Nonprofit Organizations: A Profit to the Community

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I stumbled into the nonprofit world entirely by accident. I was a junior in college planning on being a Marriage and Family Therapist and looking for a part-time job. I saw a listing for an internship with a nonprofit called Child Rescue Association of North America which was based in the Salt Lake valley. Child Rescue’s goal was to raise awareness of underage sex trafficking in the United States and educate the public about sex crimes against minors.
I had always heard stories of these things happening but was very detached from them. They were stories from friends of friends or storylines from Special Victims Unit. Working at Child Rescue, I worked alongside survivors of trafficking, women who had been pimped out by boyfriends, and women who had been kidnapped and forced into prostitution. And many of these women were from Utah. It opened me up to a whole new world that I naively thought existed elsewhere, not here in beautiful and safe Utah.
This experience lit a fire in me. I became a passionate social activist. I then discovered that Utah was overflowing with organizations striving to make society better. I have since been involved with High Road for Human Rights which was founded by former Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson, as well as Beyond Right and Wrong and Hadley Impact Consulting, and Fight The New Drug – all of which are based in the Salt Lake City area.
Utah has one of the highest concentrations of nonprofit organizations in the country, most of them aimed at social change and education.
Some of the biggest nonprofits based in Utah include Beauty Redefined which aims to educate the public about the objectification of women in the media and teach about body image resilience, and Fight The New Drug which educates youth on the harmful and addictive qualities of pornography. Both of these organizations have been featured on national television and have been making massive waves of change in society.
Fight The New Drug (FTND for short) is run by a passionate group of 30-somethings and has a large following of equally passionate “Fighters”. Being based in Utah has been a little bit of a double-edged sword for FTND; some argue that they are too “Mormon” or religious, even though FTND does not claim any religious affiliation whatsoever. Utah also has the highest rate of pornography subscriptions in the entire country, making FTND’s presence in the state very necessary.
Beauty Redefined also finds itself in the perfect state for its mission. Aiming to teach women (and men) that women are more than their bodies, the Kite sisters, Lindsay and Lexie (both Ph.Ds), use their own research to teach what they coined “body image resilience”. Utah also has the highest rates of elective cosmetic surgeries in the country. Just driving Interstate 15 you will see hundreds of billboards advertising tummy tucks, breast enlargements, Botox, and a thousand other surgeries aimed at “perfecting” women’s bodies.
Not all nonprofits are as obvious as Beauty Redefined or FTND. Thanksgiving Point is also a registered 501(c)(3) organization, which means that all extra profits after employees have been paid go directly back into the organization for furthering their mission to the public. There are a massive variety of nonprofits in Utah, all with different goals but the same passion to improve society.
After learning all of this about nonprofits and being involved with so many in various positions I decided it was time to dive in and found my own organization. I spent years trying to figure out what I was passionate about and what I felt my mission was. As I neared the end of my college career, I had a few experiences that made it very clear. I was supposed to work with survivors of sexual assault. I was also incredibly passionate about educating the public about rape culture. I began to create a team of driven and motivated women and together we created We Are One in Three.
During our research we discovered that Utah has sexual assault rates higher than the general United States and most of those go unreported. Of those reported, even fewer lead to trial and conviction of the perpetrator. Brigham Young University is also rumored to have a higher than average rate of sexual assault, but the exact numbers are unknown due to low reporting rates. College campuses tend to be a breeding ground for sexual assault and Utah is no exception.
Programs like WAOiT, FTND, Beauty Redefined and other similar organizations are a huge benefit to their local communities. When I discovered that Beauty Redefined was based in Salt Lake City, I looked up their presentation schedule and have since seen them speak multiple times, each time walking away feeling empowered in my womanhood. That is incredibly needed in today’s culture and society. And that is why I am glad Beauty Redefined exists in my own backyard.
I have also had the pleasure of seeing Fight The New Drug in action and I was lucky enough to work with them during my senior year of college. Utah has the highest rate of paid pornography subscriptions according to several studies. This makes FTND a very much needed resource for Utah’s youth. I have seen how their presentations spark conversation between teenagers and their parents about pornography. They have opened the lines of communication and helped to remove the awkwardness from that conversation.
The aforementioned organizations are a small sampling of the many organizations that call Utah home and that benefit our communities. The power of social activism is a big part of Utah’s culture. Utahns have a strong sense of community and family, both lending themselves to a desire to improve society for those who will come after us. And we are lucky enough to be surrounded by opportunities for involvement and education. Let us not take that for granted.

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About Author

Brittany M. Plothow holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Science from Utah Valley University. The daughter of a passionate journalist, she was raised to love newspapers especially the smell of ink and the smudges left of her fingertips. She loves mountains, hiking, John Mayer, Tolkien novels, Harry Potter movie marathons, naming her plants after British actors, and collecting things like coffee cups and vinyl records. She is currently living in the Salt Lake Valley, with her cat Ringo Starr, as a freelance writer for multiple publications. She also works in social activism, recently founding a non-profit organization.

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