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  • Writer's pictureWill Hedrick

From the Founder | Vol. 1


Introduction

Hello everyone! First off, I want to thank you if you are reading this. I technically started THP on July 22nd, and in 2.5 months, I am blown away by our progress and the outpour of support we have had.


Today, I'll go through what we have been up to, where we're going, and some of my experiences along the way.


 

What I've Been Up To

 

Laying a Solid Foundation

Over the last few months, it has been a ton of learning and laying a firm base for us to operate on in the future. We have been creating and establishing processes in hopes that we will make the right decisions when we expand to our first employees and volunteers.


I'm amazed at how complex a seemingly simple business model can be. We raise money, and the money goes to our partners, 100% of it. However, there is so much that we do to create an excellent donor experience from a marketing aspect, the creation of media, accounting and distributing of funds, and so on; the list gets extensive.


Everyone that has donated, pledged a donation, or interacted with us in any way has been beyond supportive as we figure out the bugs and issues along the way. We attempt to automate mundane processes like adding people to our email list and sorting them into the correct groups. Then I actively interact with our audience to make them feel welcome, heard, and assure that they are thanked. We need to do plenty more within our donor experience pipeline, but I think we have a solid base for now. At least we can focus on what is ahead instead of putting out technical fires left and right.

My Struggles

Similar to figuring out all of our technical constraints, bugs, or issues, I have had plenty of struggles during our first 2.5 months in operation.


First, of course - fundraising. I'm satisfied with our progress towards our $100,000 goal for 2023. Even though we are behind the pace, I have learned a ton about fundraising and our future strategies on how we will raise money and the goals (or lack of goals) we will be setting.

Even though that all sounded positive, it is a struggle to ask people for money. I never had any investments or shareholders with my two previous companies - they were all self-funded. While our overhead account is funded that way so far, our philanthropic account can't grow in that way. I have to fundraise and ask others for money.


It is a muscle - something you have to practice over and over. I'm learning and getting better. With that being said... click here to donate.


Outside of fundraising, my other struggle has been more extensive scale. I tend to focus too much on the big picture. I slightly roll my eyes when I type that because I am such a big-picture person. That's all that matters. However, being so young, THP needs some time to mature and learn what we will do, what will work, and who we will become. I'm impatient - that's the real problem here.


Meeting Great Minds

I have also been lucky to meet some of the best executive directors, founders, and CEOs that run Charlotte's most respected nonprofits. Trees Charlotte, Sustain Charlotte, and Catawba Land Conservancy are a few. I have so much to learn; asking these experienced executives questions has been excellent. As I mentioned earlier, this seemingly straightforward business has a lot of complex elements within it that I have never had any experience with before. Volunteers, board members, annual reports, form 990, and that list goes on. I can't thank them enough for giving me a glimpse into their lives and work. I hope to keep up with all of these extraordinary organizations - and that is an excellent segway into what our plans are.


 

The Near Future

 

Project NC

I don't have a timeline yet, and I usually keep plans to myself; however, I guess there's no need for that.

The big thing coming up is Project NC. We're bringing our mission home.


Project NC will be our first big project and most likely a focus of mine for the next few years. We'll partner with the best organizations in the state to improve the animal, human, and environmental life of the place I have called home forever. This beautiful state has given me everything I have, and I am excited to be finally working on a project to give back.


More news on Project NC will be to come.

The Shop

When are you going to make t-shirts? Will there be merch soon? I want a hoodie whenever those come out. Maybe a long sleeve shirt or a crewneck sweatshirt? What about hats?


Yes. A shop will be opening. We're going to operate on a pre-order system. It takes a little more time for everyone, but I can handle the logistics much easier, and then I don't have to stare at boxes of extra T-shirts sitting in the corner of my room.


I plan to launch a landing page to see what products people want and allow people to register for their products. If you want to be the first to know, go ahead and subscribe to our newsletter - I'll most likely mention the drop there first.


Expansion

I need some extra hands. I will push hard on our volunteer positions to spend a little more time fundraising and producing media. If anyone is interested in our social media position - that is one that I am looking to fill first.

I am also looking for volunteer help on our software/website. I want to beef up our website, make our donation process easier for our donors, and create a more interactive fundraising dashboard.


 

Closing

There is From the Founder Volume 1. I'm hoping to release these updates monthly. I want to keep our followers, supporters, donors, and soon-to-be-donors, up to date on everything we do. I hope this will become an informal board meeting for the public to engage with everything we do.

Thank you for reading and supporting.


Your friend,


Will






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