The journey of becoming a founder isn’t planned, and the best things in life come unplanned. I attended the Evaluator Summit on February 15th where I met four founders namely Hannah Dehradunwala, Ross Morales Rocketto, Ivelyse Andino and Elle Hearns. 

“As a founder, you have to be committed to failing more than winning,” said Elle Hearns.

Hannah Dehradunwala, the founder of Transfernation, Ross Morales Rocketto, the founder of RunForSomething, Ivelyse Andino, the founder of Radical Health and Elle Hearns, the founder of The Black Lives Matter spoke about their journey as a founder, the challenges they faced and why they continued despite funding challenges.

No One Does it Alone
The one thing all founders had to say was that they never thought they would become a founder and run a nonprofit. It’s difficult to start something new but it’s even more difficult to sustain it. They all started their initiatives because of some particular event that inspired them, and it was at that very moment that their journey began. Another hurdle was finding a team that resonated with the cause, and was keen on working part time as a new nonprofit couldn’t afford full-time employees. Persistence, perseverance, diligence, teamwork and the collective strive to work for a cause is what forms the foundation of a nonprofit.

The Challenge with Challenges
And just when a founder feels that he/she has finally got the organization running, the second biggest challenge occurs – The Funding! Sustaining a nonprofit is one of the biggest challenges in the development sector. Many great founders are running impactful organizations but one issue that they all have faced atleast at the start of their journey as a founder is funding.

When questioned by one of the attendees about, when do you know that you have to stop trying? Hannah Dehradunwala, the founder of Transfernation, replied, “In the nonproft sector, you only stop when you want to.”

Despite facing a heap of challenges, these founders stood strong and kept trying because they believed in the social cause they were fighting for. And that’s what motivates all of us to do better towards the larger goal of working for the welfare of the world.

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