Week 7

This week we didn’t have much time to do things because of the impending midterms and truckload of work. The 3 Natives day made $124, and the manager generously donated more to give us $300! Partnering with businesses is really a great way to help both your cause and your community. Now 3 Natives has even more Benjamin exposure and they have helped end hunger.

We have officially decided on Feeding Children Everywhere as our organization of choice. We really would like to start a Hunger Project at our school, which would be a way to have the most impact on the school community despite the fundraising and awareness limitations. If we can host the project at school in the gym, we can invite all the students and faculty to come help us. We raised $1,910 so far, and when Main Street Philanthropy matches it, this will let us package about 16,000 meals for the hungry. The best part is we can choose where to send the food, anywhere from local neighborhoods to Africa or South America.

Hopefully, we can continue to fundraise throughout the winter break. If so, we can probably boost our numbers even more. I’m looking forward to hearing from the mother-daughter philanthropist team this week!

Week 6

The panelists this week were very instructive and offered a lot of great information about nonprofits that I hadn’t known before. I was also surprised and pleased to see that they considered themselves all part of the same mission, improving the lives of people in their community and the world community.

Our group made great progress this week. Charlotte and I secured a deal with 3 Natives that will help promote their business while also fundraising money to help our cause. It was somewhat nerve wracking talking to the manager Anthony, but he was very eager to meet with Charlotte and quite generous. On Friday, December 5, from 3-5pm, all of 3 Natives’ profits from the Chronic Acai Bowl will go to our group! We are very excited about this development and hope that we can get as much support from the student body as possible. So we are going to make an announcement in assembly and put up flyers around the school to raise awareness of the event. Also, I have been asking some family friends for donations, and everyone is very eager to donate. It is quite opportune that this program falls around Thanksgiving, perhaps one of the most generous holidays. Everyone seems to be in the giving spirit.

Week 5

This week our group identified some organizations we wanted to come to the panel discussion and also analyzed their tax records. Giving each organization a score helped narrow down the choices. We contacted Feeding Children Everywhere, who said they will send a representative to the panel. I’m learning a lot about the inner workings of nonprofits and businesses in general, and I think it’s really interesting. The panel discussion will be helpful in showing us exactly what organizations stand for and how effectively they will spend our money. It also will give us the opportunity to learn more about how nonprofits function and what they do to raise awareness. This is a good idea too because we will get to interact with the non-profit professionals in person and develop our speaking skills. We also brainstormed fundraising techniques and thought of asking local businesses and restaurants to donate in some form, either one sum or a percentage of their profits from Benjamin students. I think this will be a great way to raise money, but I’m concerned that we won’t have enough time to raise a lot of money. Perhaps we should contact the businesses now to begin the process? I’m looking forward to the panel discussion and hope to get a chance to ask some questions about the organizations and their missions.

Week 4

This week in class we looked at a 990 tax form for Junior Achievement. I did not expect the forms to be so complicated, but as I analyzed it, I realized they aren’t that hard to understand. It’s important to look at an organization’s tax forms to really see how they are managing your donations and how they are putting them to use. When I researched Feeding Children Everywhere, I found that their total expenses for 2012 were $1,233,482 and their total revenue was $1,529,592, meaning they didn’t have debt. This also meant that their program ratio was 93%, which I think is a pretty high percentage of money going to the actual cause. Their total assets at the end of the year were $356,564. Also, their management ratio was 6.19% – they only paid their management $77,000 out of a $1,000,000+ revenue. Their fundraising ratio and cost to raise $1 were 0% and 0$, which means that they spend nothing to raise money. I guess they get donations through word of mouth. I thought it was strange that at the bottom of the form it said, “Executive director is married to a director in the organization.” That seemed a little random to me, but I guess it’s to provide full disclosure and discourage corruption.

Week 3

This week we shared our brown bag items in class. I brought in a paintbrush, violin rosin and a shell. The paintbrush represented my love of the arts, but I actually don’t paint (I draw). The rosin is used to make the bow move smoothly across the strings of the violin, and it symbolized my dedication to music, which I have been playing for 12 years. And the shell represented my love of nature and the beauty in everyday objects. I like the beach and wish I had more opportunities to go. It was interesting to see what mattered to other people in our class through their objects.
I only had the chance to talk to one organization, Feeding Children Everywhere, and the Project Coordinator, Jarrod Fucci, said that he would be happy to send over a representative to talk to our class. But I also hope to contact Dane Shorter at the Feed the Hungry Pantry at the Village Baptist Church, which is a local organization that provides 100 lbs of food for more than 1,000 families every month.
It is very important to have a mission statement so that the community can easily identify your objectives and priorities. Informing people is the first step in getting them to join your cause.

Week 2

This week we were assigned our groups, and I received hunger as my cause, along with Charlotte, Dylan, Taylor, Jordie, Logan, and Ali. I’m excited to be a part of this group and to find ways in which we can solve this problem. Hunger is such a huge issue in our community, but people at Benjamin don’t really acknowledge it. We’ve never gone to bed hungry, but 300,000 people in Palm Beach County alone do.

Some names Charlotte brainstormed for our team were: Hunger Helpers, Hunger Heroes, Hunger Healers, and Food Fighters.

Charlotte and I really like Feeding Children Everywhere, which is an organization that allows communities to come together to package food for the hungry. We were part of a hunger project at a leadership conference last year where we packaged 10,000 meals in 30 minutes with a group of 80 people. The organization allows you to send food wherever you would like, anywhere from Africa to South America to your own neighborhood. It was so easy and surprisingly fun that I felt we should try something similar here. This would help our community learn the importance of food and how much we can make an impact with our time.

I really hope we can change people’s lives and help them overcome their daily struggle against hunger.

Week 1

The first class of philanthropy was interesting, because I discovered the wide range of topics that pertain to charitable giving, some of which I had never really thought of before. The videos we watched were very inspiring to me because they showed the difference we can make in our world.

In the MAD card activity, I chose Hunger, Social Issues, and Arts & Culture. After asking my mom what she picked, I was not surprised to hear that all of her cards related to health, since she is a dermatologist. But it’s interesting that I have such different interests than my mother, considering how much influence she has had on my life.

During this course, I hope to gain a better understanding of giving back to the community and to really make a difference in people’s lives.

Philanthropy, to me, is the acting of helping others; that comes in many different forms. Giving money and time are just a few of the ways that you can influence your community. But just giving a compliment to someone or being friendly is also a form of philanthropy.  I think we can all try to be a little more generous to others, and this course will be a step toward making that possible.