eTapestry and other freebies

As a low-budget nonprofit, we’re always on the look-out for good deals or better yet, free stuff! After speaking with a very amiable woman from Blackbaud, I was explaining my need for tracking our membership, donors, fundraising efforts, etc. All that boring data management to substantiate we’re doing our job and doing it well. The catch, as usual, I needed it fast and cheap. She suggested eTapestry, a Blackbaud product that is practically free. I say practically because it appears to have some costs for consulting and perhaps a few other fees I might discover along the way. Their customer service seems very responsive so this is a presumptive endorsement. I’ll post a full review of their services after a few months of use.

Other tips for running a low-cost, high-tech organization:

1) Skype: we think it’s great for conferencing not to mention having a regular phone number and voicemail. Downside is that it’s a foreign based operation so paying for service is sometimes a hassle, and I haven’t found a phone number to contact the phone service so if you know it, please send it our way!

2) Web hosting: with so many websites available, it’s easy to pick one and purchase for a relatively low price (around $10/year). Hosting is a bit more expensive but the basic version comes with email and averages around $5 per month. As I mentioned before, the name of your organization does matter not only for searchability but also the all important website selection.

Our only regular “overhead” costs consist just of phone and webhosting. We’re about as streamlined as it gets, and this has its advantages. A larger percent of donations go directly to getting info and support to trauma survivors. The main drawback is that banks and the IRS require a physical location and haven’t quite caught up with the virtual wave yet though I’m sure they will in time. Other costs have included web design, which took a chunk at the beginning, and advertising is another intermittent biggie for us, but facebook and google make this relatively inexpensive yet effective with colorful charts (that make the data more fun). Blogs and twitter have been another effective ad-type platform and free! The biggest cost then is simply time. So the more you know about programming or programs to use, the better off you are since the web can be a great (practically) free tool when used properly.

As for accepting donations-the other side of nonprofit service life-we’ve tried paypal which is free to use but takes a percent off the top of each donation. I’ve seen alternatives listed on other nonprofit sites and will be checking into those this fall. If you have any recommendations, do tell. Email us at info@dartheart.org.

And keep coming back for more!

UVM Frat gives RAPE Quiz

UVM’s Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity recently sent a “quiz” to its new
recruits, including the question:

If you could rape anyone who would it be?

Click here to read the Washington Post article.

It’s very disheartening that these frat boys think it’s okay to plan sexual violence. Really, what are they thinking? And remember, they’re not only wanting to do this on the campus, they’ll be let loose into the real world and keep up this horrible behavior. Worse yet, UVM officials didn’t shut down the fraternity. The local chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon is only suspended at the urging of the national fraternity members. Why isn’t the college clearly sending a message that rape is NOT ok.

Here’s what one student had to say:

This egregious expression of rape culture is only the most recent example of systemic sexism at UVM. The past year alone has witnessed rape, multiple sexual assaults, and anti-abortion chalking in public spaces. While the university administration has laid off long-time Women’s and Gender Studies faculty and supported sexist institutions like Sigma Phi Epsilon, it has refused to take concerted action to combat sexism and rape culture. We demand that instead of diverting resources into vast salaries for its administrators, UVM should launch an aggressive campaign against sexism and rape culture, and it should expand institutions such as Women’s and Gender Studies and the Women’s Center at UVM. Furthermore, UVM must immediately disband Sigma Phi Epsilon. An institution that discusses who it wants to rape has no place at UVM or in the Burlington community.

If you know someone at UVM or live near the campus, please join them for a press conference and speak-out against rape culture and sexism at UVM and everywhere!

This Thursday, 12/15
at 12:00 noon
on the steps of Baily Howe Library,
Main Campus, UVM

Name & Logo

Shortly after the idea for our group,  a name was of the utmost importance and then creating the logo to perfectly represent the efforts of our group. I went through several names and finally landed on DartHeart primarily because when I typed the name into the wonderful logarithm of Google it did not return high numbers. Searchability was not the only reason the name stuck, but it was very high on my list.

DartHeart congures up the images of a dart and a heart. Carrying the association a bit further, a dart piercing a heart like an arrow, the eternal symbol of love, containing both positive and negative messages. But for obvious reasons, we could not have Cupid’s little arrow or a bright red heart as symbols. The process of trauma recovery isn't exactly like eating a box of chocolates from that special someone. Most of the time, especially at first, it’s more like sitting alone on Valentine’s day in a romantic restaurant while lovestruck couples canoodle and remind you of how miserable you really are.

After trauma, you’ve certainly been struck in the heart and you feel sick except that rather than the love sickness of a budding romance, you feel like your heart has been ripped open and the middle torn out. Something is missing and it hurts.

So a dart through your heart leaving a hole after trauma made sense symbolically. But more than this, I wanted to represent the idea of a hole in your heart that could be filled through recovery. The shape of the logo was decided, a heart with a hole, simple or so I thought.

What do you fill your heart with? Love, joy, a small sliver of hope? Those emotions don’t correlate with design in the easiest way. And then the ultimate question, what color adds that je ne sais quoi? Certainly, red was out as were actual darts that might look like arrows. Since Dartmouth is the Big Green, and I read somewhere that green is soothing to the eyes…green was in. I wanted another color that would make us stand out from our school. It couldn’t be orange, that would look horrible as would pink or purple or anything that was too lovey-dovey or gender specific. Yellow was debatable while blue seemed the perfect complement. After running things by our website developers, yellow was added as our accent color and tied everything together in the brightest best representation of positive recovery.

I then took my initial concept of a simple heart with a blue and green center to a team member so she could fiddle around with design. She stretched the heart, tried jagged edges, swoops, you name it. I preferred a sleek look-something modern and memorable that would work well for branding. Being a fan of research, I also checked out a couple of logos that are popular symbols of everyday life yet have amazing branding. What does a mouse or apple make you think of? For most of us, Mickey Mouse and Macs are top of mind. Both use basic shapes, three circles for the mouse face and ears, an apple with a semicircle removed to represent a bite out of it, and voila, iconic. So we stuck to a basic heart, a basic circle in the middle and then the magic happened. She tipped the heart on its side and linked the D from DartHeart through the hole. Perfect. A symbol of DartHeart linking us together, partly filling your heart through our network of support.

Was the logo a success? Did survivors and eveyone else figure it out? Did it represent our name and the work we do helping people with trauma recovery? On campus, since the name DartHeart was chosen in part as a play on the name of our alma mater, Dartmouth, this was the most frequent association that popped up when we started spreading the word. Outside of the New England area, nobody has commented much on the logo and without a survey I’m not sure we’ll get much direct feedback.

Though we’ve been satisfied with the name and logo, I’ve been toying with the idea of sending out a survey to evaluate them. On the list of priorities, this isn’t too high, but as we gain traction with a larger number of clinics and providers and increase membership, the opportunity will likely come in a year or so to send out a quick survey and get the direct branding feedback we’ll need to make a better informed decision about sticking with what we’ve got or changing. In the meantime, if you have any thoughts on the name or logo now, feel free to send them our way. Email us at info@dartheart.org.

And keep coming back for more :)


OCTOBER is the month to be talking about DOMESTIC VIOLENCE!

Of course this is not the easiest thing to discuss-much easier to sweep it under the rug and pretend this happens to “other” people- not me, not my friends, not my family. But we can’t hide from the truth. Domestic Violence affects all of us directly and indirectly. We don’t want to live in a world where people are afraid to go home, to talk to anyone about their unsafe circumstances, or seek help when they need it.

If you’re a survivor of violence, do a quick check:

1) Are you safe?

2) Do you have people you can turn to for help?

3) Are you thinking about how you can look to your experience to help someone else?

Now’s the time for all of us to be brave enough to help someone else. Who better than you, a survivor of violence, to get the conversation going about why domestic violence must STOP NOW!

Be the change and turn your recovery from violence into something positive!!

Now Accepting Submission!

Do you have a recovery story, tips on living after violence, or other helpful hints on how to reach recovery? Send them to us at info@dartheart.org.

Each year, DartHeart compiles all of your awesome submissions into a hardcopy recovery tool. The DartHeart Team and our partner organizations distribute these tools for free to reach even more youth survivors like you!

Want to see what we’re talking about?

read our 2011 compilation here:

how to live happily ever after trauma

Happy New Year!
To our volunteers, community partners, and friends:   We wanted to take this time to send a special thank you for all of your support! It is through your ongoing commitment to our work that we are able to reach more and more survivors each year and help them recover from trauma!   GLOBAL VISION Over the last year and a half, DartHeart has expanded its focus from the Dartmouth campus to become an organization with global outreach. We are now operating from a virtual platform with connections throughout the nation and in many English speaking countries. We believe that our mission to connect survivors, share information about recovery, and offer opportunities for trauma survivors to make a difference in their local communities is best served by this new platform.   NEW PROJECTS Since the launch of our new blog (http://dartheartinc.tumblr.com/), we have been able to connect with survivors from England to Australia who share our vision of creating a global youth network. These young men and women from around the globe have been excited about DartHeart and have already shared many of their survival stories, book reviews, and recovery ideas for the benefit of all survivors in DartHeart’s network.   This fall, we also completed the first issue of how to live happily ever after trauma. It’s a pocket size compilation of recovery tips and positive stories by survivors for survivors. We offer a free downloadable pdf on our website (http://dartheart.org/content/tips). Our goal this spring is to distribute 100 hard copies to emergency rooms, safe houses, and schools.   Each year, survivors across the country join the DartHeart network. In the past six months alone, we’ve had survivors join from Michigan, Iowa, Nebraska, and Indiana to name a few. We always want to be sure our forums offer the right mix of privacy and freedom to connect with other survivors so this spring we’ll be rolling out a website update that will optimize our network and encourage more survivors to join!   GET INVOLVED One of the many benefits to our new virtual platform is not only that we’re one of the greenest companies around, but our overhead is also very, very low. Thanks to the dedication of volunteers, over 95% of our donations go directly to survivors. We think this is an awesome way to run our business and we hope you do too!   Give us 5! To help us reach our goal of handing out 100 copies of how to live happily ever after trauma, please consider donating just $5. A $5 donation covers the cost of printing, and our volunteers do the rest to get these booklets into the community and into the hands of survivors. Thanks to a recent generous donation, we’re already half-way to our goal! We just need 50 more generous people to give $5!! Click here to donate

Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve!
We have comfy t-shirts and totes that are fun to wear. A portion of the proceeds from each sale goes directly to DartHeart! Check out our shop at Skreened.com/dartheart   Last minute tax deduction :) DartHeart is a federally recognized 501c3 tax-exempt non-profit organization. (Wow, try saying that ten times fast!) If you need to unload some cash by the end of the year, we’d be happy to receive your charitable contribution! $50 pays our phone bill $100 keeps our website up and running Click here to donate We’re excited about our new projects for 2012. And we hope you’re excited too! If we all keep doing what we’ve been doing- telling survivors about our network, sending survivors our info, learning more about trauma recovery, and sharing positive tips- then together, we can make a positive global impact with our youth network for post traumatic stress recovery!!    Happy New Year! The DartHeart Team info@dartheart.org
Give Thanks!

Getting in the Thanksgiving mood, we’ve been thinking about all the things we can be grateful for. As a survivor…

You have the ability to enjoy life even more than you did before the trauma. You have experienced something traumatic and as crummy as that can feel, it can also feel pretty good to have survived. It can feel even better when you start to regain your sense of living, not just surviving.

To start with, you’re glad to be alive. You’re glad it wasn’t worse than it is. You’re glad that you have a chance to make your life what you want it to be. It’s a big deal to be a survivor and you have a special view on life that makes you stronger, wiser, and more equipped to face every day!

This is an excerpt from our book “how to live happily ever after trauma

Want to read more?

Click here to download!

Want to give a survivor a hard copy?

It only takes $5 to make a difference


College Mental Health Survey

Are you a recent grad or current college student living with a mental health condition?

Is your child a college student with a mental health condition?

NAMI wants to hear from you! Follow the appropriate link to participate in an important NAMI survey on services and supports for college students living with mental health conditions. All responses are kept confidential. Survey closes Sept 30, 2011.

Take the Student Survey

Click here for the Parent Survey

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is gathering info about your college student experience and your thoughts on college services for students living with mental health conditions. NAMI intends to use this information to develop guidelines and resources for colleges so they can better support students living with mental health conditions and their families.  

For more information, please contact Dana Markey at danac@nami.org.

Donate to DartHeart!
DartHeart is in desperate need of a new website. We’ve got 5 days left on our new website campaign, and I’m asking you to please consider donating $25 to $50. http://www.indiegogo.com/dartheart-new-website With a new website, we’ll reach more survivors, have an easier time bringing together survivors and supporters, and get more violence prevention projects going to really make an impact. I’ll be donating this week and am hoping you’ll all consider contributing since we have so much good work we can do to support survivors of violence and stop violence from happening again. Our good work starts with a new website so please share your holiday joy with this gift to DartHeart! Thanks!! Jess President, DartHeart
This Memorial Day

As survivors, we may spend a lot of time thinking about our circumstances and the violence we have lived to talk about.

But now is an especially good time to remember those who did not live to see the next day. Please take a moment to reflect on the lives our fallen soldiers.

We not only owe them a day of honor, but we owe them our choice to live better after violence. Take another sec to think about all the things going right in your life, celebrate that you have a life to celebrate, and live it to the fullest.

There’s really no better way to honor the dead than to not take for granted your living self.

Hot off the Press!

In case you haven’t checked it out yet, we wanted to let you know that Second Time Foster Child by Toni Hoy is in print.

The book has already had early success! It was an Amazon best seller before it even went to print. It’s now a best seller in 3 categories: mental health law, public law, and adoption. Over than 150 bookstores ordered it right away.

More than just great sales, Toni is continuing to bring people together through her great work. Parents in other states are strategizing how to get a copy to their legislators and policymakers. And even some universities dept. heads have expressed interest in using it in classrooms.

For survivors and non-survivors alike, Toni paints a sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes funny, and always real portrait of living with youth who have post traumatic stress.

Thanks to Toni and all the other supporters of youth survivors of violence! Keep up the good work!