Week 8 – Morgan Denlinger

Our team, Capes for Kids, decided on donating all of our money that we raised to the organization Big Brothers Big Sisters. At the beginning of the class period, our team was still unsure about which organization we should donate to. It was between Children’s Hospital, Variety Children and Big Brothers Big Sisters. While we were discussing, we had to think about a ton of different things that set each organization apart from the others. We liked Children’s Hospital because of how much they do for all children and how their organization is so large and well-known and pretty volunteer based. Variety Children was another good organization that really gets personal with the kids they are helping out, as they focus on certain projects to improve the lives of the kids that cannot participate in regular activities that others can. We ended up choosing Big Brothers Big Sisters because it is an organization that is based locally and their aim is to help children that are struggling and do not have role models to look up to that will help them through tough times and make a connection with, hopefully a lifetime bond. I think that working with my group has been a great experience because we all give our input and we can hear different sides to the story and different opinions and reasons. We have not always agreed on what to do, but in the end we have learned to compromise by each giving our thoughts and trying to figure out what would have the best outcome.

Week 7 – Morgan Denlinger

At first, it was kind of difficult getting started because we were so unsure on every decision being made and we did not know what fundraiser we were going to do until a little bit ago, which is crucial considering that is how we are raiding all of our money.As we got more into it though, our team has unanimously agreed upon the candy fundraiser and it has been going really well. As we bring in more organizations, the choice gets harder to find out where we want to send our donations. There are so many that involve helping children, and we want to be sure that the organization we are sending it to is doing just that. I think it will take a little more discussion between our team members before anything is finalized, though.

Week 6 – Morgan Denlinger

It was a really cool experience to be able to talk to all of the different organizations that were able to come in and explain what they did. Each organization answered every question that was asked, so it was interesting to see how they all compared to each other and did different things for their specific cause. Our class had representatives from the American Legion, Variety Children’s Charity, Boys and Girls Club, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. The way that each representative showed genuine care towards their charity and the people they helped out was very inspiring. Each person wanted to make someone else’s life better and they are able to do that in such a simple way. When asked about their most memorable experiences with their organization, their answers showed how much they enjoyed being involved and helping others out as much as possible. The Big Brothers Big Sisters representative said something about how she enjoyed her other jobs, but when working for a non-profit organization, she was able to feel as if she was making a difference and i thought that was pretty cool. It kind of inspires me to become more involved in charities and helping others out.

Week 5 – Morgan Denlinger

In order to evaluate an investment in a company, there are two ways to analyze it, by quantitatively and qualitatively. I believe that both of the different types of analysis are important when considering an organization to donate to because you want to know what they do with the money and you want to know how their organization is run. For the quantitative analysis, you are making sure that the organization is using the money that is being donated well. By looking at their tax returns, you can view how they use their money and how much of in in each different section. If a majority of the money is going towards the program, rather than the management and fundraising, then that means the donations are being used for the correct purpose. For a qualitative analysis of an organization, you are looking for the sincerity of the organization. I think it is important that the employees and volunteers genuinely care about the cause they are raising money for. As our class gets further into the process, I am finding that it is not too hard to evaluate a non-profit organization for potential investments as long as you take the time to go over their tax returns and ask the right questions. It’s just a little time consuming, but it should be worth it in the end.

Week 4 – Morgan Denlinger

During this week, our teams were supposed to look up the 990 forms of possible organizations we were looking to donate to. These will tell us how much of the money actually goes towards the cause we are aiming for rather than other things associated with the organization. It wouldn’t be very beneficial to donate to an organization that uses the donated money to fundraise for their organization more than what they are making because they are not making the best business decisions. The organization I chose to look at the tax returns for was Big Brothers Big Sisters. I would consider them a good organization because their program ratio was about 78%  and the management ratio was about 16%, while the fundraising ration was 6.5%. Also, the cost to raise a dollar was only $0.07. The sustainability of the organization was about 8.4 months, which means the amount of time that the organization would be able to survive without donations and revenue.

Week 3 – Morgan Denlinger

When our groups were creating our statements, we all had to dig a little deeper and figure out what we were actually trying to accomplish through this program and the organizations we choose. Instead of having a very broad statement of helping children, we had to break it down and decide what kind of children and how old and things like that. We decided together that our team, Capes for Kids, has the purpose of serving our community by helping children. This brings us to our vision, improving the lives of children in our area. We want to help organizations that are doing things to help provide aid for children, like after school or medical care. It is important that we let others know what we are raising money for and that we are trying to help our community. When we end up reaching out to organizations this week, I think we will find out that any organization would be easy to talk to and they will be interested in what we are doing in class.

Week 2 – Morgan Denlinger

For the brown paper bag activity, we had to chose three things to bring in that represented who we are as people or what we enjoy in life. It kind of makes you think about what you do value in your life and as I thought of things I could bring to show, I would ask myself why I did value these things. I finally decided on bringing a mini volleyball, a candle and one of my doodle paintings. Throughout high school, I have been involved in volleyball and soccer and I have started so many new friendships with those teams. I brought a candle because they always calm me and each scent can set a different mood. It kind of goes with my paintings as well because when I paint or draw, it is sort of an escape and it calms me as well. My classmates all brought in a wide variety of objects as well. It was interesting to find out how involved some of them are with their sports as well, like golf, baseball, horse riding, and snowboarding. Also, a lot of people are in to some type of art, too, so that was pretty cool to find out. My team is focusing on the children organizations in need, so we decided that it might be kind of different if we held an Easter Egg Hunt around the same time as Easter and have a bake sale and everything so we could raise money to help those children. Because that is more of a one time thing, we might also choose to sell something else to raise money as well, such as candy or something.

Week 1 – Morgan Denlinger

The Make A Difference cards were kind of an eye opener to all of the categories in the world that may need further funding. There were cards from all ends, covering every possible issue. While I was choosing the cards, I realized that I was drawn more to the issues concerning people. It was difficult to be given cards on all of the issues and then told to choose your top six since all of them are important things happening currently. The process was interesting, though. My partner and I had a couple of the same cards in our top six, but when we had to narrow it down to only three, it was obvious as to where each person has a different belief and priorities. As we shared out our top three MAD cards in class, we were all able to see what topic had a place in each of our hearts. I hope to learn how to utilize opportunities available in order to help out the community and other organizations in need during the Main Street Philanthropy Program as well as getting more involved with them and my peers.