Sun 7 May 2006
“A nonprofit organization is formed for the purpose of serving a public or mutual benefit other than the pursuit or accumulation of profits for owners or investors.” Hope Station of Carlisle instills this type of service everyday. There are a handful of benefits that this nonprofit provides its clients, volunteers, staff, and the community of Carlisle. The one point that was reiterated over and over again by the speakers this semester is, you have to love what you are doing, if you don’t enjoy the work, then find something knew. I truly believe that James Washington, executive director of Hope Station, and his staff love what they are doing. Running a nonprofit is a very challenging task, but to Washington and his team the outcome of all the work that is done is worth more than hardships that the organization faces.
“The Hope Station Council (comprised of area residents, business representatives, and concerned citizens) acts as a catalyst to improve the neighborhood by collaborating with existing entities, creating innovative opportunities, and fostering community development and a higher quality of life.” The promotional work I did for Hope Station and the June walk reflects back to the people of Carlisle. The Station provides human service programs to the community, and the money that I hopefully raised for the organization will go back to the people in need. It’s a wonderful feeling to drive by the station and see a bunch of children running around the playground, laughing and having fun. Every dollar given to a nonprofit goes back to the community; a person’s environment create the individuals of the future. Hope Station provides families of Carlisle the opportunity for a positive future.
The different topics we discussed over the source of the semester, leadership, strategic management, financial management, inter-organizational collaboration, marketing, and accounting and evaluation, gave me a better understanding of the types of situations that Hope Station goes through on a day-to-day basis. Each week I was able to find a connection between the topics, Hope Station, and nonprofits in general. After researching and presenting about the nonprofits in the Carlisle area it was astounding to see how many people in the area want to help out their own community. It was amazing to see how majority of the community wanted to be involved with my project. But in the end I’ve realized that it all comes back to the mission of the nonprofit. For a nonprofit to remain successful it has to understand why they started the organization in the first place. The mission lays out the entire structure of the nonprofit; the mission is the first thing you start with to run an organization and the last thing you look at when making any decision. The mission is the organization; it’s the responsibility of the executive directors, board, and the staff to understand the mission and the reason they are with the nonprofit. Overall, this class has given me the opportunity to see hands on and off how a nonprofit truly works. There are pluses and minuses to any organization, profit and nonprofit, but in the end it’s all about the people working within the organization that make the company who they are and what they will become.