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Accessing Money for a Business that Helps

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Accessing Money for a Business that Helps

Postby Warpigs » Tue Nov 16, 2004 3:43 pm

A little off the fantasy football map, but then again, that's what this section is for, I guess.

I have plans to start what I call a STOP program -- or Synergy Therapeutic Outdoor Program -- for troubled youth. I've worked in a number of settings with troubled teens for a while now. I also have run a number of week-long leadership development courses for the local Boy Scout Council. I noticed that our week-long course can be a very powerful experience -- usually with people in tears by the the time week's over and it's time to go home. That's with kids who aren't going through a boatload of issues, etc.

So, I developed an extensive outdoor program to help youth in placement and foster homes work through their issues using the common theme of Teamwork. All 24 youth in the program (ages nine-18) will be split into four teams of six, and then will be challenged as a team throughout the course. I have extensive knowledge of placement in Pennsylvania and of youth programs. I've put a lot of research into therapeutic horseback riding mixed with troubled youth -- something called Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. That will be a major part of the course. I also have plans to add an extensive ropes course. The whole idea is to get six youth who don't know each other to metamorphasize into a well-oiled team/family in a three week period. If they can pull together to get through the odds in this type of atmosphere, we can translate that into being successful in their home environments (using everything from comparing horse herd dynamics to street gang dynamics, etc.)

Anyway, the frustrating thing is that I have this great idea, the plan is already written and I have a number of people who are gung-ho about helping staff something like this -- my biggest hurdle is the business end -- the money. My goal would be to run it as a non-profit where we wouldn't have to charge the kids or their families anything. We could hold benefit golf tournaments, hunters clay shoots, etc. I was even thinking about writing to major sports figures and seeing if I got any response.

Does anyone know of any other ways to access money to start a huge project like this? The startup costs will be high, and I want to make sure we pay staff well so we don't have a high turnover. I know there's got to be some avenues out there for something big like this.

Anyway, figured I'd throw this all out there. I debated whether or not to post it since it's so off-kilter compared to the stuff we normally talk about -- but I guess the worst that will happen is that the WebHamster will come scurrying.
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Postby Chopper » Tue Nov 16, 2004 11:08 pm

I'm sure you've already spent plenty of time fishing the web, but I learned quite a bit from the sites on the first three google pages when I searched on:

non-profit start-up money

There aren't a whole lot of people standing around waiting to hand over their money.
But, it sounds like if you're well-prepared with a solid business plan, there's money to be had.
Good luck.
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Postby Buckychudd » Tue Nov 16, 2004 11:37 pm

Try the United Way.....they give out all kinds of grants and funding for local charities.

You should also try to apply for some other grants etc. All kinds of help out there for things like this.
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Postby Tyr » Wed Nov 17, 2004 2:22 am

Some states and cities put a lot of budget money towards non-profit programs. Depending on where you're located, especially in high crime areas like Rochester, Harlem, Boston, and anywhere with sports in Philly (haha.. }:-) ) I'd suggest starting out at your town hall, and trying to get in touch and firing off letters to your various city and state representatives (Mayor, Governer, Senator, Reps, etc). They're the most likely to listen - especially if you're active in local government, or well respected in the community.

I'd also suggest pitching your idea at local libraries, youth centers, and elementary/middle/high schools. These locations would provide great locales to collect the support of your local community - parents and children alike - and the people in charge of those locations should all be well placed to help you find out about lesser known local grants and state programs that can bring you some start-up capital.

Good luck, and if you need any help gathering information or with your program, feel free to private message me.
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