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Professional Coffee for Non-profit Discussion?


Ann Toeneboehn Coronado, CA

I am working on my own non-profit to advocate for premature babies and their mothers. I am working on my website, and could use some help.

5 April 2019 3 replies Small Business



John Volpe Seaford, NY

Hi Ann:

Congratulations for your plans to help premature babies and their mothers . The suggestions from David and Patrick are excellent. I think you have a short term and a longer term challenge. The immediate issue is finding help to build out your site. For that task I’d first suggest attracting some local developers to assist in that regard . I’m sure there are some excellent military and/or veterans near by who have the expertise to assist you . This would require you to do some local networking and advertising.

Alternatively, I would suggest that you check out the Taproot Foundation for assistance( ). Taproot offers free on line assistance to non-profits for various short-term projects . You may be able to locate a developer who can help you build out your site.

Regardless of the resource you use, you need to have a good sense of how your website should be organized before seeking the help of a developer . You may want to check out other non-profit sites for suggestions , speak to managers at local non profits for their input and attract other volunteers to help you. The key is to have a well organized, simple site that tells a compelling story, is visually attractive and easy and inexpensive to maintain.

You also need to have a longer term financial plan . How do you plan to sustain your organization going forward ? What resources do you need and what will it cost to operate this going forward ? As your non profit grows , I think you would benefit from the assistance of a financial services professional or firm . You may be able to find a firm that would provide Accounting and reporting services pro-bono. Other non profits should be able to provide some suggestions in this regard .

Lastly , you need to realize you can’t do this alone. You need to attract other volunteers and professionals who share your passion .

Good luck

John Volpe


David Eastman Gresham, OR

Hello, Ann

Thank you for your service. I love non-profits, have actually been an Executive Director of one working with differently-abled adults, served on the Board of Directors of several others and consulted with some non-profit start ups in Portland, Oregon.

I think Patrick's advice is good. Check other websites and see what others are doing who are in a similar business.

I would reach out to some entrepreneurial organizations, probably some in Coronado or San Diego associated with the UCSD or the local Life Science industry and get some training and guidance from them. There probably are some incubator organizations in your area and you can also reach out to them for mentoring and business advice.

Of course, in the area you want to enter, premature babies and their mothers, there are the usual suspects, like Planned Parenthood as well as orthopedic nursing associations who work with mothers who have early births, Caesarians and other circumstances where counseling and support is needed.

I admire your willingness to work in a non-profit or start one. It is always hard work and not a lot of money to be made, but there is great pride and satisfaction in doing the work.

I wish you much success and happiness in this wonderful endeavor.

Thoughtful regards,

David F Eastman, CEO, US Navy Veteran


Patrick E Alcorn Arlington, TX

Hint: Check competitor websites. Look at current non-profits that focus on premature babies. Look at their donors/sponsors, and review the corporate responsibility pages of the donor/sponsor organizations. Remember, business is business; non-profit or for profit still requires that you research and know your customer, i.e., the one who gives you the money. How will you reach your customers? What is your value proposition, and why will they do business with you? How will you serve your customers (donors/sponsors), so that you can execute your non-profit mission to advocate for the mothers and babies?

Although SBA resources are dedicated to for profit businesses, business is business:
SOCAL Veterans Business Outreach Center
Veteran's Business Outreach Center

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