Organizations take advantage Next Mile Project community

Organizations take advantage of the community Next Mile Project creates

Zoe Mathews, media lab intern, Emerson College 2016

At the Next Mile Project, nonprofit organizations do not necessarily have to be in-house members to reap the benefits of the community. NMP is striving to provide an open and engaging work space with ample resources for all nonprofits interested in getting involved and learning from each other. From utilizing the office space, to engaging and learning in Tuesday lunch presentations, nonprofits have much to gain from being a part of the Next Mile Project.

One Hen, Inc. (oneheninc.org) is a nonprofit organization providing educators with the equipment necessary to empower children to be financially literate, globally aware, and to value giving back to the community. The organization works with schools, clubs, and after school and summer programs around the country to implement new knowledge and improve the confidence of children by starting their own businesses.

One Hen is in a test run with Next Mile, taking full advantage of the resources available to member organizations in the space and evaluating and providing feedback on maximizing the value that NMP provides.

“So far we’ve been using the space to have staff meetings and planning sessions,” said Executive Director Helen Rosenfield, “and we sat in on one of the Tuesday lunches in the spirit of information gathering and learning.”The Next Mile Project, since its launch, has provided nonprofits with the opportunity and resources to sit in a room together, and just talk shop- something that is highly valued in the field of humanitarian efforts.“The great thing about it is that there are other peers in similar and different spaces that we can learn from, and we hopefully won’t have to recreate the wheel for certain situations,” Rosenfield said.

One Hen was launched in 2009, with most of its current members and management team spread across the Greater Boston area. Many nonprofits go through similar challenges along the road to growth and success and having nonprofits at varied levels of development helps create a sense of shared learning and organizational mentoring. Organizations like One Hen, and many other nonprofits, have a very large online community for support, but perhaps not always the resources or space to truly come together.

“It’s also just nice to have a home,” said Rosenfield. “We operate very virtually so it’s nice to be in an environment with social interaction.”