Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Last week, while lecturing at EisnerAmper in New York, an executive asked me how my transition into this new life began. It started with a short blog in October 2008, I told him, just a few months after my surrender to Taft Federal Prison Camp.
Initially, I wrote blogs simply to remove the boredom associated with confinement. I just needed something to do. Within days of writing that first blog, however, I started receiving letters from all across the country. Those letters thanked me for providing a glimpse into the strange, austere world of federal prison. The feedback did more than make me feel good–it made me feel productive, alive. I knew then that I had found the ultimate win-win: I had found a way to make good use of my time in prison, while also giving back to society.
Upon my release, in August 2009, I launched my career as a speaker. Through Etika LLC, my speaking company, I strive to educate audiences on the perils associated with unethical behavior. I’ve traveled from coast to coast sharing my story. In the last week I’ve accepted invitations to speak at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, KPMG and Wells Fargo–KPMG and Wells Fargo have purchased copies of Ethics in Motion.
Adding to my workload is my role as executive director of the Michael G. Santos Foundation. Our goal, in short, is to help offenders and at risk youth lead productive, contributing lives. My days are spent fundraising, collaborating with organizations like the Boys & Girls Club, and of course enrolling prisoners into the reentry program.
Managing these efforts requires capacity, a team to ensure continuity, and sponsors. To that end I have written a sponsorship letter. In the coming weeks, I will be mailing this letter along with our literature to my network of supporters and other businesses in the community.
Questions about sponsorship can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call me! My cell is 818.424.2220.
Sponsorship letter for the Michael G. Santos Foundation:
My name is Justin Paperny, and as executive director of the Michael G. Santos Foundation (MGSF), I write with hopes that you (or company name) will sponsor us. We aspire to open partnerships with responsible citizens and hope you will join our efforts to build safer communities.
The MGSF, with support from The California Wellness Foundation, provides programs that prepare adult offenders for re-entry into society as law-abiding, contributing citizens. Further, it creates and offers programs to introduce strategies at-risk youth may embrace in pursuit of contributing and fulfilling lives as responsible citizens.
A crisis within our justice system has led to 2.3 million people being locked in confinement. The direct costs for operating such a system exceed $75 billion per year, with ancillary costs lifting expenditures much higher. Exacerbating the problem, high recidivism rates show that the cycle of failure perpetuates itself from one generation to the next. With your help, the MGSF can reduce such troubling trends in measurable ways.
In the days to come I will call you with hopes that you will grant me a meeting. I request such a meeting for the specific purpose of showing how your sponsorship of the MGSF can lead to value for your organization and our community. In advance of such a meeting, I enclose copies of Earning Freedom, Success! The Straight-A Guide and Prison!, My 8,344thDay as part of the literature the MGSF creates in furtherance on its mission. We would be honored to add (or company name) your name as a sponsor.
For more information, please visit www.MichaelSantos.org. The MGSF is a charitable organization designated as tax-exempt under IRS Code Section 501 ( c ) (3). Its federal tax ID is 27-1904346.