September 2011

by Jule' Colvin on June 20, 2012

Welcome to this month’s GrantPathways’ newsletter. Each month we endeavor through this newsletter to provide you with valuable information to help you grow and improve your non-profit organization, stay up-to-date on what is happening in the non-profit industry and learn how other non-profits are building their agency’s capacity and gaining greater financial stability. I hope you enjoy this edition of GrantPathways’ newsletter. As always, your comments are welcomed.

Non-Profit Know How

Surprise! It’s September already! As we head into the last quarter of the calendar year we often find ourselves scurrying to meet this year’s annual goals on time while also beginning to plan for next year. It is, as it was when we were children starting a new school year, a time of new beginnings and preparation for the future. Here are a 5 key points to ponder as you are reflecting.

  • If you didn’t meet your goals for this year, have you identified the reasons? Remember the saying “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you always got.” While you can think of some reasons on your own, be sure to involve your staff, volunteers and board in the process. Consider conducting a brainstorming session for this or simply send out an email asking for input.
  • After you have identified the culprits and, no, I am not referring solely to your least favorite co-workers, but also to situations and events, use this list to develop your plans to address and overcome as many of these obstacles as possible for the next year. If you find yourself overwhelmed by the number of obstacles to overcome – prioritize in order of importance and determine to do the best you can do!
  • Write down your biggest accomplishments/successes for the year. Ask yourself/your staff what were the key components to this success. Can you transfer some of these components to other areas you are working in? For example, if one of your key successes involved partnering with a certain agency or business, how can you use that collaboration or the principles of that collaboration for other endeavors?
  • Ask yourself what you can do in the next year to set your agency apart to donors and funders. Can you increase the number of people you serve? Can you develop a new and unique component to your services? How can you better report your success stories? Think outside the box!

If you do not have a strategic plan for your agency – this is the time to write one for the next year! Using a facilitator like GrantPathways will really help you to focus your efforts. We not only facilitate your meetings, but also write the plan for you after the meetings!

Featured Client

My favorite sport is basketball. I think it is the sport of all sports! It requires tremendous team work, fast thinking, agility, stamina, strategy….I just love it! So, naturally, I jumped (pun intended) at the opportunity to work with a new local non-profit that uses basketball to teach inner city youth about how they can attain the American Dream. Through a Technical Assistance grant from the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, GrantPathways is helping the Hiphop Basketball Foundation to go to the next level as a professional non-profit. We are working with the organization to develop a 3 Year Strategic Plan, policies and procedures, greater financial accountability, volunteer management, board training and grant prospects. Read on to learn more about this exciting organization!

The Hiphop Basketball Foundation (HHBF), a faith-based organization founded in 2010 , is a truly unique program in Hillsborough County that is changing the lives of young boys ages 8 through 14 and low to moderate income urban teens, individuals and families. HHBF’s mission is to promote entrepreneurship, wealth creation and the American dream in urban Tampa. HHBF works to achieve its mission through two programs, the On-Court Personal Responsibility Program and the Off-Court American Dream Program. To date, HHBF has focused its services in the Sulphur Springs neighborhood.

Since December of 2010 HHBF has served over 100 boys in Sulphur Springs through its On-Court Personal Responsibility Program. Hiphop Basketball is a smaller version of basketball played 3 on 3, on a short full court, with goals lowered to dunking height. These features combined with other unique rules provide the “Fantasy Factor” for players allowing them to make the moves and slams their favorite basketball stars make. This exciting new sport combined with food and hi-tech entertainment is a magnet for urban youth and their families. HHBF currently has one court established outdoors at the All Nations Outreach Center in Sulphur Springs. Every Saturday15-25 children play basketball and learn important life lessons in a setting that stresses good sportsmanship, good character, respect for self and others, and understanding basic economics and personal wealth creation. Participation in HHBF is free.

A Hiphop Basketball “Reality Show” is recorded each week focusing on players and teams. Show segments include an “Entrepreneurial Table” where the Foundation provides food and drinks which program participants then sell to the local community during games. This gives participants insight into the business world, how to create profits, and involves the community. Profits from the sales are split between donations to All Nations Outreach Center and funding gift cards for volunteers. In addition, HHBF is reaching out to businesses and individuals to participate as coaches and mentors to participants. Games are recorded and uploaded to HHBF’s YouTube site where players, family, and friends can view the action. (

HHBF’s second program, the Off-Court American Dream Program, is designed to promote entrepreneurship and personal wealth creation. The program consists of the following components: 1.) Providing individual economic education to help participants understand how to improve personal and family economic circumstances, start businesses, purchase real estate, and improve the community 2.) Providing urban youth with exposure to entrepreneurs and business operations to see firsthand the work required and job types necessary to run a successful company 3.) Matching urban youth with local businesses for jobs 4.) Purchasing and renovating real estate in urban Tampa with rent to own options for low to moderate income families.

While the Off-Court American Dream Program is relatively new, HHBF has already produced measurable results. The first success involved a young lady from Sulphur Springs, who designed the new Hiphop Basketball Foundation logo, and was then hired as a graphic artist at Fast Lane Clothing in East Tampa through the efforts of HHBF. After being hired, the young woman, an HCC student, created a design to submit a T-shirt design for Fast Lane Clothing in an attempt to win a contract at HCC. Her design was chosen over all other designs by a panel from HCC, printed by Fast Lane Clothing, and is now being sold on campus bookstores! A second success happened as a result of a collaborative effort between HHBF and a local private disc jockey. The DJ volunteers his time coaching, mentoring and playing music for HHBF during events. As a result of his donated time HHBF has promoted the DJ’s business which then led to additional work for the DJ. The DJ then gave back to HHBF by donating sneakers for participants who did not have shoes. This was a win-win-win for all involved!

GrantPathways Services

Our staff would love to have the opportunity to discuss the capacity building needs of your agency. In addition to writing winning proposals, Grantpathways offers expertise in a wide range of non-profit management services. Our staff conducts in-depth research using state of the art systems along with providing one-on-one leadership consultation, non-profit management assistance, strategic planning, board training and grant management assistance. Give us a call or email us today!


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