If You Could Make Your Own Non-Profit (Mug-spiration Monday)

Monday, May 23, 2016

This past weekend, my mama and I had a long-overdue date. There was an antique fair in Cowpens, so I headed over there first. The antique fair was really cute and if I had more money and room in my house, I could have easily walked away with several awesome furniture pieces!

But where we went after the antique fair was the most unique and intriguing part of the day. I've never seen anything quite like it and it got me thinking.



Brown Roof Thrift Store

Our next stop was the Brown Roof Thrift Store in Spartanburg, SC. Mama had been in the day before and knew I would love it! The atmosphere was really cool. At the entrance, there was wall art made out of painted corks from wine bottles. The signs for the clothes were made out of wood and the prices were listed in chalk.The best part though, was the coffee shop on one side of the store.

The coffee shop was adorable. It had an upscale, urban feel, just like you would expect from a hipster-y, stand-alone coffee shop. There was plenty of seating, and despite the fact that it's located in a thrift store, there were people sitting down talking or on laptops. And it's no wonder, because it definitely had a great vibe!

I also asked the barista a few questions and loved what I learned!

Their coffee comes from three different roasteries. One came locally from Spartanburg, another came from Charleston, and though I cannot remember where the third roastery was, I know it was at least as close as Charleston. Since I love supporting local roasteries, I thought this was awesome.
Plus, the barista told me that the thrift store and coffee shop are a non-profit that supports five other local non-profits. How cool is that?! A non-profit that makes money to support other local non-profits!

What Would I Do? What Would You Do?

I was really impressed with the Brown Roof, and that got me thinking: If I could run a non-profit, what would I do? What would it be like, and what would it support?

I think I would really enjoy creating a bookstore/coffee shop hybrid. I would want to carry a variety of books, including educational resources. I would want to have a large enough sitting area in the coffee shop that anyone (particularly people who need to escape an unsafe after-school situation) could come and study and be safe. This would be a tough non-profit, because books (in print) are not valued as much as they used to be. However, the coffee shop/bookstore model is really cool, and when done right, can be a wonderful thing.
I would want the proceeds to go towards feeding and rehabilitating the homeless population.

Of course, this is all hypothetical. At this point in my life, I don't see myself starting my own non-profit. But who knows? That could change. And regardless, thinking through this hypothetical is actually very beneficial, because it shows us more about ourselves. It reveals what we are passionate about and it reveals who we are most concerned with helping.

And we can help. We may not be able to start our own non-profits, but we can take steps to help those around us who are in need.

I have a project I'm working on that I will be posting about in the next week or so that has to do with just that!

So what about you? If you could start your own non-profit, what would it be? Who would it help? And, even if you cannot start your own non-profit, what can you do right now to aid those people you'd like to help?

21 comments

  1. My husband and I were just talking about how fun it would be to run a bookstore/cafe this weekend. He would run the bookstore and I could bake. As far as non-profit goes, I've always wanted to be a missionary so I would do that.

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    1. That's awesome, Brittany! My hubby and I have said the same thing before!

      Where do you want to be a missionary?

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  2. I would want an after school crafting center for kids. Where I could help them get inspired to be creative :)

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  3. This sounds so cool! I'd love to put a non-profit together but it seems like a lot of work!

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    1. It does feel pretty daunting, doesn't it?

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  4. I think it's important to see where the needs are in the community where you live. Of course, homeless are everywhere. I like the fact that the place you visited is supporting several non-profits already in existence. No point in re-inventing the wheel.

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    1. I agree. I thought it was very cool that they did that!
      And it is very good to look at the needs in the community and go from there, but we also have to be aware that the need isn't always the call. There are some things that I am not well equipped for, that someone else is (and vice versa).

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  5. For whatever reason, I am really interested in working with parolees or people who are in jail. I've been interested in prison ministries, but any program, including gardening or an upcycling program, I would love to be apart of. If I had a non-profit outside of prison, I would either have a permaculture based farm where the parolees come to work and they learn all the skills throughout a 12 month program and whatever money they made from their sales would help start their new life or an upcycling shop, where basically the same thing- they get to learn all these skills in maybe a six month program and they save the money to start their new life.

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    1. I am totally in love with that idea, Kayla! I hope you end up doing that! I love the idea of a permaculture farm where the parolees learn the skills! That's amazing!

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  6. I work for a non-profit agency, and it is so rewarding to help people who are in need. I think it's truly admirable that there are people out there who develop non-profit agencies, and if you have the ability to help others, I always encourage people to volunteer. Great post!

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    1. That's so cool, Cara! I didn't realize that! I'm sure your job is very rewarding! I need to do more volunteering!

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  7. Two years ago, my extended family and friends put together a fundraiser to purchase an insulin pump for my diabetic spark plug. It was amazing, humbling, and inspiring. My goal is to someday start a non-profit called "Pump It Forward," where we could purchase insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitors, and needed diabetes supplies for families who cannot afford them (even with good insurance now, we pay hundreds a month in supplies). I don't know the first thing about non-profits or how to run them, but this is my long-term ministry goal!

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    1. That is a great idea! All of my husband's family have diabetes, so I definitely see how that could be a very vital ministry!

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  8. This is such a great read. My husband and I have spoken about this a lot and our hearts are in feeding others and offering an equitable distribution of wealth and knowledge.

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    1. I really want to be able to help with feeding people too!

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  9. I love this!! I would want to have a non-profit for girls and women pursuing careers in engineering. I would want to provide services to help girls navigate high school and college where most of the students in their classes are male. Then continue on to provide mentorship for those women once they enter the workforce. I know it would have made my time so far much more easier if I knew where to go for these resources.

    - Anali

    http://www.thenuevalatina.com/

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    1. Wow! That's awesome! I bet that would be a very appreciated program!

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  10. I've always wanted to run a bookstore too. My non-profit would be something that focused on education. I would want to help those who struggle in school.

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    1. That is an awesome idea! I hope you are able to do that one day!

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  11. Interesting question. I'd have to think about that. Love your ideas.

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