by: Ben Broghammer, Founder & President
When I started Project Periwinkle in May of 2015, I had spent the past nine months learning all I could about nonprofits, met with legal advisors, set up a business and marketing plan and strategy, and was determined to see it through and felt called to make a difference in the world far beyond a simple donation to a charity or cancer research. But most importantly, I had lost my cousin, Michon, the summer prior to stomach cancer, and felt the need to do something that would help others facing what my family did and work to end a disease that touches far to many families every year. I was still in college, finishing my junior year at Saint Louis University, and I had just turned 21. I was far from the image of someone who was the standard to start a national charity. But just before my 21st birthday, I incorporated, and a few months after, the day before launch, received our 501(c)(3) tax-exempt letter from the IRS. It was coming together and months of planning was paying off.
All I wanted to do was make a difference and improve the lives of others. As it is widely known now, I set the course for a completely volunteer based organization, including myself. No salary would be drawn. No payroll ran. No funds spent on thrills or a cushy office. In my mind, that was not what nonprofit work was about. It was about improving the world and making it a better place. Though there are draw backs to not having a full time staff, such as revenue streams or not having a constantly working team, I learned to automate where I could, I established a strong board, and today, we have a team, including our brand ambassadors, who drive us forward to succeed in our mission. I am proud we have directed nearly every dollar raised to program initiatives, leaving a very small administrative and operational overhead far outside the industry norms. It makes us unique and who we are.
I have seen first hand the generosity that has allowed our work to continue for over four years and I have had the privilege to represent the organization when meeting with cancer center representatives, development offices and physicians, as well lead our operations, strategy, and donor relations among other responsibilities. But it would not be at all possible without our donors, our supporters and those who have helped to make us what we are today. Thank you to all who have contributed to our work and allowed us to do all we have done. Simply put, it would not have happened without you.
As we enter the second half of the year, our fundraising efforts are beginning to pick up. Though fundraising is important year round, it is mostly concentrated in year end due to the donor tax deductible incentives. While fundraising is not the most glamorous of responsibilities or calls to action, it is necessary for our sustainability, continued operations, and success as an organization. We receive all funding from the public through donations rather than grants and the government. Without our donors and their extreme generosity, we could not continue, and for them, I am tremendously grateful.
If you are able, please consider making a tax deductible donation to our organization. No matter the size, every dollar counts. One time donations make an immediate impact and recurring donations set the course for a sustained difference and future, and can be set as low as $5 a month. If you cannot give financially, please help us spread our message or become an ambassador. Your support does not go unnoticed and will allow us to continue making a difference for years to come. But we cannot do it without you. Thank you for your support!!
Donations can be made online and are tax deductible as Project Periwinkle is a registered 501(c)(3) organization.