NPO 009: Jake Teitgen (Bethlehem Farm)

Today's Guest: Jake Teitgen
Jake is a native Hoosier who lives in Noblesville, Indiana. Jake lives with three strong-willed and wonderful women: his wife, Alicen, and daughters, Julia & Genevieve. He graduated from Notre Dame in 2008 with a degree in marketing before starting work at Our Lady of Grace, a Catholic church in Noblesville. Jake coordinates youth ministry, young adult ministry, and communications at Our Lady of Grace. He also serves on the Board of Directors at Bethlehem Farm and has been inviting others to join him on adventures to this community in West Virginia since 2005.

Nonprofit Spotlight: Bethlehem Farm
Bethlehem Farm is a Catholic Community in Appalachia that transforms lives through service with the local community and the teaching of sustainable practices. They invite volunteers to join them in living the Gospel cornerstones of service, prayer, simplicity and community.

Story of Good: Michael and Everett
Michael, a high school student, was leading two weeks of service trips at Bethlehem Farm. A project that was assigned to him was to help build an extension for a man named Everett. Everett was not a very social person, but by the second week, Michael and Everett had formed an unlikely friendship that Jake was able to witness while he was doing service there.

Lessons Learned:
Jake shared so many wonderful nuggets of information about small nonprofit formation. Here are some of the highlights:
- The importance of strategic planning (or "master planning" as he refers to it). He talked about who was involved, how their facilitator helped and how it has led to their organization being able to stay on mission.
- Bethlehem Farm has an interesting base requirement for all board members- they must love the mission of Bethlehem Farm. As such, they meet three times a year for a full weekend at the Farm and then have an additional conference call in the remaining quarter of the year.
- The Summer Servant Program is a great way to tap into volunteer (or small stipend) leaders who offer an amazing value to Bethlehem Farm. They've become an integral support role for the summer programs and a neat opportunity to get involved for an intense but short period of time.

Next Interview: Dr. Chris Stout, Founding Director of the Center for Global Initiatives


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