Building a business is difficult, but building a nonprofit has its own unique challenges. For starters, nonprofits like ours don’t have anything to offer in return for revenue except a sense of goodwill. Many nonprofits rely on donations to complete their missions.
To make things more difficult, our project is based on technology — the WWW. The site needs to provide an easy-to-use interface, to be safe with its data secure, and to connect to secure third-party software for income verification. And it needs to look good. Building a site that accomplishes what we want, provides the security its users need, and functions in a way that benefits and doesn’t frustrate is no small feat. To accomplish this successfully, we need money, and a lot of it. Unfortunately, relying on volunteers is neither efficient nor effective for a technology product that is not about technology. The computer platform Ubuntu was built by volunteers but for computer purposes.
On September 1, we began fundraising so that we can hire developers to build the site. We found a table for free on Craigslist and covered it with an old sheet with Sharpie-colored words, “Make Affordable Housing Happen Now.” Since we are starting from nothing, we had to start somewhere. At least a picture of our table gave us something interesting to post on our Instagram account (@careforus.us).