Nonprofit spotlight: Good Friend, Inc.

Last updated on September 17th, 2021 at 11:52 am

1025 S. Moorland Rd., Ste. 600, Brookfield

(262) 444-7510  |  goodfriendinc.com

Facebook: facebook.com/GoodFriendInc

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/good-friend-inc.

Instagram: @goodfriendinc  |  Twitter: @GoodFriendInc

Year founded: 2007

Mission statement: To create autism awareness, teach acceptance of differences, and foster empathy for individuals on the autism spectrum. 

Primary focus of your nonprofit organization: Reducing disability harassment for autistics in the community by using our professionally produced, award-winning documentary short films to inspire autism appreciation.

Other focuses of your nonprofit organization: Laying a social emotional foundation for healthy neurodiverse relationships built on mutual respect among school-aged children. Increasing the employment rate of autistic adults by educating employers and colleagues about the lived experience of community members on the spectrum to change recruiting and retention practices. Creating a community for children who have a sibling with a brain-based disability through Sibshops.

Number of employees at this location: 6

Key donors: Individual donors, grants (with the top three donors being Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Stackner Family Foundation and Nonprofit Management Fund) and corporate partners (including top three donors Stark Pavement, Froedtert Health and Bank Five Nine). 

Executive leadership: Chelsea Budde, executive director, and Denise Schamens, creative director, are co-founders.

Board of directors: Jessica Gonzalez, president; Jeff Schill, vice president; Marianne Kirsch, secretary; and Sarah Russell

Is your organization actively seeking board members for the upcoming term? Yes, in the areas of finance/treasurer; expertise in legal, HR, curriculum development. Note that all board candidates must serve on a committee for at least six months before they’re eligible for a board seat. 

Ways the business community can help your nonprofit: Donate raffle items for our fundraising events, sponsor one or more of our annual fundraising events, host a third-party fundraiser, compensate an employee willing to donate talent and time to our mission, engage our services to promote neurodiversity in your workforce, send something from our Amazon charity list.

Key fundraising events: 

  • Celebrate Inclusion Winter Walk, Dec. 11, TBE Trailers, Watertown
  • Rockin’ for Good Friend Autism Acceptance Bowling FUNdraiser, May 7, 2022; Village Bowl, Menomonee Falls

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Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits and education for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism. In her free time, Lauren enjoys hiking, kayaking, and seeing live music.

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