Navigating Noble Deeds: Journeys of Compassion and Change Unveiled in Louisville Nonprofits Part 1

As Nonprofit Day approaches, we are shining a light on nonprofit organizations for their ongoing service and dedication to making a difference in our communities. In our nonprofit blog series, we’d like to break down the difference between nonprofits and not-for-profit organizations, while exploring a few nonprofits housed on or near Spalding’s campus.

Those who are already familiar with nonprofits understand that there is never a dull moment! In this blog, we’ll dive deeper into the nonprofit world and ways we can actively participate in them. Let’s learn about nonprofits together!

Each year, on August 17th, we commemorate Nonprofit Day, a day to recognize nonprofits contributing to our local community. Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” This sentiment ties back to Spalding’s mission, as we engage in acts of service with a spirit of compassion.

The Spalding community lives out a mission-driven focus in everything we do! We’re thrilled to recognize the significance of Nonprofit Day and explore ways in which we can contribute to and uplift the nonprofits within our region.

We know these terms can be confusing! We’re here to break down the difference between nonprofits and not-for-profit organizations.

Nonprofit Organizations

In the simplest terms, a nonprofit organization works towards a mission for the public good! This could be foundation, charities, and even universities such as Spalding University. They are given the 502c(3) status which means it is tax-exempt recognized by the IRS.

As a nonprofit university, we put compassion in action with our mission-driven focus. Our mission to “meet the needs of the times” is our driving force. We are called to serve and become Spalding difference makers within our community.

Compared to for-profit universities, a mission-driven focus is not always at the forefront of financial decision making. According to USA Today, for-profit universities are fueling the student-loan crisis for not operating responsibly. This means that the money could be mishandled or could be borrowed elsewhere resulting in loan debts.

To sum it up, nonprofit organizations give back to the community! Did you know there are 7,201 nonprofits in the Louisville area? These nonprofits strengthen and shape our society to be a better place.

Not-for-profit Organizations

Now what is a not-for-profit organization? First, breaking it down even more– a nonprofit and not-for-profit organization are businesses that both operate to make money for different causes.

A not-for-profit organization (NFPO) earns money for their members. This could be social clubs, fraternities, and sororities. For example, this could be collecting member fees for uniforms.

There are quite a few differences between nonprofits and not-for-profit organizations but the main difference is that nonprofit organizations serve the public good. One nonprofit example is the Louisville Leopards Percussionists providing ordinary children an extraordinary musical experience. We’ll talk more about some nonprofits housed on or near Spalding’s campus in this blog.

Old church that is now the home of the Louisville Leopard Percussionists.
Diane Downs and the kids of Louisville Leopards Percussionists
Ozzy Osbourne with the Louisville Leopards Percussionists
Louisville Leopards Percussionists performing in an auditorium.
Louisville Leopards Percussions performing at an outdoor concert near Spalding University.

We are so proud of our downtown community. Did you know there are several nonprofits housed on or near Spalding’s campus? Just to name a few: Louisville Leopard Percussionists, Louisville Story Program, Family Scholar House, and so much more.

We interviewed Diane Downs, founder of the Louisville Leopard Percussionists. This musical nonprofit organization is housed on Spalding’s campus on South 2nd Street. Their incredible impact on the community is truly music to our ears.

The Louisville Leopard Percussionists have a profound mission to provide a comprehensive musical experience for children that enriches lives and builds community. The Louisville Leopard Percussionists are children from 2-12 grades from all walks of life in surrounding areas in Louisville, Kentucky.

According to Diane, “it’s not about teaching kids how to play music but how to be good humans through music,” She says, “every kid is given an opportunity to shine, regardless of their level of talent, but being a part of something great.”

This mission aligns with Spalding’s values, which also aim to embrace diversity and create a welcoming environment for all. Through the service-oriented and compassionate mindset, we can work together to make the world a better place through the power of music and education. Contact Diane Downs ([email protected]) for any questions.

There are many ways you can get involved in nonprofits in the Louisville community. Stay up to date with nonprofits in Louisville through the Kentucky Nonprofit Network (KNN) and Center for Nonprofit Excellence (CNPE).

A good starting point to help nonprofits is by donations. As previously mentioned in our blog, nonprofits operate for the public good so making and earning money isn’t the most important thing.

Nonprofits accept donations year-round! However, here are a couple of giving day opportunities coming up:

  1. Spalding University’s Annual Giving Day is from 12 pm August 30, 2023 to 12 pm on August 31, 2023. Spalding’s Blue and Gold Fund directly supports student scholarships, academic programming, student initiatives, and campus development.
  2. Give to your favorite local nonprofits as part of this year’s Give For Good’s day of giving on September 14, 2023.

Others ways to get involved:

  • Support local nonprofits by attending events or fundraisers
  • Share videos on social media and tag them
  • Volunteer at events or special projects
  • Raise awareness about nonprofits through your network
  • Research what the nonprofit needs such as food, clothes, or donated items
  • Follow and share nonprofit news with your community

Resources & Links

While Nonprofit Day is just one day, we can help and contribute to nonprofits year-round. In learning more about nonprofits and helping those in need– we can truly make a difference in our world. Stay tuned for more blogs highlighting surrounding nonprofits and their impact in our community. Be a leader in our community today!