In our new Nonprofit Leader Series, The Modern Nonprofit is interviewing founders, directors and other leaders in the nonprofit world to share their stories and give tips on growing a sustainable nonprofit organization.
Our first interview is with Kyle O’Neill, Development Associate at York Street Project.
ABOUT York Street Project
York Street Project was established in 1989 to help homeless and economically disadvantaged women and children break the cycle of poverty and into a life of self-sufficiency.
Based in Jersey City, NJ, this human services nonprofit works with women, children, and their families, providing numerous programs which provide environments to shelter, feed, educate, and promote healing.
York Street Project’s programs include:
- Kenmare High School, an accredited alternative high school that offers education as well as practical training in job and life-skills;
- The Nurturing Place, a nationally accredited childhood development center for children from 4 months to 7 years of age;
St. Mary’s Residence, affordable housing and support for working women with limited incomes; and
St. Joseph’s Home, a safe and structured living environment for single mothers and their children that guides and supports them as they transition to new independent living.
Kyle O’Neill, How did you get started in the nonprofit space?
Kyle O’Neill: I worked several years in the corporate world knowing full well that I would never be a “lifer” in that space. I made a conscious decision to begin work that I found meaningful. That led me to a two-year volunteer post as a teacher in Namibia. Upon returning, I enrolled in a Masters of Public Administration program that had a strong focus on nonprofit management and strategy. I continued to teach full-time in America and also ran a local nonprofit. After completing my degree, I was awarded with a full-time job in the nonprofit sector.
I have always been drawn to organizations that focus on improving education, providing necessary services for children, and confront issues with safe and affordable housing for the poor and impoverished. When I found out York Street Project works with constituents from all three of these areas, I immediately took steps to work with their cause.
What’s one tip you have for people who are wanting to start or grow a nonprofit?
KO: Make sure you treat your $10 donor with the same gratitude and respect as your $10,000 donor.
Make sure you treat your $10 donor with the same gratitude and respect as your $10,000 donor.
What’s the most INTERESTING initiative or campaign your organization has done to raise funds?
KO: This year we are doing a helicopter ball drop. Instead of pulling a number out of a hat, we are dropping a bucket of pre-numbered golf balls out of a hovering helicopter. The closest golf ball to the target hole wins the prize. Flipcause is helping us reach our audience and pre-sell tickets to the event.
How has Flipcause helped York Street Project engage supporters and/or raise funds?
KO: Having a platform that is easily integrated and shared among our marketing tactics has been the biggest, and also most immediate, benefit.
In less than 7 days, we were able to successfully reach and engage our audience to raise over $34,000 of emergency capital after our passenger van for our students was totaled by a drunk driver.
Not only could we share our donation page internally and with our supporters with ease, but other media outlets also had a quick link to include as we received some local coverage for our misfortune.
The ease of distribution across social media platforms was directly responsible for the campaign to gather a new group of supporters for York Street Project. Just under half of everyone that contributed to the campaign was a first time donor. Another 10% of the individuals who contributed had been dormant donors for two or more years.
The ability to share campaigns with ease, track their results live, and manage and immediately adjust campaign information has allowed York Street Project to engage its audience like never before.
Thanks so much to Kyle O’Neill from York Street Projects for the insightful advice and personal narrative!
To learn more about York Street Project, visit their lovely website.
If you’d like to be featured on The Modern Nonprofit as a Nonprofit Leader, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!