by Karen Carter
Today we at Infinite Hands Initiative approach the third year of operations and as Founder and President of a nonprofit organization the consistent day to day operations can be compared to that of a “hamster on its wheel.” Often it seems we’re going round and round daily repeating over and over again that which has been done last year. Meeting with shelter directors to present our nonprofit programs and explaining how Infinite Hands Initiative could accentuate their current programs. Making sure they hear the success stories of the women who are operating home businesses and their ability to become self-sufficient to the point of moving out of shelter life and into their own apartments or homes. The stories of children being provided new coats and gloves that enable them to attend school regularly during the winter and cut the number of day they are absent and lastly making sure these shelter directors have enough marketing materials to refer back to in hopes of influencing their decisions hopefully write our programs into their education grants.
I do it over and over again because I’m convinced that when we donate our time, efforts and talents towards helping someone else become better in life we are blessed beyond our imagination. When nonprofits begin they are largely started from a desire to improve a life in the community by providing a service to people in need. There are hundreds of surveys taken that offer a barrage of reasons to what causes a nonprofit to fail. A very large number point to accounting and monetary short falls, it is imperative that nonprofits remain accountable and transparent at all times. The reason accountability and transparency is required of nonprofits is simple honesty. Donors and funders need to know the money they give is going to serve the purpose and the people for which it was designated. While newly formed nonprofits are often faced with lack of funding for their programs there are creative ways to obtain funding in the community you serve.
Infinite Hands Initiative board member keep our overhead cost as low as we possibly can by seeking ways to cut all unnecessary spending. Operating as a “working board” means our board members do most if not all the work to be done. From creating our workshop modules, covering the costs of printing and paying for workbook creations, fundraising, volunteering, meetings, free webinar training and so much more. We understand in the beginning it’s about forming real relationships in the community we serve(donors, volunteers and shelters) and making sure the organizations that support us know they are the most exceptional organizations we could have and how very appreciative we are for their support.
This is our third year on the “hamster wheel” of operations but I can truly say there are people who have become a part of our mission that were not there in the beginning. So while fundraising, meetings with shelter directors and lettering writing, all are imperative to us staying in the race of community serve Infinite Hands Initiative is getting leaner (keeping overhead cost low) and gaining more community support (donations monetary and in-kind) to help us fulfill our mission and consistently provide the Entrepreneurial Workshops and Koats4Kids Programs in the community. It should not be strange that nonprofit leaders operate from the heart of a matter and struggle to maintain operations but when it is operated properly(honest and transparent) at some point the struggle gets easier as your funders and community realize you are sincere and determined to fulfill your mission. Infinite Hands Initiative mission is to solve unsolved problems using our innovative hands-on workshops that expose participants to the realities of operating a business and provide every child in a specific shelter with a new coat and gloves during the winter. In the process we’ve created innovative ways to operate a nonprofit implementing and using DIY methods.
Karen Carter, Founder and President
Infinite Hands Initiative