Final Blog

Our course has come to a close, but the lessons learned throughout its duration have been life changing. As a group, we explored the true meaning of philanthropy and how to efficiently pursue our dreams of helping the community improve. Both the qualitative and quantitative analysis’ are necessary when organizing a philanthropic project. The lessons regarding how to correctly perform such activities have truly enabled many of us with the skills necessary to continue our interest in this field. Nevertheless, I think the most important lesson drawn from this course was that each and every one of us can make a positive impact on our community. You don’t have to be rich to help others improve themselves. With organization and determination, we can achieve great things. This was evident during the field trip. Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend, but my class mates told me that the organizations we donated to were extremely grateful for our contributions. The looks on some of the peoples’ faces were priceless. So, philanthropy no longer means to me what it did at the beginning of the course. I no longer believe that it solely regards monetary contributions. Philanthropy connects us to each other as humans. Through it, we build the foundation for a better world, one in which we willingly extend a hand to those who need one. Money may matter to a certain extent, but what really makes a difference is the idea that, as motivated individuals, we can come together to make a huge impact.

Week 4

Last week, our class mainly revolved around learning how to interpret and draw conclusions from a firm’s 990 form. At first I thought the form looked pretty intimidating, but Maite taught us how to approach it in a really engaging and fun way. Having taken and enjoyed an AP Economics course last year, I felt excited when we started working out the different calculations and gaining an idea of the firm’s efficiency. It reminded me very much of the different types of methods we had to use to complete certain problems in my course last year. Needless to say, I went ahead of the group in completing the rest of the calculations. I guess taxes aren’t so bad after all…..Anyway, Adopt-A-Family called me back over the weekend. Unfortunately, I missed their call. I contacted Chere Brodi, one of the organization’s main directors today. She said she’d be happy to visit our group to give us more information about Adopt-A-Family and its purpose. Tonight, I researched the organization’s 990 form and performed the various calculations. The numbers indicate that Adopt-A-Family has a very high program ratio, which is great. However, its sustainability came out to about 1.6 months, which is pretty low compared to Junior Achievement of San Diego. Then again, JA is probably more well established. This week, I hope to contribute my findings with my group and continue planning for our fundraising campaign.

Week 3

Adopt-A-Family Organization

 

Last week, my group worked on creating purpose, vision, and mission statements. At first we didn’t really know the difference between the three statements. However, during the class we quickly realized the differences and started combining ideas to reach a final version of each statement for our group. Our purpose statement read, “To serve our community by promoting a safe and stable family environment.” We settled on this statement since we aimed at conveying our purpose in a short, but concise manner. Our vision statement, “To establish a safe haven for families everywhere.”, focused more on portraying the ultimate goal of our Family Services group. After last week’s session, I began researching local organizations that concern Family Services. I managed to find several prominent organizations throughout Palm Beach County that represent many of my group’s own values and goals. I focused on concerns such as child care, family support, and basic needs. Of the organizations I identified, I decided to contact Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse (AVDA) and Adopt-A-Family. Both of these organizations operate in Palm Beach County. I’ll admit my first call was a little nerve wracking, but after finishing, I realized it really wasn’t that bad. I called AVDA first. The man I spoke to seemed a little confused, but he understood the main purpose of my call. He said that my request for someone to visit our class was too short notice for him to fulfill, but he transferred me to the voicemail of the woman in charge of managing school outreach. I left a message for her and asked her to return my call if she got the chance. My second call to Adopt-A-Family also led me to a transfer to voicemail. Again, I left a message simply stating the reason for my call. Hopefully I’ll get at least one call back over the next couple of days. I’m planning on contacting the two organizations via email tomorrow just to bolster my chances of getting a response. Overall I think the experience was good. It was uncomfortable at first, but by the time I finished my second call, I felt much more confident contacting organizations and individuals that I had never even spoken to before. I hope to develop this skill more in the future as well.

Week 2

I had a great time during this week’s session. I found our guest speaker very interesting. He offered a new perspective on collecting that I had never thought of. His emphasis on establishing an efficient strategy to any project, regardless of the size, applies directly to philanthropy. In order to allocate funds efficiently, you have to thoroughly plan out the process. This lesson was especially relevant considering that we had just split into different groups based on common interests. I’m really happy to be in the family services group. Out of everything in my life, I express the most gratitude for my family. Everyone should grow up within a supportive and caring family structure. Unfortunately, struggles within families are extremely prevalent and widespread. These problems affect everyone involved and can yield some disastrous outcomes. I hope my group and I can make an impact on this issue through this program. We haven’t decided yet on a single method for fundraising, but we hope to narrow down our ideas soon. I learned a lot about my group members during the paper bag exercise. It was cool realizing a different side of my classmates that I hadn’t recognized before. Overall, the session was really enjoyable and I learned some really valuable information. I’m looking forward to continuing next week.