When we began this journey, we had no idea what was in store for Hope for Ataxia, all we knew was that we wanted to make a difference and provide a sense of belonging to those directly and indirectly affected by Ataxia. We were excited to create something meaningful and share the experience with others, so it is fitting that we keep our audience informed with any updates.
Our community presence, viewership, and active participation rates have increased since we became a not-for-profit, and as a result, we realized that the most effective way to raise Ataxia awareness globally was to become a registered charity. Although being a federally registered not-for-profit has opened doors and given us opportunities to expand our operations, applying and obtaining official charity status will allow us to better support the Ataxia community. As a small and dedicated team, we do not want to be held back by our limited capacity, so becoming a charity will allow us to expand our team and reach our goals. Some of our goals include hosting larger fundraisers partnering with other Ataxia charities and not-for-profits, expanding our existing support groups to accommodate our diverse audience, creating video content, and more.
And part of the process of applying to be a registered charity involves creating a business plan, as we will need a concise document that summarizes our impact, in order to effectively apply for grant opportunities and pitch to investors. Writing a business plan has been a learning process where we’ve had to break our organization down to analyze, document, survey, understand our business, and what we can offer to the community. It has been an extremely helpful reflective exercise as we’ve had to look at our organization objectively, and from different perspectives to understand where we are going and how we will get there.
We hope to have the business plan finalized over the next couple of months, and then we will begin the process to apply for official charity status after that. Once we reach that milestone, our operations may change but our support won’t, and we will keep our audience updated along the way! All in all, we thank you for your patience while we work through this task, and for your continued support.