Week 8 – Sara Hofmaier

Our team decided that we wanted to donate our money to Big Brothers Big Sisters. At first we had a lot of difficulty deciding because all the organizations were very good causes and we wanted to help them all. We then decided that the best way to decide on a cause would be to think about what our money would be doing. This made us want to choose a smaller organization because the money we raised wouldn’t make as much of a difference / impact for a big organization like children’s hospital. We felt that by donating to Big Brothers Big Sisters our money would be more helpful. We also took into consideration the financial standpoint of all the organizations (which were all very good). I think that our group has worked very well together and come to agreements fairly easily. We have had some disagreements but we resolved them easily by explain both viewpoints and listening to each other. I expect that next week we will all feel relief because we have finished our fundraising. I think it will also be very exciting because we will be able to see all the money we raised and know that we raised it and it will be helping our community. I will feel like I was able to make a difference in our community.  

Week 7 – Sara Hofmaier

Our group has realized that it is actually quite difficult to decide who to donate to. Every organization that came in to talk to us was worthy of receiving the money but it is difficult to decide who is the best. Originally we had made the decision that we would donate to Children’s Hospital but then when all the various leaders came in to speak we realized that there are many other deserving groups. We still haven’t fully come to a conclusion but hopefully will soon. We are now about a week into our fundraiser which is selling candy we had bought four boxes of candy with 40 dollar profit per box and have so far sold three of our four boxes. Selling candy was surprisingly easy I was expecting it to be difficult and that I would need to convince people to buy candy but people have been coming up to me asking for candy. We hope to do a fundraiser at BWW where 10 percent of the bill goes to our fundraiser if the customer mentions us. It is cool to see us actually making a profit in order to improve the lives of children in our community. I think that this process tends to be the opposite of what I expect – things that I think would be super hard end up being easy and the things that I think will be easy end up being hard. Overall it is amazing to see everything come together into one thing.

Week 6 – Sara Hofmaier

When discussing with the non-profit leaders I learned that they all care deeply about their organizations and all have good reasons for why they started working there. It surprised me when the variety children’s charity leader was talking about specific people that they are helping. I was shocked to hear that he knew the name of one lady that donates ten dollars every month. This was surprising because that is such a small amount and you wouldn’t think it really makes much of a difference for their charity but he still knew her name and appreciated her for her donation. Listening to them made me want to be involved in my community when I am an adult and be able to say that I helped make a difference in people’s lives. I really want the people in my community to think of me as an important person in improving the community. I am learning that selling candy is not as hard as I thought it would be and it is very cool to see our intake of profit which we will be able to donate to an organization.      

Week 5 Sara Hofmaier

Originally I thought that to be able to evaluate an investment in a company you had to be a financial advisor or someone with a similar education. It was shocking to learn that high school students like myself were capable of doing it. I liked looking at the quantitative rating because of its simplicity, with a quick glance you can make an easy judgment as to whether they are a good organization to donate to or if they will waste the money. I think that a quantitative analysis is good as well. In my opinion, I would look at the quantitative rating to quickly determine if they are generally a good organization financially, then if I determined they were a good organization I would look at the quantitative analysis to see a more in-depth/detailed description. I am finding that it is easy to evaluate non-profit organizations for a potential investment in their cause because I enjoy looking at numbers and determining if they all add up. I have always found analyzing documents fairly easy when we have done it in school. It was cool to see that all the organizations my group was considering donating to were good financially, it was reassuring that if we donate to them our money will be going to a good cause and will be spent on our cause instead of other expenses.

Week 4 – SaraHofmaier

The organization that I researched was Coalition for children, youth, and families. This is a organization for foster kids in our area. When doing a quantitative analysis of this group I learned that they are pretty good in the sense of money. Almost all of the money they spend goes towards the program. The management and fundraising expenses are both low. Their sustainability could be improved since it is only a little over seven months but it’s not horrible. It is important to look at the numbers before making an investment because you don’t want to invest in an organization that isn’t going to put the money towards their program or if the organization was going bankrupt you don’t want you money to be used to bail them out of debt, you want your money to actually help the cause you are putting it towards. Based off the numbers on Coalition for children, youth, and families they would be a good organization to donate to and our money would be put to good use.

Week 3 – Sara Hofmaier

This week our group worked to create our purpose, vision, and mission statement. We decided on our group name being capes for kids and also decided on donating to the children’s hospital. We are working towards choosing exactly what fundraisers we want to do and experimenting with different ideas over the weekend.Our purpose is to improve the lives of kids, while our vision is that kids won’t need to struggle with illnesses whether it is receiving quality care or finding a cure. Our final mission statement was that we want to help to improve children’s lives in our area. This is important because it provides our group with a specific goal. Generally when people are given a specific goal they tend to work harder than when given a generalized goal. Which is why I think we were told to come up with a direct / specific mission statement. I expect that most organizations we try to reach out to will be fairly easy to work with because we are trying to donate money to help them and they clearly already care about their cause and would most likely want help from others in the community to help achieve their goals.   

Week 2 – Sara Hofmaier

When participating in the brown paper bag activity I was surprised by how hard it was to think of objects. I never really had to think about what was the most important things in my life. First when I tried to come up with objects I had difficulty because every time I thought of an object I would think about if it was really a necessary part of my, for instance do I need this object to be happy in life. A lot of the cases I didn’t need it, I came to realize that the most important things in my life is my music / being able to play the flute and guitar and my animals – especially my horse. The third object was difficult to come up with I originally thought my family because that is what a lot of people say is the most important thing; but I didn’t pick my family because currently I don’t live with them or talk to them very often and I am more happy than I have been in a long time. Then I decided that my friends are probably the people in my life that represent my family and so my third object was my friends because to be happy everyone needs a support system of people, and mine is my friends. By seeing the objects that my classmates choose I was able to have insight into their lives and see what is most important to them. At the moment our team is thinking that our team fundraiser will be a Easter egg hunt at the elementary school where we will also be hosting a bake sale. We are hoping to get all the materials donated so that we can raise more money without having to spend it on materials.

Week 1-Sara Hofmaier

When using the make a difference cards I found it difficult to decide which ones I liked the most. All of the cards were great causes and all deserved help, therefore our choice wasn’t so much about which was most important to society but about which was most important to us. I honestly was surprised by the three I choose because I didn’t have to think about it I just automatically knew which three I was choosing. This was surprising to me because I had originally thought people just volunteered for worthy causes, but actually, they probably choose causes that have a personal meaning to them. I realized that the organizations we choose can actually reveal a small portion of ourselves. Within my choices, a stranger could see that I care about animals, children, and medicine. This made me realize that by seeing my classmates choices I can learn a little bit about them and some of the people who I knew a little bit more surprised me with their choices because I thought they would pick something else. It makes you wonder how many of them have a deeper meaning or untold story that goes along with the choices they made. I hope to learn more about the local organizations for those in need by participating in the Main Street Philanthropy Program. I also hope to learn more about my peers as we grow in this program throughout the trimester.