below.
In raising rates, we will also institute an hourly billing system. We previously tracked hours on a spreadsheet, which was not very effective. Now we have set up hourly tracking software and will be able to easily generate reports. The benefit to my clients is greater transparency and more accurate billing.
Another benefit is professional education. We spent most of our profits last year on continuing education to make Ray a better advocate. That paid off quickly for several of our clients. We will do more of that this year, which will directly benefit how well we can advocate for you going forward.
The third benefit is that starting February 1st, 2018, $5 for every hour we work will go into an advocacy scholarship fund. One of the things we noticed was that many people who need our services the most cannot afford them, and we cannot abide that. So now when we work we will also be setting aside money to help folks who do not have the means to hire us. Our clients are part of that, so you know hiring us is also helping another family who desperately needs help and can’t afford it. We will announce how it works once we get a minimum balance of $500 in the account, but it will have income qualification standards among other things.
Looking ahead, we may look at partnering with a non-profit this year to create a tax-deductible scholarship fund. We are also looking at ways to consult and advise local educators to help create better inclusion opportunities. Finally, we will be attending more vendor fairs this year and developing an “Education Advocacy 101” curriculum to help teach clients how to better advocate for themselves. If you have questions or suggestions feel free to email or call us. We are looking forward to a fabulous 2018!