1) Engaging students in active, fun "hands-on, minds-on" STEM learning
* Spark an interest in how the world around us works
* Demonstrate how STEM education, tools & careers can help solve challenges
* Develop & share lesson plans, worksheets, resources & links (Teaching methods)
* Decrease educational achievement gaps by removing economic, racial, ethnic and gender barriers
2) Raising endangered/threatened heritage breed rabbits and raising those animals that we have rescued/rehomed.
* Showcase endangered rabbits listed on the the Livestock Conservancy and support efforts to protect biodiversity
* Prevent rabbit abandonment, starting in Minnesota
* Teach rabbit and animal care best practices
* Provide interested classrooms, organizations and foster families with a kid-friendly rabbit & with all needed supplies for up to 8 week "check out" as a first step to rabbit adoption.
* Connect cultural, educational, life science and agricultural communities
Providing service-learning volunteer opportunities for 4th-12 grade entrepreneurs, scout groups, 4H members and bunny lovers of all ages.
* Get trained to help us share our bunnies at community events this spring & summer. From egg hunts to summer camp to the Hennepin County Fair,
to the MN Pet Expo -- plenty of fun planned
* Therapy bunny sessions and outing to visit with seniors and referred patients, and HOPE KIDS
* Donations ideas
OUR VISION: Prepared, Inspired & Engaged STEM Students
Preserved and Loved Rabbits
Through inquiry-based service learning program that benefits rabbits,
inspire student interest and inclusively increase skill proficiency in STEM
content areas while meeting the Family Assets.
Prepare & Engage Students Outdoors in STEM learning
Preserve Endangered Heritage Breed Rabbits
Prevent Pet Abandonment
Provide Service and Connections in the Community
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHY ARE YOU NOT LISTED WITH GROUPS LIKE GUIDESTAR OR CHARITY NAVIGATOR?
We just started after two years of pilot programming led by families. We have not yet received our 501c3 nonprofit status which is a prerequisite for evaluations. Charity Navigator only evaluates large nonprofit organizations by examining seven years of Form 990, a public tax return that each organization files annually. We are not of the scope and scale that this organization evaluates. However to ensure accountability and transparency, we will file and make our first 990 form available this December and will begin listing with charity watchdog groups.
HOW IS YOUR ORGANIZATION'S FINANCIAL HEALTH?
STEM Bunnies is able to sustain the care for the current amount of rabbits we have connected our organization and the number of programs we conducted last year during the pilot phase. We however would like to increase our impact both here in Minnesota and to expand to other urban/suburban markets. Critical to this replicable expansion is to purchase mobile units and to secure administrative support. We are currently seeking donations to provide a mobile STEM Bunnies unit to help transport the rabbits and educational supplies to events.
HOW DO YOU GET MONEY?
Private donations from those who have hosted an event or training with our bunnies provide the majority of our operational budget. Our hefty start-up funding for equipment, rabbit stock and supplies came from the founding families of STEM Bunnies. The ongoing financial commitment for hard costs and their upkeep is much less expensive, but we do need to periodically replace cages and supplies from wear and tear from the rabbits. secured many of our hutches by donation
Other Types of Financial Support: We currently receive no government support. We have completed grant applications for several private animal-based foundations and will apply for grants related to STE. We just received our first grant from the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Foundation. Our goal is to become fully sustainable through our events and microbusinesses -- birthday parties, sale of angora items, vermiculture, manure for gardens, educational books/games/toys etc. and to use new grants for expanding to new markets and for piloting new programs.
WHAT DO YOU SPEND MONEY ON?
During the start up phase, 70% of our income is currently being spent on hard and soft costs that directly benefit our rabbits. STEM Bunnies nonprofit provides for the rabbit's needs including cages, play pens, toys, food, hay, bedding, litter pans, water bottles, vet care, spay/neuter when appropriate, etc. Additional purchases include air quality monitoring device, rabbit scales,
20% of our expenses are related to educational programming. This includes printing student worksheets, visual aids, curriculum, microscopes, stethoscopes etc.
10% of our expenses are related to administration costs such as website fees, filing fees, insurance, permits, signage, adult volunteer screening, etc.
HOW MANY VOLUNTEER HOURS?
We have 35 trained volunteers. Adult volunteers are also screened. Over the past few months we have been diligent to chart the amount of volunteer hours and tasks.
The Corporation for National and Community Service estimates the value of volunteer service in Minnesota as $24.31/hour. Since January 2015, our volunteers have provided 600+ hours which is the equivalent of $14,580. They are on target for $58,400 of value added to our nonprofit this year.
HOW ARE YOU HELD ACCOUNTABLE?
We are pleased to share information, so please contact us with your questions. We will post our Form 990 here at the end of our financial year, December 2015. We will have an outside audit by three Rotarians from three different clubs at the end of the year.
We are currently recruiting additional Board of Director members and advisors. Please contact us if you are interested of if you have a suggestion before May 15, 2015.
We will NEVER sell or trade a donor's personal information. We believe there are much better and ethical ways to expand our donor base and increase awareness of our group.
We will provide a written copy of our policy upon request.
CONSTITUENT VOICES: We warmly welcome feedback in the hopes of improving our programs and services both for the people and sweet bunnies in our program. We compile all information and our Board commits to weigh all comments that are sent in writing to us (email@example.com). We recognize that within the larger "rabbit community" that there are polarizing perspectives about these furry friends and there is NO WAY to get full support from any animal/rabbit organization or we would be them and there would be no reason to create a separate group.
A few examples: Some believe every animal should be spayed/neutered. Some say that heritage breeds should be be kept intact and eligible for strategic breeding to prevent extinction. Some say biodiversity is important -- Some say who cares. Some believe that rabbits are vermin that endanger their garden or crop and should be killed or removed. Some people tattoo and take their rabbit to fairs and shows while others believe that the travel and show environments are unhealthy. Some believe that rabbit are key to testing for human safety. Some believe that rabbit is a healthy tasty source of protein and the answer to low carbon meat from the backyard. Some feed their bunnies organic pellets. Some buy treats with yogurt. Some would never eat a rabbit or wear fur. Some say don't buy angora. Others say only buy American raised angora. Some believe that rabbits should only be kept indoors. Others say that God made them to be outdoors and in fresh air, sunshine and playing in the dirt. We can't be all things to all rabbit people but we welcome your comments and hope that we can find a way to bring wonderful people together because of our connections to rabbits. We haven't thought of everything and so we welcome your input. You may email us or send it in the mail (PO Box 20725 Bloomington MN 55420).
PUBLISHED EVALUATION REPORTS: We have recruited an independent third party to formally evaluate our efforts and make those results publicly available. We will use this evaluation report to help us become more effective, efficient, ethical and sustainable...
STEM Bunnies is registered in the State of Minnesota, USA
as a Nonprofit organization and is awaiting federal tax exempt determination.
FEDERAL EIN 47-3553643
Charitable organizations, non-governmental organizations, or tax-exempt organizations, are organizations that are formed for the purpose of fulfilling a mission to improve the common good of society rather than to acquire and distribute profits. Nonprofit organizations provide a vehicle for people to do things that they cannot do apart, in which they are engaged in communities.
The defining feature of nonprofit organizations is that they do not distribute a financial return (equity), or profit, to private individuals. Nonprofit organizations are subject to certain specific benefits as well as obligations, which are governed by Minnesota state statutes and the IRS. There are more than 25 different types of nonprofits defined in the IRS code, with the most common type is 501(c)(3).
Nonprofit organizations must be guided by their charitable mission and led by a board of directors. That board will set the strategic direction of the organization and hire additional staff needed to fulfill its mission.
SOURCE: Minnesota Nonprofits