PLATINUM2024

THE CRAYON INITIATIVE

Recycling unwanted crayons into unlimited possibilities.

Danville, CA   |  http://thecrayoninitiative.org/

Mission

Dedicated to providing children with the resources to express their creativity and individuality through the arts, The Crayon Initiative takes unwanted crayons, remanufactures them into new, occupational therapist-designed crayons and donates them to children's hospitals and their related child life services programs. We prevent thousands of pounds a year of crayons from going to landfills all over the United States. The Crayon Initiative supports children's hospitals in nearly every state, and collects crayons from all over the world.

Notes from the nonprofit

The Crayon Initiative is unique in that we cover a wide-range of areas - from recycling used and unwanted crayons from all around the world, to convert them into fresh, new, clean crayons that have been therapeutically designed by an occupational therapist to fit smaller hands and not roll off hospital trays - to sharing these crayons 100% free of charge to children's hospitals along with additional resources (coloring books, party packs, crowns and celebratory art work efforts) to their child life services programs. It is an amazing process to see crayons received in pounds and hundreds of pounds - from all over - to having them sorted, manually by volunteers and fundraisers (corporate team building) to seeing those 9 colors being melted down into liquid wax to being molded into the new 3-sided crayons, and seeing them packed in boxes of 8 colors - to seeing them packed and ready to ship all over the United States. It is an incredible thing.... Thanks for supporting!

Ruling year info

2014

Founder & President

Bryan Ware

Main address

540 Glasgow Circle

Danville, CA 94526 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

80-0938971

NTEE code info

Health - General and Rehabilitative N.E.C. (E99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Crayon Initiative organizes crayon collections that take unwanted crayons, remanufactures them, and provides them to hospitals that care caring for children.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Share Your Colors

The Crayon Initiative helps preserve the environment and enrich the lives of hospitalized children through art and imagination. Through our work, we reduce environmental waste by remanufacturing used crayons (which are not biodegradable) into new ergonomically shaped crayons that are put in packs with eight different colors and then donated to art programs in children’s hospitals across the country.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, The Crayon Initiative was able to send about 16,000 packs of crayons to hospitalized children all over the United States. When we had to close our doors to our volunteers, we lost a very valuable and significant participant in our process - as a result, we also lost the ability to raise funds to process and ship these crayons. 2023 marks the 10th Anniversary of The Crayon Initiative, so we are trying to get our strength and volunteer numbers back - thus, Bring Back the Crayons! By donating cash or in-kind support to The Crayon Initiative we will be able to get back to the level we were and surpass our numbers - we have sent nearly 750,000 packs of crayons to date - we want to get to 1,000,000 per year! Will you help?

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
People with diseases and illnesses

Where we work

Awards

Golden Arrow Award 2023

California Product Stewardship Council

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of sick children assessed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our mission is to preserve the environment by recycling used and unwanted crayons and to enrich the lives of hospitalized children through art and imagination.

While crayons unlock creativity and spark growth, they are also not biodegradable. We organize crayon collections and remanufacture used crayons into new packs. The packs are then shipped for free to pediatric patients across the United States.

By engaging thousands of local and corporate volunteers, we remove millions of crayons from landfills and provide hospitalized children with an outlet that reduces stress and unlocks imagination.

We accomplish our charity’s mission by focusing on three objectives.

Crayon Collections
We partner with corporations, restaurants, and communities to collect used crayons. Since 2016, Landry’s Restaurants has been a significant supporter by displaying our collection bins at over 110 Bubba Gump Shrimp, Rainforest Café and Joe’s Crab Shack restaurants. Donations arrive from across the country in large boxes from corporations such as A.C. Moore to shoe boxes from girl scout troops to envelopes from children.

Foundation and Corporate Fundraising
We seek financial support from the public and businesses to remove used crayons from landfills and give new crayons at no cost to pediatric patients. Funding is typically for general operating support and we receive in-kind packaging and shipping supply donations.

Local and National Community Support
We enlist thousands of local volunteers to operate our manufacturing facility as well as engage a robust corporate volunteer pipeline to organize crayon sorting events.

The Crayon Initiative has received 51 tons of used crayons in 2018, an increase of 242% from the prior year. Crayon donations are sent from across the country and even internationally.

From 2014 to 2017, TCI’s base of operations was the founder’s home. In late 2017, TCI built a production site next to downtown Danville. The production facility has two melting stations, four molding stations, and a crayon sorting area that is open 5 days per week. Custom molds, designed by the founder, produce durable ergonomic crayons that are easy to clean and will not roll off of tray tables.

Volunteers sign up for shifts online and the facility can be reserved for school fieldtrips and corporate teambuilding events. At full capacity, 2,000 pounds of crayons can be sorted, molded, packed, and shipped to 3,000 children per week.

In 2015, we received 10,500 pounds of used crayons and remanufactured and packaged 5,000 crayons. With our current supply of raw materials, we are on track to produce over 150,000 packs of new crayons in 2018.

We have a successful social media campaign and several grant proposals and corporate sponsorship opportunities in progress. We also have thousands of local volunteers, as well as a robust corporate volunteer pipeline.

In order to reach our production goals, we must fill critical roles in our organization and on our board so that current leaders and staff can spend more time expanding outreach channels and realizing our potential when it comes to critical donations and sponsorships.

By engaging a wider and deeper donor base, the incremental support will fund:
• Hiring an Executive Director to focus on the strategic growth of the organization
• Creating 2-3 full time positions to manage increased production
• Purchasing two additional crayon molds, bringing our total count to eight
• Designing and building proprietary equipment that will shorten melting times and filter crayon wrappers automatically, thus improving the efficiency of our operations

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection

Financials

THE CRAYON INITIATIVE
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

THE CRAYON INITIATIVE

Board of directors
as of 02/20/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Bryan Ware

The Crayon Initiative

Marissa Ware

SRVUSD

Dwight Koda

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Melissa Krieg

Exxon Mobil

Allegra Abbey Berckmoes

Texas Children's Hospital - Houston

Lori Deselms

Retired - Wells Fargo

Tim Ahlenius

AmericanEagle.com Marketing

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/20/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/23/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.