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  • Writer's pictureWill Hedrick

2022 in Review | From the Founder Vol. 4



As 2022 ends, it allows me to reflect on everything we are doing at The Hedrick Project. Even though our journey has been short-lived so far, there are plenty of things that I have learned in the position of running this organization.


We technically launched on July 22nd. That is when I filed our paperwork with our attorney to get incorporated and eventually file for our nonprofit 501c3 status. This 163-day period flew by, and we accomplished a lot.

 

Mission & Vision

Clarifying who we are and what we do has been a refreshing and eye-opening experience. Our mission is simple, better animal, human, and environmental life globally. How we do that is where we are unique as an organization.


Our model began to shape itself through deep reflection and hundreds of conversations.


The solution to our project's problems is already out there. Great organizations are doing better work than we ever could in the field. They know their skillset and are highly specialized in that.


We don't want to compete, nor do we think that is the most beneficial way to accomplish our mission. We changed how we looked at our mission and started planning.

We want to support organizations with our strengths. The best way to help them, raise awareness and funds. Thus, our mission was truly born. We are going to tell stories for our projects, raise funds and awareness, and send 100% of that money directly to those more capable of solving that problem than us.


Once we sat down and understood our job was to tell stories and accept donations, it was fresh air. We can continue with a strong and slim business model, support other nonprofits, and it would be a win-win - something truly mission-based.


People

The lifeline of everything we do is the people joining us. While I am waiting to announce some important, exciting, news behind the scene, we are actively recruiting and filling up our board of directors, filling a waitlist for our Young Professional Council, and filling The Pack full of operational donors.


We are excited to see others excited. THP is an organization for the world. We want to involve as many people as possible, hear as many opinions and voices as possible, and make the largest impact possible.


We have lots of work to do and lots of voices to hear from. If you are interested in joining us in any capacity, view our website's "Get Involved" tab for various ways you could join us.


Our First Partnerships

At the moment, we have seven partners distributed across seven different projects. Each of them has chosen to believe in what we are doing at THP, and their support has not gone unnoticed.


Choosing these organizations was a process in itself. Finding the right missions, filled with the right people who truly understand the power of working together for the common good, is precisely what we are looking for. I believe deeply in each and every organization we choose to support.

This has become paramount in any conversation we are having with potential partners. We have to believe in their cause and how they engage their mission, spend their money, and operate overall.


Media Production

As we discussed earlier, we have truly set our business model as a media company that raises awareness and funds through storytelling. We create projects with a mission in mind, raise funds for that mission, and give those funds to those who are more capable of solving that mission than we are.


However, my background in media production could be better. When I was in real estate, I knew that media production and building a personal brand was the key to success. However, I never spent days on end creating and strategizing on the best way to tell these stories that deserve the attention of our followers and soon-to-be followers.

I'm excited to see the various KPIs & statistics that show an enormous growth period in our media production efforts. However, there is a long road to go.

Fundraising

Between our philanthropy and operations account, we were coming up on $25,000 in donations for over five months we have been in business.


While this might be a little compared to the $100M organization, I'm satisfied. We have tons more to fundraise in 2023 - but more importantly, we are strategically thinking about how we will do that, not blindly throwing a number out in the air and crossing our fingers.


Technological Advancements

We have gotten a lot of compliments on our website. While it took plenty of sleepless nights, I'm happy with our progress there. It's easy to navigate, loads somewhat quickly, and is extremely protected and safe for donors.


While our website has peaked for my capabilities, we are working on the next steps and developing some new tech for our users to enjoy. Keep your eyes peeled for more.

 

What I've Learned

I could write a book on everything I learned in the first 163 days of running this organization. Instead, I will keep it short and sweet with a simple numbered list. Note: there will be plenty I'm going to miss. I'm limiting myself to ten.

  1. People are everything. No one succeeds alone.

  2. Media monetization is a unique business model. It can be very lucrative but can disappear at a moment's notice.

  3. The nonprofit community is filled with some of the best people I have ever met.

  4. Fundraising is harder than I ever thought.

  5. When talking to people about THP, everyone has a different approach to whatever question or problem I bring. Diversity has become extraordinarily eye-opening and valuable.

  6. My friends and family are more supportive than I would have ever imagined.

  7. Be patient while building your board of directors. The people you choose now will determine a lot.

  8. The Transparency Promise has been a selling point for a lot of donors.

  9. It is a lot more challenging to be constantly producing and creating media than I would have expected.

  10. In general, people want to help with our mission. Everyone has a way of getting involved.

 

Where We're Going in 2023

We are at a catalyst point in growth for The Hedrick Project. There are so many announcements I am excited to announce that are almost complete. From our Board of Directors to the Young Professional Committee to exciting new projects, 2023 has a lot in store.


The Board of Directors

The Board of Directors will be filled soon. We are waiting to announce some of the first positions we have filled and are deep in conversation about filling our other positions. I'm excited about the progress here - and I'm excited that others are excited to join us.


It is also incredibly humbling to be in a room full of people that are way smarter than me. Everyone has such intense experience and passion for what they do that I am very optimistic for the future of the organization and the group we are putting together to run it.


Young Professional Committee

As a young professional myself, this committee means a lot to me. We will recruit and get the best young professionals to join us in everything we do at THP.


If you are interested in learning more, join our waitlist, and I'll reach out to you personally.


Projects

Our biggest project yet will be launching soon, Project NC. We are finishing conversations with the initial organizations that will be the focus of this project. As soon as we are ready, we will hit the ground running.


Media

We will be amping up the quantity and quality of our media. I plan to expand our volunteer base and potentially make our first hires on the media side.


Media production is the lifeline for The Hedrick Project. We must tell stories that need to be heard and raise funds for organizations that deserve to be supported. We're excited to finalize our campaigns and marketing pushes for the year.

 

Looking back over just under half a year, I'm excited to look ahead at everything we can accomplish in 2023. While I know there will be bumps in the road, mistakes I make, and plenty of late nights and early mornings, I could not be more excited to enter a new year.


Making a switch professionally has been daunting, but choosing to start The Hedrick Project, has been one of the best decisions I have made in a long time.


We have tons of work to do, and I could not do it without you. Whether you are a donor, subscriber, board member, or friend, your support of The Hedrick Project and everything I do personally does not go unnoticed. We would not be in the position we are in as an organization, and I would not be where I am personally without you.


So, here is to an amazing first 163 days. Thank you for supporting me in the first steps of this journey - and here is to a fantastic year ahead.


- Will




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