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Non-Profit Executive Directors Take Advantage of Flexible, Affordable Coworking

Girls On The Run

Dedicated to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident.

Interview with Candice McIntosh, Executive Director 

Follow along @gotrflinthills

Written By: Carson Gunnigle, Customer Experience Intern at The Fellow Coworking

Background of The Girls On The Run organization/ purpose.

The Fellow Coworking Manhattan Kansas nonprofit office space girls on the run

“Girls On The Run is a national organization that was founded in Charlotte, North Carolina. Our local chapter was founded about 5 years ago, it was very volunteer led and social work driven in the schools for a few years. It was brought because the social workers saw that girls were really developing cliques and almost mean girl behaviors. They decided we could have this already prepackaged program that could be started in schools. This was very volunteer led, they did have the policies and structure to get the organization up on it’s feet with fund development. I was brought on 3 years ago to bring that structure and those formalities. When I came in we only had 10 girls and a handful of volunteer coaches and to grow to serving over 300 girls a year and 150 coaches.”

How can people get involved in GOTR?

“There are lots of ways to get involved. Volunteers and coaches are a more dedicated volunteer role, because it is ten weeks long. They have to go through our structured training program to make sure you are geared up with our curriculum to be prepared for any situation you may face as a coach. Running buddies are another great way to get involved. They help encourage the girls at the race to finish strong. Fundraising and board of directors volunteers really make our whole wheel turn.”

How have you seen the community embrace the organization? ,

The Fellow Coworking Manhattan Kansas nonprofit office space girls on the run

“Amazingly! We are a very transient population so to offer a program here where girls are welcomed to walk and be told to be who they are and to really feel accepted for who they truly are has been really important to our community. Anyone from our teachers, schools, and businesses have been big supporters by encouraging our girls and saying ‘we got your back and will run along side you.” 

What are the ages of your participants? 

“Girls On The Run is 3rd-5th grade and our middle school program, Heart and Soul is 6-8th grade and has the same structure as Girls On The Run but a little more mature content to what girls go through at that age. We are piloting GOTR this summer for rising 2nd and 3rd graders. It is a one week long summer camp program.” The new GOTR summer camp is June 10th-14th, 2019. 

Where did you most frequently work prior to The Fellow? 

“I had the opportunity to work from home, but I knew that wasn’t for me. I was working for another business at the time and was very part-time with Girls On The Run. From our standpoint it was going to be difficult to find a space. I work alone and I was offered a basement office, and I knew I was way too social to hide in a basement. I wanted a place with lots of people and plenty of boardroom space to do our training out of. Having this all in one location has been really helpful.”

What did you know about coworking before coming to The Fellow? 

“Absolutely nothing. I just knew it was a cool idea. I had come in for a headshot and found out after talking to Josh that this would be right. This place is a family and it’s the people that make this place, it’s not the building, desks or chairs. People are really the foundation of the organization. They are the people who have shown up at my events, supported us at pancake breakfasts, or who have been running buddies for the 5k.”

How has The Fellow helped you better your organization? 

“The Fellow really gave us a landing spot where people could identify our location and drop off materials. It gives us some identification and, like I said, the opportunity to have trainings and hold board meetings.”

Do have a favorite memory from the last 5k? 

“It was absolutely amazing. We had a girl who had been training with her dad virtually. We serve a big military population and so her dad is deployed and they were hoping he was going to be able to make it. When they picked up his packet they found out he wasn’t going to be able to make it tp the race. Her mom wanted to make sure we could get him a medal anyway. The girl approached me after the race to get the medal and I said,” I want to make sure you hold your dad accountable to run that distance and she told me, “you know what, he already did! He ran his morning.” So she actually wore his bib on her back and will be medaling her Dad the next time she sees him. It’s important that our program has given the military girls and dads the opportunity to connect. It is hard to connect with your pre-teen daughter when you aren’t around on a regular bases in a way they understand, and the military understands running. This opens the conversations they talk about the topics they are learning as well as some of those things going on in their daughters lives. The finish line is the beginning for our girls and families. They know they can accomplish their goals and there are people behind them so that they don’t go through those barriers alone.”

The Fellow Coworking Manhattan Kansas nonprofit office space girls on the run

 

Stand Up For Your Sister 

“Breaking down stigmas” 

Interview with  Staci Gann, Founder & Executive Director 

Follow @_sufys

Where did the idea for Stand Up For Your Sister come from? 

The Fellow Coworking Manhattan Kansas nonprofit office space Stand up for your sister

The idea came in 2015 when Staci was a Resident Assistant at Kansas State University and saw a great need for a conversation that was removing the stigma while opening dialog. Wanting to remove shame and fear from her female residents, a conversation was opened to empower these women and support them through the many difficult events going on in their lives. 

What topics does Stand Up For Your Sister address? 

“We talk about pretty much any topic related to mental health. We want everyone in the room who is struggling to feel validated in their struggles so we talk about family issues, mental illness, sexual assault, abuse and other disorders people may have, such as the loss of a parent. We don’t want people to say, “my struggle is too little.”

What happens at a SUFYS event?

“Well, I walk into a room full of women, typically who initially do not want to be there. Programs are just a part of sororities and people dread programs. We’ve been able to build a household name where people are excited about our program because it’s going to  be intentional. We distribute an anonymous survey with 30 questions for people to fill out. Then we will collect the surveys and redistribute them so everyone has someone else’s survey. We then read the questions out loud and if the survey you have answered yes you stand up. We do this as a visual representation of how many women struggle with that issue. Then the women get into small groups with four additional questions to build relationships and trust.”

The Fellow Coworking Manhattan Kansas nonprofit office space stand up for your sister

Where do you currently hold chapters? 

Currently, Manhattan is the central location with recent expansion to the University of Kansas. By the fall SUFYS hopes to be establishing groups at Missouri State, Truman State and Wichita State with the goal of reaching five campus’s by the end of the fall 2019 semester. 

Where did you most frequently work prior to The Fellow? 

“We actually didn’t. I knew Josh and Shelby through some friends. It was a perfect centralized location.”

What did you know about coworking before coming to The Fellow? 

“I didn't know anything about coworking before The Fellow. I thought it was a cool concept and The Fellow was the first to do it in Manhattan.”

How has The Fellow helped you better your organization? 

“The Fellow has connected us to community and given our organization a location to meet away from campus. It’s a fun place to see what people are doing with community members artwork and what not.”

The Fellow Coworking Manhattan Kansas nonprofit office space stand up for your sister