From the Founder Volume 2! As I'll talk about later, I am enjoying this series. It allows me to reflect and look further into all our progress.
The Hedrick Project is now three months old, November is only a few days away, and somehow, 2023 is also. Here's what we've been up to, all of my fundraising struggles, and some of our plans.
1: The Shop
After an overwhelming response to the first installment of From the Founder, where I talked about the idea of launching our merchandise and apparel, The Shop is going to be here - soon.
My goal was to have it ready sometime in early 2023. However, It looks like it might even be sooner. I'm still deciding as to exactly which items we are going to print and carry; however, I'll share what I know for sure:
The Basic Tee
All black. It's the softest thing I've ever worn. I will not be taking it off.
Something with Long Sleeves
I want hoodies; however, I have been disappointed by the quality within our budget. We might print long sleeves to start as I continue on my journey to find the best hoodie.
Bracelets. I've custom-ordered our bracelets, and they will be coming in soon. Super excited about this, and I'm hoping it will develop into a partnership in the future.
Hats. My other point of contention. Problem 1: I don't wear hats. No idea really what I'm looking for here. Problem 2: Embroidery, screen printing, or patch? Patches look the best - but we don't have a logo that will look good on a patch. Embroidery and screen printing look similar, but I can't get excited about it. If you want a hat, email me; maybe that will get me more excited here.
The Shop has been a ton of fun to introduce. It's been bringing me back to my roots in high school, starting my first company building custom furniture. Figuring out shipping logistics, packaging, and designing a secondary website has been a lot of fun - I'm excited to share this all with you.
If you haven't signed up for our pre-release and filled out our survey for which items you might want, click here. It might be too late for our first drop to get your vote in, but we will have a second, third, and so on drops - I've got big plans.
2: The Pack
The Pack has always been there. It just finally got a website page.
The Pack is our community of leaders who fund all operations at The Hedrick Project. Beyond funding, we utilize our pack members as a second board for advising on all aspects of our operations.
The Pack members commit to multi-year investments, allowing THP to plan efficiently and sustainably for the future.
To keep it short, The Pack is full of brilliant people with the resources to pick up the tab on our work - one of those tabs being my salary.
To keep it blunt, The Pack has 0 members. The longevity of The Hedrick Project relies on filling up The Pack so that I can continue to do the work I am currently doing and expand down the road. This will be a focal point of my work for a very long time - actually, forever. We need money to operate, and I will always need mentorship and advice on adequately spending that money and managing a unique organization like THP.
I've been financing all operations since the start of THP, and while it has given me the ability to focus on literally everything else, it will have to end at some point. If you or anyone you know might be interested in Joining The Pack, click or send this link. It'll take you to an application, and we can get the ball rolling.
3: Junior Advisory Committee (JAC)
I'm excited about this one. JAC.
I have had many friends and family members that have reached out about getting involved more than just donating, but not quite at the level of The Pack or being a board member. Thus, JAC was born.
The Junior Advisory Committee is our community of emerging visionaries passionate about improving animal, human, and environmental life globally. JAC members look to assist The Hedrick Project with their forward-thinking knowledge, industry experience, and passion for our mission.
JAC members commit to Joining The Collective, Hosting an Annual Fundraiser, and Meeting Quarterly.
Like a board of directors, JAC will assist The Hedrick Project in developing ideas, executing projects, and doing anything our members want to do. My goal is to get a group of diverse individuals together and put their skillsets and passions to use. Some so many people love our mission but don't know how they can help monetarily; we just gave them the opportunity.
If you are interested in Joining JAC, click here. I'll be in contact, and we can set up a time to meet and answer questions.
4: Two Months Left
This one is kind of scary. I have a ton of work - specifically, fundraising- to hit our goals by 2023.
The Getting Started Campaign was launched a little over a month ago and has gotten around 22 donors total of about $6,000 in donations. Our goal is to raise $100,000 by 2023.
Now, before I go in my typical fashion and completely disregard any achievement and progress, let's take a second to recognize that. One month, $6,000, is pretty sweet, mainly because it came from one video and some word of mouth.
$100,000 is most likely not going to be hit. I'm not upset about it, and here's why.
I've shifted my goals and needs. After we launched The Getting Started Campaign, I took a second to recognize the power of media and how it would be more beneficial to shift gears a little bit at this stage.
Before The Getting Started Campaign, my goal was to have a ton of partners and to fundraise without creating much content. All funds raised would be from me picking up the phone and the pure power of will (is that a pun?).
Now, I've shifted that completely. As you saw in the first From the Founder, I will be gearing a lot of our future work to our home. Project NC. This will allow me to create more content - and, most importantly, get across who we are and what we do to partners, potential donors, and everyone else.
I still want to raise as much money as possible for our mission; however, my focus will be to create powerful media that will fundraise on our behalf - that is our mission, after all.
Now with all that said, I still have to fundraise for our expense and overhead account. $36,000 is what I want to raise by 2023. Nothing crazy. However, to me, fundraising isn't sexy. Telling stories of the lives we need to impact is, not convincing donors why they should donate so I can have a salary.
But it is still insanely important. In 2023, I'll be fundraising a lot more to expand - to hire. A lot of work needs to be done on the expense account, and if you or anyone you know might be interested in Joining The Pack and donating, please let me know. If you have any fundraising advice, I'm all ears as well.
5: Miscellaneous Progress
In addition, we've made some little progress on some miscellaneous items. First, Amazon Smile. What a fantastic tool Amazon has created to help nonprofits like us. For every eligible purchase, .05% is donated to THP. No questions asked; it doesn't cost you anything. You must click here to attach us to your account, and Amazon will do all the work.
Our Wishlist page is complete. Instead of a typical registry full of items, we created a wishlist with unique and more significant sweeping ideas on how people can help—office space, advertising and PR opportunities, and event space. Click here to check out our wishlist.
There we have it. Another month is complete, and another month older for THP. Every time I sit down to write something monthly, I am amazed at all of the progress we have made. It is entirely because of people like you.
Without all of the support, donations, insight, and mentorship, I do not know how I would be making any forward progress at all. Some days it feels like I am going backward, causing more problems than progress, but when I take the opportunity to reflect, the macro makes all of the struggles alright.
Thank you so much for reading - I'd try to sell our on The Pack or JAC right now, but I think you get the point. We'd love to have you join us; that's all I'll say :)