Growing up in a small town with your father as the Executive Director at one of the largest foundations in New Mexico can make you feel like anything is possible. I have always believed that I will change the world, and when I founded my own nonprofit, I knew I was on my way. Over the course of three years, while working full time, I built a team, developed a board of directors, completed a startup accelerator program, hosted a panel at SXSW 2019, and was on my way to building an innovative crowdfunding program to serve the homeless population of Austin, TX. That was, until my world flipped upside down. What began with a passion to impact my community ended with a personal bankruptcy. My name is Kevin Price and this is my story of acting as a personal guarantee for my nonprofit.
What began with a passion to impact my community, ended with a personal bankruptcy.
Things seemed to be coming together naturally. We had the funding, the team, and the community support to make a difference. In an effort to not commingle personal and business finances, I decided to open an account with AMEX as well as a business account with Bank of America. The additional lines of credit allowed us to expand our services and begin building out our crowdfunding platform. My dream of helping the homeless population was coming true before my eyes, but I tried to run before I could walk. Being a young organization made it very difficult to qualify for grants and not having a huge network made fundraising extremely difficult. Sadly, after 3 years in operation, donor fatigue set in and our funding dried up. At that point, we maxed out our business lines of credit trying to stay afloat and no longer had funds coming in to pay them off. I had never been taught about the dangers of credit cards, but realized very quickly how hard it is to escape from the hole that interest rates create. At a certain point, I had to take a step back from the organization because I was nearing the point of living on the streets with the very population I was trying to serve.
With my back against the wall, I was forced into a personal bankruptcy as a result of credit card debt. This is something that will follow me around for 7 years and will make me ineligible to finance a house or a car, open a line of credit, rent an apartment, and in some cases, land a job. I had set out to make an impact, but because of my lack of financial knowledge, my life was impacted in a very negative way by the predatory credit card industry. The stress from the bankruptcy drove me into a deep depression for over a year. I moved back in with my mom at the age of 27 and felt like a huge failure and disappointment to my family and friends.
I am so grateful to be a part of a social impact organization dedicated to reducing risk for nonprofit employees and increasing the financial security of organizations across the nation.
A credit card company on a mission to reduce personal liability while helping orgs build alternative streams of revenue sounds too good to be true.
But if it was, I would not be here. This is my ‘why’ and this is where my passion for Charity Charge originates. Don’t be like me, avoid personal guarantees on your nonprofit accounts.
If you would like to hear more about my story or learn more about how Charity Charge can serve your organization shoot me a message at Kevin@charitycharge.com.