If you’ve been watching the Winter Olympics, there are probably three names that stand out: The Animal, The Flying Tomato and Shaun White. The snowboarding and skateboarding prodigy won his second Olympic gold medal this year and has been a top story in the 24-hour news cycle.
On Nonprofit Street, we can’t help but notice a different Olympian who is using her success to change the world.
On February 18, Hannah Teter, a 23-year-old from Belmont, Vermont, took the silver medal in the snowboarding halfpipe competition. Her list of athletic accolades is incredible—even more so when you consider her age. What stands out to all of us at Nonprofit Street is Teter’s commitment to philanthropy.
In 2008, Teter partnered with World Vision to form Hannah’s Gold—an organization that supports a community in Kenya called Kirindon. Kirindon suffers from the effects of poverty, and most notably, its people have little access to clean, safe water. With Teter bringing awareness to the issue and World Vision’s community-based approach to development, Hannah’s Gold is effectively making a difference in the lives of Kirindon’s people.
Hannah’s Gold accepts donations through its Web site, but it’s the organization’s earned income strategy that is remarkable. Growing up in Vermont, Teter learned how to make maple syrup with her family. She parlayed that experience into Hannah’s Gold Maple Syrup and uses the product’s sales to support her work in Kirindon. In addition to maple syrup, Hannah’s Gold is supported through wristband sales.
According to an online profile of Hannah’s Gold, the organization has raised $178,929.13, with more than $53,000 coming from Teter’s contest winnings.
“Helping those who have less than me is a vision I have had since a young age,” says Teter on her Web site. “Since receiving the Gold Medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics, I now have the opportunity to pursue this dream and encourage others to find out how good it feels to give back.”
To learn more about Hannah’s Gold and to purchase her products, visit www.hannahsgold.com.
Interested in earned income strategies for your nonprofit? Check out the work JVA Consulting is doing with the National Center for Social Entrepreneurs, helping nonprofits in rural western Colorado build up their local economies. To read more about it, click here.