November 15, 2017

Funding a nonprofit happens in many ways. Government funding, corporate donors, and individual donors are the main avenues of support. Thrive relies solely on corporate sponsors and individual donors. Thrive does not seek government funding. This may seem like an obvious funding choice, but there are restrictions placed on an organization when government funding is accepted. Here are a few reasons why Raquel Owens, Executive Director of Thrive, thinks it better serves Thrive clients by not accepting government funding:

  • Restrictions on how many cases and how long we can work with them. We have the flexibility and freedom to work with refugees for as long or as little as they would like. We have been working with families for over five years and some for a few months.
  • Our programming isn’t in jeopardy if government funding is decreased or completely cut.
  • Capacity: We don’t have enough staff to assist with the monitoring and sometimes cumbersome paperwork and red tape when we have community members who need immediate assistance

This comes with its challenges, though, because then effort is needed to find ways to fundraise, raise awareness to those who have never heard of Thrive to help cultivate relationships, and then to connect with future volunteers and donors to further growth. This involves time and manpower, which Thrive is hoping to supplement in 2018 with more staff. Raquel’s dream for 2018 is to be able to bring on more support staff such as interpreters and program coordinators, giving more capacity for the role of the executive director to explore funding avenues. 

There are many ways you can be a part of Thrive. First off, you can volunteer your time. Thrive is made up of volunteers. The only way that clients get the attention they need is through our volunteers. We love our volunteers and are so grateful for the time donated.

Only a life lived for others is worth living.

-Albert Einstein

Another way to get involved is to give financially. If your time is limited, but you have the resources to give, we need money to grow. One way to do that is to become a monthly donor and Join Our Neighborhood. We invite you to be a monthly donor and be a part of growing our neighborhood outreach. Our long term goal is to have 80 donors giving $50 a month, but anything helps. We currently have 3 donors that give $50 a month, so we have lots of room for growth!

With the holiday season upon us, why not turn your holiday party into a way to grow Thrive by hosting a Thrive House Party. A representative from Thrive will come to your house and give a short presentation to your guests and ask for a donation at the end. This could be a fun alternative to giving gifts by instead directly your money to Thrive. It could also be a unique way to host a get together, drink a glass of wine and find out what is going on in the refugee community in West Michigan. Many people are unaware of the needs of refugees in our community or how they can get involved.

Thrive is grateful for the commitment of volunteers and donors to the mission at Thrive to assist refugees right where they are at. Whether it is filling out paperwork, being driven to an appointment, or taking an hour to do homework, the needs at Thrive are as diverse as the community. Thanks to all who help make not only refugees lives more enriched, but their own for being a part of something so much bigger than themselves.

Blog written by Susan Saylor.

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