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THRIVE Participant Perspective: Befriend

Our Fourth Cohort of THRIVE: An Accelerator for Social Good, facilitated with our partners at The Spark Mill, began in early September. Each week, we'll bring you the perspective of a participating nonprofit and share a little about their organization.

About Befriend:

Befriend connects people to meet one another, forge new relationships, and unite through compassion. Our goal is to create friendships so that every person can embrace empathy, foster understanding, and bring our world closer together. Everyone belongs.

FB/IG @Befriendmovement/ Befriend.movement

The Befriend Team

Written by the Befriend Team: Mollie Reinhart, Founder with Fraser Davis, Mamie Farley, Leslie Strickler, Patty Parks and Reggie Gordon

What are you hoping to get out of this program?

Befriend started as a movement of connecting people from different backgrounds through compassion. Through the THRIVE process, we have realized the potential to expand our circles to more persons and increase the opportunities to Befriend. We hope to crystalize our mission and clarify our path to help make more connections which lead to friendships and supportive communities. We are also hoping to come away from the program with a clear understanding, a template of sorts, of our wheel of experience: how folks can enter into a Befriend experience, what they can gain from this experience, and how they can continue on with Befriend and keep the wheel turning.

What did you learn or feel spoke to you about today?

With today’s theme of storytelling, we really feel better equipped to share the story of Befriend with others. We especially enjoyed learning how to tell the story on a single-person level, as well as learning how to express the origin and purpose of Befriend from a more macro full-organization perspective. We also enjoyed hearing the stories of the other participating organizations.

We are appreciative of being reminded of the importance of including everyone's perspective as well as the reminder of the negative impact of tokenism.

Tell us about your experience

in the program.

From day one we’ve been inspired by Thrive and the knowledgeable, thoughtful, and motivating mentors. Each session amplified our creative thinking about the next phase for Befriend. We’ve also enjoyed meeting all the other organizations in our cohort through the opening ice breakers. The time flies by, and we leave feeling energized to continue our work.

How do you see this applying to your organization?

Where do we start? All sessions have provided vital information for us as we continually discover the next step for Befriend. From the Mission and Vision to Theory of Change to Storytelling and everything in between, we are applying all of these topics to forwarding the mission of Befriend. Our journey has been full of waves of tough confusion at times to enlightening clarity. Thank you, THRIVE!


Are you interested in applying for THRIVE Cohort 5? Complete our interest form today!

The THRIVE accelerator program provides an opportunity for nonprofits to look beyond current challenges and obstacles and plan out a direct and streamlined path forward. Organizations will tackle a specific hurdle they want to clear to get to the next level of impact with the community and will spend concentrated time with staff and board planning and executing real-time solutions with guided facilitation. We will utilize accelerator techniques to build a cohort-responsive program.

THRIVE was created through collaboration between The Collaboratory of Virginia and The Spark Mill.

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