The Jonas Project TJP received its non-profit 501(c)3 status from the IRS just eight short months ago, and those 8 months have been a whirlwind of activity. Teri Kelsall of THe Jonas Project gives us an update on what’s been happening behind the scenes in this exciting first year:
- TJP is working with 8 Veteran Owned Businesses (VOB’s). Eight of the most incredible Warrior Entrepreneurs that any organization would be proud and honored to know. Four are web-based businesses, and four are feet on the ground with soon-to-be physical establishments.
- TJP has enlisted the assistance of 23 Mentors, 13 who are military Veterans themselves. These Mentors bring a special meaning to what they do: each one is a volunteer; each one brings a myriad of specialized skill sets to each Veteran Task Force they assist with; each Mentor when asked, has stepped up to the plate and immediately developed incredible working relationships with their Warrior Entrepreneurs, many developing friendships along the way; 23 amazing and talented individuals with a passion in life to give back and help others.
- By the end of our first year our VOB’s will have completed 4 of their business plans. If you’ve never written one, then you have no idea how complex, time consuming, and detailed they become – but they provide a strong foundation for each new VOB, and they provide the impetus for investors to invest.
- TJP has established 15 collaboratives with other service organizations that can and will provide services to Veterans that TJP is not set up to provide. For those Veterans who do not want to open their own business, but want to find employment, we have set up the lines of referral so that Veteran will get a warm hand-off to a service provider equipped to help. TJP is not stopping at 15, our goal is to make as many connections as possible so no Veteran goes unserved.
- Since our inception, all the individuals working with TJP have booked over 1,500 volunteer hours. We still have no paid staff.
- TJP received its first foundation grant, almost unheard of for such a new organization.
- TJP will be conducting its first fundraiser of the year in collaboration with 31 Heroes and cross fit gyms in CA and TX. The scheduled date is November 9, 2013. It was specifically scheduled on this date because that is Jonas’ birthday weekend. All proceeds will be going to our VOB’s.
- TJP’s website, with the creative talents of our Webmaster and Story Teller, has been updated several times in our short 8 months, and it’s looking more and more fantastic every time those 2 people get together. It doesn’t hurt to have them working on our FB page either.
What an incredible journey so far and we are just getting started! We get phone calls every day from organizations looking to collaborate, from business owners who want to be mentors, and from Veterans looking for resources for success. We are so excited about what the future holds!