If you were to ask me 2 years ago to start living passionately about intentional living and leave my corporate America job to start a non-profit mental health company, I would have laughed out loud.
Honestly, I would have thought it was a joke.
But, here I am, a year and half after founding Intention Inspired with my brother Matt telling you why we’re becoming a 501(c)(3) non-profit and, frankly, I couldn’t be any prouder. I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve accomplished together as a community, of the transformation, it’s given me and countless others in our community and of the opportunities it will bring us in the future. It’s been an incredible journey, and this new chapter is just beginning!
So without further ado….
Why did we do it?
#1 – Intentions continue to inspire us.
We started Intention Inspired with a simple mission: to turn simple intentions into powerful actions.
That mission and cause has never changed and will never change. However, while we passionately chased these Intentions, they changed us… from the inside out.
Which is funny, because we started off with products to change people from the outside in. We were selling mala necklaces, bracelets, t-shirts, journals, seed cards and more to assist you in becoming more intentional and to live more mindfully. We created the 30 Days of Brave Challenge to introduce our company to people. Little did we know how it would change everything.
It changed me personally and very dramatically. Check out this article I wrote about it to learn more about my transformative journey: How I Quit My Job, Lost 40 lbs, Quit Drinking and Started a Business
I will always owe this company for bringing me back to health and sobriety. For bringing me back to simple, anxiety-free living that warms my heart every day. For bringing my girls a dad to be proud of and my wife a husband to respect.
But that was only the beginning of being changed by intentional living. I still felt that we had something special here and was seeing dollar signs in the back of my mind for what we were developing. Ultimately I probably would not have gotten involved unless I believed there was “money to be made” from the business venture. I saw this as my next meal ticket, albeit, I did have some good intentions. They were not all the best. Then I met reason number two to become a non-profit and it completed turned my world upside down. I met…
#2 – YOU. You changed us!
You changed us by changing yourselves. I know it sounds cliche, but it’s just the truth. You amaze us every day and fuel us to keep moving forward. Watching you overcome past demons, overcome depression, overcome fears, anxiety, quit medications you hate, get out of bad relationships, enter beautiful new relationships, pursue degrees, get degrees, have children, write a book, become published, start a business, get new clients, become life-coaches and sooooo much more is what has inspired this change in us.
Many of you would not have made this investment in yourself when we first met, but we gave you something for free so you thought “What the heck I’ll give it a shot”. Originally, it was something you may have thought you couldn’t afford, but after you experience the dramatic changes in your life you know it’s something you couldn’t afford to live without.
When you finally see yourself clearly, everything else starts to make sense and fall into place as it should… as it was meant to all along.
– Ebin Barnett
It was this realization that made us want to give everything away for free. “If only they would just try it and give time with themselves a shot” we would think…. “Then they would understand what intentional, mindful living can do for them”. So we have been doing just that… giving it away for free as much as we could. Watching you become amazing little by little every day. But by ourselves, we can’t give it away free forever. Which leads us to our next reason for becoming a non-profit….
#3 – We need your support!
We literally will not be able to continue this beautiful mission and purpose without your support. Whether that’s financial support or by sharing us and our challenge series platform with those that you know and love. What does that mean? A lot of cool changes coming soon!
1. We will no longer be “selling” subscriptions to our service!
Rather, we will be offering different ways to donate. And this time, you get to do it on YOUR terms. We’re not going to make you give monthly, or at all. Give what you feel led to give. It can be one time, monthly, or never. Although we’d prefer that you did donate, we get it. It’s not always possible for you to give to us, but we don’t want that to stop us from giving to you.
2. You will be able to get a tax break from donating to us!
That’s right! Once we’re officially approved by the IRS for our 501(c)(3) status all donations after our filing date (which already happened) will be tax deductible! What does this mean for you? Every dollar you give us can be deducted in the United States from your Adjusted Gross Income. Plain talk: PAY LESS TAXES AND GET A BIGGER REFUND by donating to us! How cool is that?!
3. We can do fundraisers!
We’re super excited about the opportunities this will bring us. Being able to fundraise will help us accelerate things we have been wanting to do, but unable to afford. Like completing our app, hosting a conference and/or workshop, donating intentional goods and services to various causes and SOOOO much more. We will also be giving you the power to do your own fundraisers! Want to donate your Birthday on Facebook to help an Intention Inspired cause? You’ll eventually be able to do that!
4. We can seek out Grants from Foundations, private individuals, the government and corporate sponsorships!
Although we’ll mostly be supported by people like you, we can offset some of the costs and help continue to make more free offerings by leveraging these types of donations. Mental Health is more than a problem for us in the U.S., it’s a global crisis. Turn on the TV and you’ll see it in every news article, read it in every paper and hear it on every radio station. School shootings, opioid and prescription drug abuse, domestic violence and much more are just the symptoms of this disease, and we’re building a tool to combat it with a daily practice that is NOT dependent on drugs and/or funded by pharmaceutical companies. It’s obvious that prescriptions alone are NOT the only answer to this problem. We believe learning to live and practice intentional, mindful thinking could help address this problem from millions. We’ve already seen its effects on over 250,000 people that have taken one of our series. They have PROVEN that what we’ve created together with you is an effective long-term treatment solution to many of the mental health concerns out there today. And the best part? What we’re building is globally available. This is especially true when we finally have our app in the app stores. Almost all other mental health non-profits out there simply “raise awareness” about these mental health issues and then feed you right back into the system that created these problems in the first place. Many of these organizations are funded and subsidized by the very pharmaceutical companies who profiteer off of the addictions they create and the mental problems that come along with them.
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
– Albert Einstein
Don’t get us wrong- we believe prescriptions have their place, but they are out of control. Our non-profit will be focused on actually offering a solution to these issues and not just raising awareness about the problems. We feel that we already know we have problems, that’s why we signed up for an Intention Inspired challenge series- Ha! Here's a great story from a member that proves this point who overcame a rocky past of failures, rape, and depression. She was able to use our service to stop taking anti-depressant meds and move into a happier frame of mind: I AM HAPPY – The Intention Inspired Journey of “This girl”. Jeannette has a great story here and so does Maria here too! There are thousands of stories like these because of what we're doing together here.
5. We can “grow up”
Although most of you know my brother Matt and I will never truly grow up, our non-profit company can! The reason I say that is because it’s tough to keep everything going with just the two of us. We literally have thousands and thousands of people counting on us everyday to help them deliver that “daily dose” of intentional, mindful thinking and it can be a tall order at times. It’s also one that we don’t take lightly. So much so, it can be a little stressful. Becoming a non-profit will hopefully (and I do mean hopefully because it remains to be seen) allow us to bring on some additional resources to help us focus on new series creation while making sure the platform is 100% reliable and secure. It boils down to a better experience for you and those you share it with while not killing Matt and I 🙂
6. We CANNOT ever sell the company and/or its assets for profit
I think this one is self-explanatory. You’re worth it. End of story. If we dissolve the corporation all assets and proceeds will flow to another non-profit and/or the government (YIKES!). We don’t foresee that happening because we believe the community won’t allow it! Right?!?!
7. We are even more accountable to you!
Our financial records will be public info that you can readily search. So moving forward you don’t have to just blindly “trust” us. You can look it up for yourselves. If that’s not transparency, then we don’t know what is.
What can you do to help?
We knew you were going ask! Well, you know we’re going to ask for donations now, but the first thing we’re going to say is…
Don't hide it … divide it!
- Share Intention Inspired – Get people plugged into a challenge series so they can experience the same amazing transformations that thousands of others have.
- Share it with other non-profit and/or personal health organizations you know. Encourage them to give it away.
DONATE! However, don’t just donate, do it with intention.
1. Only give within your means.
Just because you love us to death and now get a tax write off doesn’t mean you should give us all your hard earned cash.
2. Leverage your employer’s contribution matching!
Employee Matching Gifts are donations an employer makes to match its employees' charitable contributions. Usually associated with corporate grantmakers, employee matching gifts often are dollar-for-dollar, but some companies will give double or even triple the original donation. 65% of Fortune 500 companies match donations from employees to a wide variety of nonprofits.
3. Create your own fundraiser!
Get vocal! Tell us what you’re doing and/or want to do. We’ll support you in any way we can. That may even include raffle prizes etc…
4. Find a private individual or foundation to help us do matching fundraiser drives.
This can really make or break any of our future fundraisers. The good news is that we’ve already found our first private individual willing to match our first fundraiser! But we can always use more.
We are super excited to enter into this new phase of Intention Inspired’s journey together with you. One thing is for sure, you keep surprising us and inspiring us. We are honored to be here with you on the bumpy yet fruitful journey of life learning to Love without fear, Mindfully navigate daily challenges, and Bravely push forward towards a happier, healthier… YOU. Here’s to you. You made this happen. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.
Love in Everything,
Ebin, Matt & the Intention Inspired Team