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Local Nonprofit Event Brings Generous Support from the Community

Community Fundraiser to support local nonprofits in Raleigh, NC

Hope + Vine had the privilege of being a part of a local charity fundraiser in the Raleigh community. The outpouring of support will provide future employment and mentoring to more women who have aged out of foster care, giving them the tools to thrive.

Hope + Vine was honored to be one of three nonprofits chosen to present at Mission Triangle’s 2024 Shark Tank event. This event provides the opportunity for three organizations to share their missions and a problem they need to solve, then ask the audience to help them provide a solution by offering their time as volunteers and financial support.

Shark Tank is much more than just an event. It is an experience, and one that is continuing to unfold.

The Journey Leading to the Event

We applied for Shark Tank last fall, finding out that we were selected in early November. It was a full array of emotions. From anticipation after submitting the application to excitement once we heard the news, it was quickly followed by, omagoodness-what-have-we-done. There were moments of feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work that was required to prepare and intense feelings of imposter syndrome. 

At one point, I actually had a conversation with someone at Mission Triangle, saying that they picked the wrong organization and they had time to pick another one. We are a young organization, still figuring things out, and 2023 didn’t end the way we had planned. I felt like we failed, and I felt responsible. Presenting at Shark Tank felt like I was going to be airing our dirty laundry. It was incredibly vulnerable.

This precious person told me, “Rachael, we don’t pick the best nonprofits. We pick the ones who are doing good work, doing it well, and just need a boost.” This made sense, and once I came to terms with the fact that we are not, indeed, the best, I was ready to learn, do the work, and get the boost!

It was, in fact, a lot of work. It was kind of like a nonprofit bootcamp. Very intense, with incredible results on the horizon. We were fortunate to have a consultant work with us to get us in shape. We refined our strategic plan. Our board of directors became more engaged. Our message became more defined. We now know where we are going and are on the path to get there.

The Main Event, Shark Tank!

The night of the event was a huge celebration and gathering of some of the most generous people in this community. We shared a two-minute video highlighting Hope + Vine followed by an eight minute talk presented by myself, our program director, and one of our most devoted volunteers. Then came the Sharks! These three business leaders in our community are sharp, and they are not afraid to ask tough questions.

The questions session lasts about 15 minutes. We made a list of potential questions and practiced them, but of course, those were not the questions we had that night. Being on the spot in front of nearly 300 people and having to answer questions about how and why things are done is tricky. Afterward, we wondered, “Did I even answer the question?”

We were the first to present. The other two organizations did a fantastic job and I am so thankful to have gotten to know them better. All three of us worked closely in preparation. The beautiful thing about all of us being faith-based is that we all see the bigger picture. We are all working toward the same goal. It was not a competition. Although, it kind of is.

The Celebration of Generosity

Without revealing how much we walked away with, I can say that although we didn’t quite meet our hope for $72,000, we came awfully close. With the funds we received, we are looking forward to expanding our staff to create stability and sustainable retail income. This will allow us to hire additional artisans, which will help more women who have aged out of foster care overcome the obstacles in their path.

You can still support us in reaching our initial goal! Please consider giving a generous donation so we can impact the lives of these women and generations to come!



Presenting at Community Fundraiser to support women who have aged out of foster care
Presenting at Community Fundraiser to support women who have aged out of foster care
Presenting at Community Fundraiser to support women who have aged out of foster care

Items seen in picture: Rise Earrings, Precious Earrings, Bloom Earrings

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