What does your organization do? What is its mission?
Untold Story Project is a non-profit organization that targets the homeless community through our approach to give them necessities of life; such as, nourishment, clothing, and shelter in exchange of their story. In this return, by expressing themselves it will make them feel empowered as well as accepted. This is important because homeless people are invisible to the world and are overlooked by society. Untold Story Project’s goals are to encourage the homeless population by increasing their interpersonal communication, social life, and render hope for a better future. By contributing to the homeless it will change their ultimate hope for a better life.
Mission: Untold Story Project is a non-profit organization that supports the needs of the homeless community. Its mission is to give life supporting necessities; such as, nourishment, clothing, and shelter in exchange for sharing their untold story.
Why did you start this organization?
One morning after work I decided that I wanted to go long boarding in downtown Phoenix. As I was long boarding, I saw many homeless people on the street. As I kept passing each and every homeless person, I thought, “if I was homeless what would I want: breakfast.” I then decided to go to McDonald’s to buy breakfast. I bought five sausage McMuffins, five sausage burritos, five hash browns and four coffees. With the food in my hand, I long boarded around downtown to feed the homeless for an exchange of their story.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced in starting your nonprofit, and how did you deal with them?
The biggest challenges that I have faced while starting our nonprofit was the lack of experience. To be honest, I had no idea what I was doing at all. I was going with the motion. What helped me deal with my challenge was researching about nonprofits and how to start one. Prior to starting the nonprofit I had no idea what a Board of Directors was or what nonprofits actually stand for.
I then gathered four other board members to help me get Untold Story Project off the ground and now we have our Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and Employee Identification Number. At this point in time, we are completing our 501c3, so we can start accepting donations.
What advice do you have for students looking to start nonprofit organizations for their own?
To have a successful nonprofit you have to have an outstanding board of directors. Find a group of hard working people; who may include, friends, co-workers, or classmates. Your appointed board has to be dedicated and willing to put in long hours and time.
Since most college students won’t have starting funds it is in your best interest to find pro-bono workers. Some workers may include a lawyer, an accountant, or a business consultant.
There will be rough roads through the process of founding a non-profit organization, but do not give up when life gets hard; strive to excel and try your best to succeed your goals to the fullest.