Week 4 experience

We’re halfway through the philanthropy course here in Week 4. This week, our instructors first asked us if we had called the non-profit organizations we needed to over the past week. Our “Healing HeARTs” group contacted Quantum House, Palm Beach Children’s, Miami Children’s, and Joe Dimaggio’s. So far, we haven’t had anyone call or contact us back, but hopefully they will soon!

A big chunk of the class this week was to learn more about how to choose the right organization to donate to. A guest speaker came in, Mr. Kohner, who is a Certified Public Accountant and helps people file for tax returns for a living. He gave us some samples of this year’s tax return files. The tax code (pretty much the tax “bible”) is something that everyone that files taxes must adhere to, and can you believe that the entire monstrous book has a total of 4 million words?

The main one was the IRS’ 990 form filled by non-profits. The 990 forms of non-profits can be easily reached by going on GuideStar.org or asking the organization for their forms from the prior year(s).These particular forms are made public and tell us everything we would need to possibly know about how the organizations are spending their monetary donations. I started looking for the forms, and found them all except for Palm Beach Children’s at St. Mary’s. Hmm, maybe I should just search it in a different name?

Oh, also, our first fundraiser, a garage sale, will happen from 9am-1pm on Sunday, March 9th at Sarah’s house. We have lots of cool items for sale and all profits will go to help our cause. So if you are interested in helping and attending, please contact her for more information.

Journalist: Week 3 experience

In week 3, we started getting more serious about what our group was and how to tell people about our efforts and the cause. We knew what we were going to introduce ourselves as: “Healing HeARTS.” However, this week we had to come up with a purpose, vision, AND mission statement! Phew! It takes normal organizations days to come up with a “slogan,” but my group came up with one nevertheless! There were those three statements, so let me present to you one of the statements, the vision statement, of the “Hospital and Medical Care” group:

“A world where families with children receiving long-term medical care have all the resources necessary.”

If you can’t figure out from this vision statement, our future outlook and goal is to help children in hospitals by bringing as much joy and happiness into their lives as we possibly can.

Also this week, we had to find a few nonprofit organizations to start the process of finding our donation “match” (who we are donating to). My group has a short list of some organizations we found, but we haven’t contacted any yet, as that will be done soon in the coming weeks.

Each of us in the group has to contact two organizations that we’ve found. Gosh, I’m scared/nervous. We can either choose from contacting by phone or email. I don’t know about everyone else, but I’ll be contacting by email. I find it easier to communicate online than by phone. (I usually don’t do a voicemail if no one picks up.) Thank goodness for the internet and email. 🙂

Hopefully, it will be easier for us to communicate these organizations when we tell them that we are interested in donating a large sum of money to help them out. Along with that, even though MSP is only a semester course I hope that our group can make a significant impact into our cause relating to children’s hospital care.

Week 2 experience

Week 2 started with everyone bringing in three items for our “paper bags.” These three things had to be meaningful and define who we are.

Baaaaaaaa!

I brought in some yarn, a sheep tape measure (pictured above), and a stuffed animal. The yarn was because I’m a knitter, the tape measure for sewing, and the stuffed animal because I adore toys. While the items in the brown paper bags had nothing to do with the philanthropy projects, the activity was done to learn more about our peers. Everybody shared what they had with their new groups. I was put into my first choice, Hospitals and Medical Care with Haley, Jenna, and Sarah. We did learn quite a bit about each other. Jenna and Haley love creative writing, while Sarah loves her tea!

After joining our groups and sharing some random interests, we learned about how much money each group had to raise ($300 at least). So by the end, each group would have $1000 at least and a little more. There were some examples in the MSP workbook, and my group team members and I all thought that publishing a small children’s book to sell (using some creative writing skills) and various little crafts, like bracelets and knitted toys to sell for our cause would be the best plan for us. It would also be incredibly fun! 🙂

Now we have to find some non-profit organizations that support our cause and contact them to see who we should donate to at the end of the program.

Week 1 experience

This week was the first week of starting a semester-long course by Main Street Philanthropy.

The first thing we did was find out what we were passionate about. At first, I had no idea what I wanted to do. So everyone was given a stack of about 20+ cards. Each card had a picture of a cause (Hunger, Housing, Education, etc.) and an explanation of what it was on the back. We had to pick three we were most passionate about- my three were (in order of highest to lowest) Hospitals and Medical Care, Hunger, and Informal Education. Next week, we’ll be put into groups by our interests. I can’t wait!

I never really thought I could help in a cause unless I had enough money to donate, but after our instructors explained what Philanthropy was it didn’t seem so far-reaching at all! It is absolutely possible to make a difference in the lives of others; you just need to put forward enough effort and you can bring other people to donate money to a needy cause.