#FounderFriday We are officially a 501C3!

By LaunchPad

LaunchPad4Kids, Inc. is officially a 501 C3 and I have to say that it feels amazing! It has taken two years of discussing, planning, testing and collaborating to finally get to this point! It’s hard to believe it but we can actually move forward on the journey to crowd fund for good!

Since this is the first blog post of this kind, I’d like to explain why I will be writing #FounderFriday! Well first off, Friday is just a great day for writing about good things! Second I want to share our mission, goals, vision and progress with our supporters.  This will be an open diary of the journey in building a nonprofit together from the ground up. My goal is to share what we’ve learned, challenges we face, triumphs and accomplishments we make as an organization. I wanted to have a space to introduce all of the integral people that help LaunchPad accomplish our mission (and it does take a village)!

Surrounded by friends, family and community members in June of 2013, I unveiled the idea to begin a nonprofit project called LaunchPad. Our mission is to provide a way for one person to impact a child in need, by providing funds to an activity of a child’s choice.

 I had no idea how to run a non profit and frankly, I am still Launchpad 4 kids, inc.-2learning. I have a feeling that this learning curve will always be there, changing and evolving with time. I just wanted an easier, simplified way to get kids into activities to expose them to the benefits that come along with being involved in activities. Unveiling the idea was one of the most terrifying and invigorating parts of this journey so far, but the feedback and excitement I received was the spark I really needed to move forward!

The process of beginning a nonprofit has been both rewarding and challenging, to say the least. Experiencing my community do whatever they can to help our LaunchPad Kids has been the most validating aspect of it all!

Originally we began with nonprofit organizations referring children which eventually shifted to teachers and schools to ensure that each child was vetted properly for our program requirements.

With schools and teachers we found that we could create a process that could be replicated for every school and the potential to expand with this method would be greater and faster.

Although we’ve run into a few road blocks getting the program into schools at a quick rate, the teachers who are involved in the program are 100% behind the kids that they refer. They are their champions and that has been the most critical aspect of the program!

We found that teachers always wanted to do more but didn’t quite have the avenue to quickly and efficiently refer a child for activities they were interested in. We are still looking for the right avenue to give the program the expansion into nationwide schools that we are hoping to achieve. However, in the meantime, we have discovered that sponsors are more than willing to help these children in any way they can which is fantastic news all the way around.

The scholarships make such a difference for these families. Self-confidence is boosted, children are so proud of their accomplishments and parents do whatever it takes to get these children to their activities. Appreciation doesn’t even scratch the surface of what many of these parents express both in letters and phone conversations.

Check out our infographic to see what we’ve done over the last two years!

Ashlee Tate, M.A., is the Founder of LaunchPad 4 Kids, Inc.

Ashlee Tate, M.A., is the Founder of LaunchPad 4 Kids, Inc.

*These posts may not always be perfect but they will be from the heart! I hope you enjoy and please feel free to leave a comment, suggestion or question. Also don’t forget to sign up for our Rocket Fuel Newsletter!