Morgan K.

“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.

The past two weeks have been about the promotion of the walk. I have successfully accomplished my list goals and then some. The places I added on were: Walmart, Ross, TJMaxx, Kmart, Staples, Carlisle Borough, Carlisle Hospital, and people’s mailboxes in the Carlisle area. This task was a lot different then I imagined. Staples, TJMaxx, Kmart, and Ross where the places that were a bit more challenging. Kmart was the only place, out of everyone that I went to, that wouldn’t take any pamphlets of posters. TJMaxx, Ross, and Staples couldn’t allow me to hang the posters up in the store or put the pamphlets at the counters because of rules within their organization, but they did take both the pamphlets and the posters to put in the lounge area in the back of the store for their employees. Each place that I went to was happy to help and thought the walk was a worthy cause. When I spoke to a customer service rep at Walmart they said that they couldn’t take the pamphlets and place them at the registers, but they told me to put them up at the Carlisle Community board located in the entrance of the building. The community board is where local organizations and individuals put information up so that people walking in can take a look. I was happy with the way Walmart “gives back to their community,” they didn’t shun away from my question and have found away to help people, in my similar situation, out unlike Kmart that didn’t even want to be apart or take any pamphlets for the employees. Walmart notified me that someone had given them pamphlets about the walk before I got there and they were in the back lounge. So even though the pamphlets are in employee’s lounges people still take a look. The Carlisle Borough is the place I feel most people will notice the pamphlets and posters. I live across the street from it and there are people walking in and out of the borough everyday. I was allowed to put pamphlets at the front desk of the borough and hang a poster in the back. And the last idea I had, of which I’m still not sure if it’s really legal, was putting pamphlets in people’s mailboxes. At first I thought this was a great idea, going to larger houses in Carlisle and putting pamphlets in, but I started to think about it in a legal manner and wasn’t sure so I didn’t continue with this process. Overall, I was happy with the process that I made and places that I went to.

The first place I went to I was really nervous. I printed out the “walker’s information packet” and read it thoroughly, so that in a case of a lot of questions I would know everything. I made sure I knew everything about Hope Station and the walk. I didn’t know how to present the walk or who to directly talk to, but I figured that speaking with people is something that I excel in and that I would be okay. The first place I went to was the Carlisle Borough; the woman was very nice and was excited to help. After that one I was fine with walking into any place. I kept all the pamphlets and posters in my car so if I went somewhere on an errand I would just bring it in with me, killing two birds with one stone. I was very excited to have this as my service learning project because it got me in the marketing zone, an area that I wish to be involved with next year.

On Tuesday’s class Ceciele Strand came into class discussing the women’s shelter. She said something in the beginning of class on how to get the word out about her organization. She handed around pamphlets and discussed the importants of that piece of paper. A pamphlet is one of the most important tools she uses to promote her organization. Her discussion really got me thinking about the Hope Station and the work that I was doing. I was thinking in the beginning of week three, do these promotional tools really work? I mean, I don’t get to see the outcome of what I was doing so I had no idea if even handing the pamphlets and posters really work. Mrs. Strand’s discussion assured me that what I was doing would help and it probably already has.

On Wednesday, March 22, 2006 I met with Mr. Jim Washington at 4:00 to discuss the progress that I have made with the walk sponsorship. The Monday prior to our meeting I had emailed all sorority and fraternity presidents explain who I am, what Hope Station is, and how they could help with the walk. I also put pamphlets in each president’s hub box to explain the details of the walk and donation directions. Because fraternities and sororities are in the middle of a semester I knew that the response was going to be low to the email, but I am planning to send out another email at the end of the semester, right before they have to send all extra money they have not spent back to their house board. Mr. Washington was very happy with my progress. He also gave me a “Walk Information Packet” from Highmark Blue Shield. The packet listed the types of responsibilities that the “team captain” was supposed to uphold, as well as helpful hints, sample memos and emails to sponsors, and ways to raise money at certain price brackets. This packet really helped me figure a lot more things out and the types of places that I should be focusing on.

I am a little nervous of the response that I received from the sororities and fraternities, but I think I am may be at a bit of an advantage. Because I was the treasurer of my sorority I know how the budget works inside and out. Most of the time dues are set at a higher price so that there is extra money incase something happens. For Kappa, all extra money left over is sent back to the “house board” if it wasn’t used, I am assuming this is what happens with all sororities and fraternities. I stated in my letter to them that if at the end of the year they wanted to send the money to Hope Station instead of the house board, they would be a benefit. I am in hopes that by the end of the year I can get at least 5 fraternities and sororities to help out.

Overall, Mr. Washington was happy with everything that I’ve been doing. I hope that the work I do for this project will benefit the organization. I haven’t yet gone around Carlisle asking people for money or to walk, but that is the focus for the weeks to come. My question of the week is: should I hand out the information sooner than later? If I hand it out to soon, will people forget; or if I hand it out (what I think is too late), will it be to later?

Next Page »