Savannah Logan

For week 4, I called and emailed three organizations that are centered around Autism. Some of them are kind of far away, in the Miami-Dade area, for example, so I am not sure if they will actually have the time to come into class. However, making the calls, I felt like we had taken the next step in accomplishing our goals.

I learned a lot about these organizations not only from their websites, but also from researching their Form 990s. For example, I noticed that one received significant grants and donations in 2012 and those covered much more than their expenses. I think it is important to look at the numbers on these forms before making an investment because they give us an idea of where our money would be going, if the organization truly is in need of the money, and how efficient the organization is with their funds.

Below are the organizations that I contacted and for which I found Form 990s.

autism society appbc pbsfa

Week 3

During this meeting, we were asked to come up with a final name for our team, a mission statement, a purpose, and a vision. Originally, I thouhgt it would be pretty easy to figure these things out. However, I realized that, first off, being creative was not that easy and, second, working with others to all agree on the same ideas is a bit hard. Personally, I knew that if I was in charge I wanted to create a mission statement, purpose, and vision based on bringing joy to people with disabilities. These people have to live in their respective conditions whereas another group may be more focused on making someone’s situation better overall. I really just wanted to create a fundraiser that gives the potential for mentally and physically challenged people to connect and have fun with non-challenged people. Then I hope to donate the money we raise to an organization that has similar goals.

As a group, though, settled on a purpose “to serve our community by changing the lives of those with special needs.” And our vision is “to create opportunities to integrate those with special needs and those without.” I think that by following these guidelines, our group is definitely on a good path.

When I reach out to organizations, I expect to probably get a lot of rejection or people that will not understand how a high school student will be able to act as a philanthropist. I also imagine that these phone calls may be a bit awkward. However, I am excited to do whatever it is that I can to make  difference in the lives of adults and children with special needs. Here’s a picture of me excited to call organizations…


Week 2

During this week’s class, I was put into the People with Physical and Mental Disabilities group with Trevor, Hannah, and Cole. We all shared out three items we brought to help describe ourselves. I learned that I had some things in common with my team members (like Hannah, Trevor and I like being outdoors, like sports, and have never moved houses). We didn’t really talk about why we chose this area of concern as one of our top three choices from the MAD cards, but I would have liked to have known what interest everyone has in the area. I do know, though, that we were all really motivated when we heard we would be doing our own fund raising. The minimum amount was $300 but agreed we would reach for $500, and Cole suggested that his mother’s company could match whatever amount we raise.
Anyway, talked a little about what we might do for our team’s fund raiser, but haven’t settled on anything yet. Hannah and I were thinking that a sort of Para-Lympics field day for the school would be fun. We would maybe $5 or so for participants and students could experience, for a little while, how different their lives could be. We could have wheelchair races, wheelchair basketball, seated volleyball, seated badmitten, and more! Some other ideas I had were selling T-Shirts, selling discount cards for local businesses and restaurants, or hosting a kareoke night. Another fund raiser that seems to work well at our school is charging $2 for students to be able to wear jeans or dressdown.
Overall, I am really excited about the next few weeks! I’m sure it will be a lot of work but I feel like it’s a great opportunity for us to leaders and sort of ambassadors within our community!

Week 1 Entry

For our first activity, my class and I were asked to look through a stack of cards, each with area of concern for the community, a picture, and a description on the back. These were called MAD Cards and the point was to gauge where our interests lie, as far as philanthropy goes.  There were several cards in the deck, some of the areas I had no idea were even considered areas of concern, such as culture preservation, but I quickly understood why these areas were important. My partner, Cole, selected 5 out of 6 different cards than I did. This showed me that different people view things differently than others, which seems to be a good thing in the Philanthropy world, otherwise everything would go to, for instance, Hunger and nothing to Historical Preservation. However, to me, people are the top concern. That is why, when asked to narrow my pile down to just three cards, the first two I chose were “People with Physical and Mental Disabilities” and “Children and Youth Services.” In doing this activity, I thought of all the different times I was fortunate enough to volunteer with either underprivileged, disabled, or foster children. I remembered how they all left some sort of impact on me and how each time I left, I was a little more appreciative of the things with which I was blessed. It always amazed me how these children could remain in such high spirits and how the littlest things, like playing with bubbles or a macaroni bracelet, could put smiles on their faces. Even from spending just a few hours with them, I don’t know how anyone wouldn’t want to give to them. For the last of my three cards, I chose “Emergency and Disaster Relief.” I chose this one because it brought back memories from when I was pretty young of one major flood and a few major hurricanes, and from seeing natural disasters all too often making news headlines on TV. These natural disasters bring devastating consequences and are simply unavoidable. The affect the poorest of the poor, the richest of the rich, and everyone in between. It’s almost as if it is by mere chance that you are or are not affected by them. Of course, hundreds if not thousands of people will come to aid the victims but those people need supplies and the means of doing so, as well.

Overall, I’m not quite sure what to expect from this course. The only association I’ve ever made with philanthropy was with the Greek fraternities and sororities at colleges. I wrote that I wanted to learn about finances and investments, become more aware of the less-fortunate’s situation, leadership skills, and what philanthropists do and how they make decisions. I guess I really just hope to experience something new and different.