August 2023 – Olivia Blase

Resources for Nonprofits in Orlando and Beyond 

Running a community initiative, social project, or nonprofit is a lot of work – and for many of Crave’s leaders and alumni, it isn’t always the full-time gig. You have a lot on your plate, with family, jobs, and other projects. We do what we do because of our passion, heart to serve, and personal experiences. Sometimes the administrative, fundraising, and marketing work that it often takes to run a successful project are put on the back burner. 

But did you know that there are many free or reduced price resources for nonprofits that can help make your work easier? Crave leaders often start nonprofits in Orlando, but many of these resources are available for nonprofits in other states, as well as unregistered community initiatives. 

Resources for nonprofits in Orlando area: 

  • The City of Orlando offers a variety of initiatives for nonprofits to receive funding, training to be a neighborhood board member, and more. 
  • The Edyth Bush Institute is no stranger to Crave and is a resource that everyone in the Craveverse should bookmark!

Funding/Finances 

  • The Awesome Foundation: The Awesome Foundation is a global community that funds small projects with grants of $1,000 – and you don’t have to be a nonprofit to qualify. In fact, the Orlando chapter prefers to fund smaller, grassroots initiatives that aren’t already accepting a lot of funds from donors. 
  • Free Online Grant Writing Courses with certification: Nonprofit Ready offers a range of free courses online, including grant writing topics. If you want to break into the world of securing grant funding for your project or nonprofit, this is a useful learning resource.
  • Pledge: Pledge is an online fundraising tool that covers the credit card fees that other fundraising platforms charge the donor. They have options for small businesses, nonprofits, and even individuals to fundraise. 

Marketing/Digital Advertising

  • Google Ad Grants: If you run a registered nonprofit, you can apply for up to $10,000 in Google ad credit (must apply and qualify). If you secure the funding, Donorbox offers a thorough explanation of how to effectively use Google ads.   
  • Canva: Create beautiful graphics and images (like we have at Crave 😉) with a free for nonprofits Canva pro account! 
  • Mailchimp: If you are or are planning to utilize a lot of email newsletters, Mailchimp offers a forever free plan and then a 15% discount to nonprofits if you want to upgrade. 
  • Buffer: Manage all of your social media scheduling, tracking, and analytics with this schedule tool. There is a free plan, but if you need to upgrade to a paid plan, they offer 50% off for qualifying nonprofits. Their cheapest plan is $6/month, so that would be $3/month if you qualify! 

Admin/Management Tools: 

  • TechSoup: This is a nonprofit itself that offers free or discounted hardware, cloud services, software, and technology for other nonprofits. 
  • Copy.AI: If you are up for trying out AI, this writing tool is useful for generating content in multiple languages, improving your writing, and other tasks that will save you precious time and brain power. 

If you aren’t a registered nonprofit yet, Merchant Maverick has an overview of the steps to take to becoming one. And if you are a Crave leader or alumni with a nonprofit in Orlando, reach out to your facilitator or info@cravefla.org for further information and assistance about the process! 

Olivia Blase

Crave III Alumni

Crave’s Social Media Coordinator

 


May 2023 – Keisha and Mark Bishop

Staying True to Your Mission

Crave alum Olivia Blase from Class III sits down with Class V alumni Keisha and Mark Bishop, of Lyles Brothers’ Sports Foundation, to talk about their experience running their nonprofit, their involvement with Crave, how to effectively work as a couple, and staying true to their mission instead of chasing funding. Get to know this inspirational and down-to-earth couple even better! 

 


February 2023 – Olivia Blase

Who do I want to be? 

Every new season of life gives us the opportunity to decide the answer to a very simple yet important question: who do I want to be?

What do I value most? What impact do I want to leave on the world? How do I want to interact with other people? How do I want to feel? What legacy do I want to leave? Whether you are a new parent, have started a new job, moved, are going through loss and heartbreak, etc., new life situations are opportunities for us to check in with ourselves and be intentional about the people we want to be. 

Earth Day, 2020

In college I had to decide what kind of student I wanted to be. In my young adult life, I mostly questioned what kind of friend I was. Starting my first career and beyond (this journey definitely isn’t over), I was evaluating the type of employee I wanted to be. When I was a Leader in Crave III, I wrestled with my identity as a white woman, as well as my role in our world as a person who wants to use her gifts for good and justice. 

Crave III Leaders (l-r) Marquis McKenzie, Blu Bailey, Jarvis Wheeler, Olivia Blase, and Shequila Roberts

 

My newest adventure, living in Spain and teaching English, has forced me to address my identity as an American. This has been an especially interesting experience while living in Europe where everyone has an opinion about the USA. Some people thank me for how the States intervened in World War II. Others complain to me about how we get involved in everything globally. Some gush to me how much they love the USA, and others plainly tell me that they hate our country. 

San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Madrid

At first, all of this mixed feedback caused me to close up and try to hide my “Americanness”. I was confused about what it meant to be me in a place where everyone has an opinion about me. So instead of dealing with the question of “who do I want to be?” I clammed up and let others decide [for me] who I was to them. Let me tell you something – that didn’t work so well. I have spent so much time and energy wrestling with my identity on others’ opinions, yet I was wasting the opportunity to decide who I am going to be and what I am going to represent. 

And of course, my identity both encompasses and extends beyond being American – or being a friend, a woman, caucasian, a student, an employee. Much of who I decide to be is exemplified by being a part of the Crave family, a community that loves, embraces, empowers, and emboldens people who are curious, passionate, generous, humble, and not afraid to bust boundaries for the good of others. 

That is the kind of person I want to be. What about you?

Olivia Blase, Crave III Alum

YOU ARE A WONDER WOMAN! In 5th grade art class, the assignment was to draw a superhero comic. None chose a woman. I drew this on the whiteboard, and soon after, several of them wanted help drawing her, too. They see what we represent and don’t represent.