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Executive Directors Update, Year in Review




December 31,, 2023 will mark the Purple Heart Project’s (PHP) first full year as a U.S. 501(c)(3) Veteran’s Service Charity.  2023 was a successful year thanks to all our donors and supporters who give so generously to help combat Wounded Warriors.  It was also a year of challenges.  As you can imagine, setting up all of the systems to make a non-profit organization operate efficiently, legally, and transparently was quite challenging, but I can happily report that with the help of numerous volunteers the organization rose to the challenge.  We still have much more work to do in 2024, but PHP is on the road to success.  Below is a quick report on how we did in 2023, what our goals are in 2024, and how you can help.


Fundraising.  2023 was the best fundraising year for PHP since we have been tracking donations (since 2016); however, we did fall short of our minimum required donations to fully fund 42 combat Wounded Warriors into the program.  Improving and diversifying our fundraising outreach is my #1 priority for 2024.  We are looking for help in this area.  We need volunteers with and without experience in fundraising that can assist us in 2024.


Donorbox.  Back in December of 2022 I selected Donorbox as our fundraising software suite based on the recommendation of a friend and fellow woodworker / retired Army officer.  Donorbox has proven itself to be indispensable to PHP. Not only does Donorbox make the donor experience quick and easy, but it has proven itself critical to our tax compliance, bookkeeping, and tracking many other facets of fundraising.  I want to leverage the power of Donorbox even more in 2024.  We are looking for a volunteer to become our Donorbox system manager.  


PHP Website.  We launched the PHP website in March of 2023. Our goal was to make the website serve as a one stop information portal for all things PHP.  I think it has done that, but what I did not anticipate is how quickly we need to adjust and improve the website. Michael Whittington and Kevin Smira volunteered to be assistant webmasters and are making great improvements on the website.  We are still looking for anyone with computer or website skills to help out with the website.


PHP Newsletter.  This is our very first issue of the PHP newsletter.  It has taken all year to get organized to the point we can create and issue a newsletter.  Meagan Cosman is our newsletter editor.  We see the newsletter as a way to keep in touch with our donors and supporters and let you know what is going on with PHP.  I see great things ahead in 2024 for the newsletter….be on the lookout!


Bookkeeping.  Unfortunately, bookkeeping in 2023 was not the success we had hoped for.  While we have all our financial records in place and are 100% compliant, the bookkeeping service we were using was less than satisfactory.  In November the Board of Directors decided we had to change our bookkeeping service.  The good news is we now have a stellar bookkeeping service that specializes in bookkeeping for non-profits.  They have been just amazing, and I have no worries for the future.


PHP Applications.  After the unexpected loss of David “Super Dave” Benson we had to scramble to reorganize our manual PHP application process.  Fortunately, Devon Wright, another PHP alumni stepped up and took over as the PHP application manager. Devon has been instrumental in creating our new automated application system.


Combined Federal Campaign (CFC).  CFC is the annual giving program for all U.S. federal employes to donate to the charity of their choice through automatic paroll deductions.  Ralph Sutton volunteered to be our CFC manager and is now working through the process to get PHP as an approved charity on the 2024 CFC campaign which kicks off in October of 2024.  


PHP Canada. We continue to make progress in establishing PHP as a Canadian Charity and are on track to complete the process by the end of 2024. We recently incorporated PHP Canada as a Canadian Not for Profit Corporation. We are now waiting to be granted Registered Canadian Charitable Corporation status by the Canada Revenue Agency. This typically takes 9-12 months, but we are hopeful it will come sooner. 


Please see the separate article in this newsletter for specific positions we are looking for volunteers and information on how to volunteer.

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