starting a non profit
Subscribe via: Email RSS

Remember being a kid?

Play dough game

Take a moment to sit back and close your eyes and remember what it was like to be a kid. You attended school; you probably walked there. You would come home and have a snack, and then you would run out and play. These are some of the best times and memories of childhood.

Chances are you have a little movie clip running through your mind — hopping on your bike, riding to the local playground and waiting to see who else might show up. Your movie clip may include going to a friend’s house and playing in their home or backyard. You might play kick-the-can, softball and other games; some would be physical while others might include make-believe play. Maybe you were a princess awaiting your handsome prince, or a brave pirate looking for treasure.

Your imagination took you too many special places. Aside from going to school, this is what you did– play! Play was your childhood work. And although you probably were not aware, this is where you built the foundation for your social, physical and cognitive skills. These are skills you use in everyday life.

All children learn from developmental learning and recreational hands-on-play. Hadley’s Park Projects encompass both parallel and cooperative play in a free and supervised environment. The ideas and visions of Hadley’s Park Projects have resulted in the development of theme-play playgrounds.

Often, a playground is considered as strictly physical. When the physical play is achieved, a structure’s limited appeal can lead to boredom. How can we add to the restrictions of physical play? Theme-play offers a creative challenge to the child’s imagination and encourages play for extended periods of time. Theme-play provides endless journeys of discovery and excitement. Think of what Disney did in creating a land from the imagination.

When children are given an “equal” playing field, they learn from each other through physical and cognitive growth. A child with a disability gains so much by playing with a typical able-bodied peer. What people don’t stop to think about is how the reverse is also important – to give able-bodied children a chance to interact with children with disabilities. Through this cooperative play, children learn at an early age that a young person with a disability is a child first, then a child with a disability second. Children see that people with disabilities have feelings and like to play, just like them. They learn to feel comfortable with people who have disabilities. Children who play together at Hadley’s Park learn empathy while learning to accept people for who they are at an early age. Hadley’s Park helps young people learn not to discriminate or be fearful of the disabled. It becomes a win-win situation and a teachable moment for all the participants.

I invite you to help your community and bring a fully inclusive playground to your area, follow along and I will show you the how to’s, all you need to do is get up and “go.” I’m challenging you! Does your community have a playground such as this? If not come on, what are you waiting for?

So you want to start a non profit 10 Things you will need to know.

start in scrabble lettersphoto credit: jake and lindsay

First let me say, “Congratulations for wanting to be the change in the world that makes it a better place.” Coming up with a dream is a wonderful thing but actually taking it to the next level and making that dream an organization is both exciting and a lot of work.

Today’s world is filled with paper work whether it be from your state, county, maybe even city and sometimes it feels like it takes weeks on end to go through all of it and at times it feels unnecessary but it is a task that must be completed. You need to make sure that you have covered your entire trail or something will come back to bite you in the end. So PLEASE, make sure you cover all of your bases. Ok, that is my little soap box lesson on “covering your bases” of paperwork. There is so much to starting a nonprofit so let’s just jump in and “go” there are dreams waiting…

1. You need to come up with a name for your organization and you will need to come up with a logo which describes to the world who you are.

2. You need to form a Board of Directors.

3. You will need to come up with a mission statement that explains in one clear sentence what it is you are trying to accomplish and why it is important.

4. You need to file all of you legal paperwork to form your organization.

5. You will need to file with the IRS to get a Tax Id number.

6. You will need to register with the Secretary of State of your organization as a business.

7. You need to open a bank account.

8. Join the professional organization which your organization will help. Start networking with people in that community.

9. You are going to have to come up with a budget for your project and find a way to “fund your dream.”

10. And last but definitely not least, you will need to find volunteers who believe in your mission because it takes a lot of man power to build a dream!

Each one of these is vital to starting and running a successful nonprofit organization. Over the next few months I will dedicate a post to each one of these and then some. I know this might sound like a lot but remember I did it and if I could do it, you can do it! *Cheering*

Although I am your biggest cheering section I would also like to say this information is based on my personal experience and it is my hope to be used to help you as a guide but not to be used in place of legal advice. If you have any questions at anytime feel free to drop me an email or leave it in the comment section.

Hold on to your dreams!

Stand up and Hold On To Your Dream
Maybe this is your moment
Stand up and Hold On To Your Dream
You know no one can take it
There is a path it’s always been yours
And you have the right of passage
Signed in blood and sealed in tears
Sending you a message
Across the miles and thru the years
Stand up (and be there) and Hold On To Your Dream
With some faith and conviction

and don’t forget to Dream!

dreamphoto credit: Melody Campbell

What’s your dream?