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Building While Flying

Jun 17, 2021

Non-profit owners, employees, donors, supporters—this week’s episode is for you! There are a lot of assumptions and stigmas surrounding non-profits and what it’s like to run them. This week’s guests debunk many of those, and show what has made theirs so successful for the last seven years.

Welcome to Building While Flying!

This weekly podcast is brought to you by the Sasha Group. We’re the small-to-medium-sized business arm of the VaynerX family of companies. We help ambitious companies build strong brands that flex with the times through strategy, branding, media, and marketing.

In ever-changing times, businesses and brands have to shift and adapt. And across all sectors, there is an air of experimentation. Business owners are trying new things out in the wild;  building the plane while flying.

Our pilots, Katie Hankinson and Mickey Cloud, will be talking to a diverse range of business leaders and founders. They’ll explore how these guests tackle various challenges while staying resilient and committed to growth. Through these real-life examples of strategies put into practice, we hope to inspire you to experiment and develop your own strategies as we all navigate these uncertain times together. 

Shawanda Mason-Moore and Jennifer Holder launched The Chattery in 2014 to fulfill a community need—and one of their own.

As friends who were both new to Chattanooga, they sought a community, a place where adults could learn, grow, and connect. In 2014, they launched The Chattery, a non-profit that makes adult learning accessible, affordable, and fun. Over the last seven years, they’ve hosted thousands of classes led by hundreds of community members, fostered countless relationships, and created a welcoming, safe space for everyone to learn and grow. And they’re just getting started!

In this week’s episode, Shawanda and Jennifer share The Chattery’s origin story and mission, and explain how their mission drives everything they do—from the classes they offer to the grants they apply for. They also explain how they run their non-profit like a for-profit business (and why that’s okay), and why you should be picky when choosing grants. They also discuss how they pivoted during the COVID-19 pandemic, and which of their pivots will be sticking around.

Other in-flight topics:

  • Starting a business as a non-profit vs. LLC
  • Building friendships and community for adults
  • Staying true to your mission
  • Transitioning to online and at-home programming
  • Opportunity costs of applying for grants
  • Preparing for a hybrid model future