3 Tips for Committing to Your Cause

Julie Higgins started Julie’s Chewies, a gourmet sweet shop in Springfield, but that’s only one of her many business ventures. She also started I Pour Life, a nonprofit organization that puts people on a path to self-sufficiency through skills training an

By Jennifer Adamson | Photo Courtesy of I Pour Life

Jan 13 2016 at 11:47 p.m.


Tip 1: Establish a diverse board. 

“You have to run a nonprofit like you do a for-profit. If your business isn’t sustainable, you’re not going to be able to help anyone else. After I put my strategy together, I met with different people and said, ‘This is what I want to accomplish. Do you believe in me?’ I went to friends first, but I also looked at having a professional representation and targeted people who think outside the box.”


Tip 2: Prove your confidence, and invest your own money.

“My husband and I have always been frugal in our spending, yet we love giving when we can see exactly where our dollar is spent. When we started I Pour Life, we agreed to be the first investors until our programs and efforts were proven.”


Tip 3: Take the 501(c)(3) classification very seriously. 

“To me, the classification stands for trust with people’s lives and investors’ money. I believe transparency is the most honest approach. You’re using hard-earned money that people are entrusting you with to make a difference. Our entire team understands how to create and manage a profit-and-loss statement. They know that every dollar we save is a dollar earned and put towards impacting a life and community.”