View Full Version : anyone doing non profit work

Shawn Russell
12-28-2011, 11:00 PM
I have gotten the entrepreneur bug pretty bad. However, I am not looking at from a capitalist mindset.. I am taking the view of the Khan Academy.

What if I could help teach others what I have a passion for? I have a few years of glass experience and am slowly building my woodworking skills. My wife teaches piano and flute and speaks quite a few languages. We both are able to work from home and even with that have fairly flexibly day time hours. We are working on putting together a curriculum that fosters vocational arts, music, dance, and language for foster children.

Now, I am starting to think a little more global. What if we bought space and turned it into something like the Y that focuses on the arts. This is very much an extremely early idea. We will flush out many of the kinks as we work with foster children and evaluate how we can scale this. But, it certainly has my mind thinking.

Aside from the usual.. zoning, insurance, parental permission... what are ideas, concerns or other thoughts would you offer?

I expect this to be a 2-3 year out kind of project, but I would sure love to flush out as many ideas as possible.

Dan Hintz
12-29-2011, 6:55 AM
anyone doing non profit work
Every time I work with schools, churches, turning clubs, etc. ;)

Chris Damm
12-29-2011, 8:42 AM
It seems that everything I make in my shop is for realtives so I guess it's all more than non profit, I pay for materials too!

Matt Meiser
12-29-2011, 8:58 AM
Shawn there's something that, from what little I know about it, sounds like that in Benton Harbor, MI focusing on the glass aspect. The extent of my knowledge about the place is eating at the gellato place next door that displays some of the glass work and my friend who lives there explaining it.
Their web site (http://www.waterstreetglassworks.org/firedup/) mentions being recognized by some top 50 presidential award--you might try finding who the other 49 are.

Also there's a place that does that in Kalamazoo, MI called Tillers International that teaches farming skills and because its related, timber framing, and by extension at least a couple woodworking classes. I believe they have other craft-related classes as well. http://tillersinternational.com/

Rich Engelhardt
12-29-2011, 3:09 PM
anyone doing non profit work

Yeah - but - it's not intentional....

David Hostetler
12-29-2011, 3:37 PM
I have done, and still do work on non profit projects for my church, Habitat for Humanity, and when the need came up, for a housing project for Haitians displaced by the earthquake. I tend to work with one or two other guys from my church, either in my shop or theirs, and have no real desire to grow it any bigger. The Homes for Haiti thing was a bigger undertaking than I like usually. Too many people, not enough fun in the process...

Mostly my non profit projects tend to be fairly simple rustic style pieces. We've built and delivered a few dining room sets literally made from 2x4s (no, they don't look like 2x4s when we get done with them!), not to mention coffee / end tables and simple night stands. Nothing with drawers yet... If we can get some jigs done to speed up drawer building we might just incorporate that...

I guess it all depends on where your mind and heart are on this, as well as your resources. My work is really spent visiting with friends, doing something we all love for a good cause... We are having our own little tiny impact, and that's fine... Changing the world for the better goes one person at a time right?