I find it very important to look at the numbers before making an investment, because we want to make sure that we know where our money goes, and if it will be used to help our community efficiently. Looking at the numbers allows us to really see how efficient some organizations are compared to others. Numbers really allow us to see which organizations are worth working with and which are not going to do a good job with our money.

Learning about Form 990 // Isabelle W

It was surprisingly interesting to learn about tax returns for these organizations. You usually hear parents, well adults in general, talk about how boring/annoying taxes are (of course, they are), but learning about how you can tell how long an organization will last if all funds were cut off was interesting

Our First Organization // Isabelle W

During the last meeting, my group, The Hunger Project, was actually able to get a hold of Lisa Kelley, Head of Programs and Communications, of Food Shed Alliance. After Yale introduced himself, MSP, and how interested we were in Food Shed Alliance, Lisa Kelley told us about Food Shed Alliance, what they do, their history, and tons more. It was refreshing to hear an adult actually take interest in what us “children” were doing, but of course it was mutual. As Lisa Kelley dove more into detail about FSA, I became more intrigued and soon after developed a legitimate attraction to the organization (it sounds weird I know, but that’s what happened). I can’t wait to talk to her in person at Panel #2 (01/02)!

week # 3 and 4

week 3:

This week we came together and created our mission statement. This activity help me to better understand what it is we want to accomplish and what cause we are trying to help. This exercise ill help me in our search for charities because I will be more capable of finding what charities align with our values as a group. This activity will also help me in calls with the charities that i find because i can now more clearly state what our goals are and better inform the charities we are contacting.

week 4:

It is important to look at the numbers before investing in a charity so we can better understand how the charity works and how efficient it is at giving money to the cause they support.when looking at a charities tax returns we can find key information that shows us how good of a charity they are. From the tax return we can find out how much money the company takes form their donations to pay for operations and salaries, this tells us where their true focus is and how much of the money we will donate will actually go to the cause. This will massively impact which charity we chose to support because if the money we donate does not end up going to the cause we support then will will not work with that charity.

Blog #3

 Last week, we learned how to take apart a 990 and to look at the numbers before making an investment because you can learn a lot from these numbers. We learned how to tell how stable an organization is, and other things, such as how much funding is being put towards the actual cause.  Being able to do this will definitely help us make decisions about which organization we will choose. I’m also very excited for the research calls, but I’m also expecting a lot surprise and doubt from the organization’s end, because as Yale mentioned last week, these organizations aren’t used to students choosing them.

What I learned and tax returns

A. Our group’s purpose is “to serve our community by promoting sustainable farming in urban areas”. Every time I read the purpose statement I think about farming in urban areas in New Jersey. I also think about ways to help around my community in general as well.

B. Tax returns are complicated. We all have to do this as some point when we’re adults. But once you know what to do you’ll be fine. The first time I did it (which was last Tuesday) it was hard, since there was so much information on one sheet of paper. At least I learned some new terms, like program expenses.

Can’t wait for tomorrow and the next steps.

Our Cause and Investments

During the last session, I had learned that there were quite a few organizations that had more or less aligned with our specific cause. During the class, we had called an organization and they had told us a bit about themselves, had showed a bit of interest Mainstreet Philanthropy, and could have been able to attend one of the panel classes. It is important to look at the numbers before making an investment because it’s important that you look at where the money goes. By looking at a tax return, it shows how much money is truly used for their specific cause. As a result, if you can see that they keep more money to themselves, then that specific organization is not a good investment and would be a waste of our time and money.

What I can expect :)

When meeting different organizations, I am hoping to meet amazing people who have the same purpose as my group and I do. I hope that my experiences with meeting these organizations affect me and others around me positively. Also, I wasn’t there at the last session due to stage crew, but hopefully I can catch up and know the Purpose, Vision and Mission Statements :).

What do you expect you’ll encounter when reaching out to organizations this week? // Isabelle W

When reaching out to organization this week, I expect some organizations to not even acknowledge us, some to push us to the side offering petty jobs/jobs that aren’t hands-on or impactful, some to eagerly jump on us but use us for more labor rather than for our passions, and the few that will eagerly want to work with us, side-by-side. My biggest fear when it comes to this is not a single organization sends us a message back, whether they’re expressing interest or declining our want to work with them, but overall, I still look forward to working side-by-side some of the biggest charities in my area of charity.

Describe your experience in creating your Purpose, Vision, and Mission Statements // Isabelle W

My experience in creating my group’s Purpose, Vision, and Mission Statements was more difficult than expected. It was hard to force myself to narrow down what I wanted to do and to really focus on the real core idea. The Purpose Statement was definitely the easiest, with Mission being the 2nd easiest, and Vision Statement being the hardest. I’m very happy with what we agreed upon because I believe it encompasses our purpose without adding any fluff.