Week 5: What’s Beyond the Numbers?

During the fifth week of Main Street Philanthropy, I am starting to learn that finding the charity in which our group wants to donate to is beyond the calculations found in the IRS 990 form. As we went over the calculations that we did last week, I understood that it is good to look at the quantitative data results to see how much money the organization makes and spends. But we also have to look at the qualitative data which tells us the quality of an organization. The best way to see the quality of an non-profit organization is by looking at the income of the CEO. If the CEO doesn’t receive a large income, you can assume that other workers get paid less. In my opinion, I find the qualitative data more useful just because you know where the organization money goes and what they are spending it on.

I am feeling that it’s difficult to evaluate non-profit organizations for a potential investment in our cause because you want to make sure you are donating to the best charity/organization around. By doing so, you have to make sure you thoroughly look at the IRS 990 form and calculate the numbers correctly so know whether the quantitative rating is good. I am looking forward for the board panel meeting and asking questions about The American Heart Association.

Week 4: Does It All Add Up?

When contacting The American Heart Association, I first called the main desk. The receptionist was very intrigued when I gave her a basic summary about Main Street Philanthropy. She was very curious about what we did. Unfortunately, she said she couldn’t help but she said the Youth Director would call me back. Luckily, Mr. Hansen previously gave me the Youth Director’s contact information so I emailed her. Autumn responded very quickly and she agreed to come to a board panel meeting. She was also interested in MSP and was wondering if I had any questions about organizations and how they worked. Just from contacting an organization I could tell that people were grateful in what we were doing and that they enjoyed their jobs tremendously.

It is important to look at the numbers before making an investment due to the fact that you need to know how much money the organization gets and how much they spend annually.  When looking at organizations tax returns, I learned whether it is a good organization to donate to by looking at the quantitative rating in our MSP journal and seeing the score it got.

Week 3: What’s Your Mission?

As we proceed further into our MSP journey, everything I have to say about this program are positive things! During Week 3 of Main Street Philanthropy, we got together in our groups and discussed our game-plan. I found it odd that I didn’t really think about how our group would achieve our mission to donate to a charity. Our MSP Ambassador; Mr. F, told us that our group had to make a Purpose, Vision and Mission statements and I thought this would be a simple task but it proved to be otherwise. Together we formed a purpose statement that really explains why our team exists: “To serve the community by promoting medical research.” This statement is so simple but it is straight to the point and pretty much sums up our groups main goal. After we created our purpose statement, our group had to make a vision statement which we had to state the impact/outcome that we want out of our initial goal. We had to write the statement individually but our group members vision statements were almost identical to each others. Our final step was to make a mission statement and in order to create it, we had to write out the steps so we can make our vision statement a reality! This was complicated since I didn’t really think about the steps it would take in order to donate to a charity.

I hope to encounter positive things while reaching out to organizations because it will help getting in contact with them so they could possibly come to the class for a board member panels. I hope to learn better social skills while talking on the phone to organizations because I am shy when talking to people with higher social positions.

Week 2: Who’s Got Team Spirit?

Week two of the Main Street Philanthropy journey was another success! In this session, we went over the previous week’s work and checked the History of Philanthropy quiz and I did pretty well. After all of that, our instructor; Mr. F, informed the class the groups that will be working with for the remaining of the 10 week journey. When we got into our groups, we discussed the 3 items that we placed in a bag that defined us as a person. Through this whole experience, I felt like I knew my group members more than I ever did since the school year has begun. I was struck with awe when I didn’t know my peers’ dream job, favorite college, or their favorite things and my group members reasoning behind each decision was thoroughly explained. During the second session, our group got assigned to the charities involving Health Research and Education. After we were aware about donating to charities involving Health Research and Education, our group had to decide what team name we wanted to have for the rest of the MSP program. We came up with the Disease Demolishers since this went hand in hand with Health Research and Education.

During the remainder of the class, our group had to decide on how we wanted to raise our minimum of $100 to donate to a charity. Of course we want to be able to achieve more than our minimum amount. We couldn’t really decide on what fundraiser we would like to do but most of the ones listed in the MSP handbook were pretty interesting. The Bake Sale, Car Wash, Garage Sale, and ‘Gather Loose Change’ were the ones that were more appealing to our group. I can’t wait for the next session so we can meet with our group and discuss other possible fundraising ideas!!!


Week 1: What’s Your Passion?

During the 1st week of my MSP experience, We were given a stack of cards and upon these cards were a  variety of topics which included things such as: Hunger, Animal Care, Health Research and Education, and Children and Youth Services etc. I predicted that choosing the Top 6 out of the stack of the multiple topics would be easy as pie but in reality it was really challenging. Even though I wish I could have chosen all of the topics, I chose the ‘MAD’ cards that suited my personal interests more than others. After choosing the Top 6 ‘MAD’ cards, we had to minimize them to the Top 3 which was the hardest decision during the class. During the 1st session of MSP, I learned what charities/organizations I would most likely donate to (I never really gave it a thought before) and I learned what interests me the most! I also learned that my fellow classmates chose some of the same cards as me and I learned the reasons behind their decisions which made me get to know them better. All in all, My first encounter with MSP was an amazing experience and I can’t wait for the other sessions.

In the Main Street Philanthropy Program, I hope to understand how charities work so I can donate to them in the future. I want to learn the preparation in takes in order to donate to a charity.