Montana State University-Northern business class students present new, innovative ideas for the Feed My Sheep Soup Kitchen, as its director is considering some major changes including potentially a new location.
Northern students and Feed My Sheep board members met Tuesday to discuss a variety of strategic ideas to help boost the community’s knowledge regarding the Feed My Sheep organization.
Feed My Sheep Director Scott Schepp said recently he has some big ambitions for the future of Feed My Sheep. He was promoted to director a year ago after volunteering for half a year prior to that. He has 25-30 volunteers. The soup kitchen is open Monday through Saturday for lunch.
He said he was considering trying to change the organization’s location.
“If we had a new building that was inviting and fresh and clean… I wanted to give that restaurant experience, but it’s free,” he said.
He added that the people who help are key to his operations.
“We’ve had some really awesome volunteers. I can’t say enough good things about the volunteers because without them, we wouldn’t have a soup kitchen.
Schlepp said the soup kitchen has a waiting list for volunteers.
“A lot of these guys have been working at the soup kitchen for 20-30 years, he added. “They know more about it than I do.”
Schepp said a favorite meal is tacos but the meals are never the same.
“It really depends on donations. … I like that challenge. It keeps it interesting.”
He said he wanted to keep the soup kitchen strong.
“I want to make sure the Feed My Sheep is good to go for another 20-30 years,” Schepp said.
During the meeting at Northern, Aili Subik was the first student speaker of the presentation.
“I have volunteered for various non-profit organizations in Butte and have seen first-hand how important it is to support local soup kitchens and food pantries,” Subik said. “Without community support, it would not be possible for these non-profits to operate”
Morgaine Milligin spoke on the topic of awareness, promoting the organization better.
“We must discuss the power of a new logo,” he said. “One of the reasons why a new logo is super-important is because it allows for an image to be linked to the organization.
“I think that if we can find a punchy little logo to put on top of the Feed My Sheep organization, it’s just going to help you grow,” she said.
Another idea Milligin presented was hiring or having an individual step in as a media manager.
“Nowadays, in the 21st century, the media is one of the main forms of communication in order to get your organization and what you’re doing and your goals out … also so we can increase the donors. If they don’t know you exist, how are you going to be able to get help so those goals can be met?” Milligin asked.
Tanner McCliment-Call suggested creating a new slogan for the soup kitchen, adding, “It’s a way for people to recognize the name.”
He presented a fundraiser event idea to promote Feed My Sheep, holding a “Green Eggs and Ham” meal, stemming from Dr. Seuss’ children’s book.
He suggested looking for donations to help with the food, then charging a modest fee to fund the soup kitchen.
He also suggested setting up regular communications with existing and potential donors.
“I had an idea of setting up a monthly newsletter or an email to any donors, once a month, once every two months. Try to get them to send them once a week, once a month, have them on a regular schedule, ” McCliment-Call said, “If you send them an email saying we’ve done this amount this month, and we plan on doing this amount next month, people are going to want to donate more, it’s going to make them feel like they are donating to a cause or a goal in the end.”