The NoHo official motto really should be: “NoHo is only as great as its people.”
Meet Lydia Floyd. She is the founder of the non-profit organization Hand4Hope LA, a group founded in 2000 that provides after-school and single-parent resource programs for North Hollywood and the surrounding East Valley communities. Hands4Hope LA provides support to at-risk youth ages 8 to 18 from low-income, predominantly minority households to improve their quality through free S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) based after-school programs, low-cost academic summer camp., and semi-annual single parent resource fairs.
Throughout Lydia’s career as an executive director of Hands4Hope LA, she attempted to help those seeking to start a nonprofit or churches as well as small agencies who needed assistance. So in 2010 she founded Simple Data Nonprofit Consulting (SDNC) to guide, assist and serve small to mid-size nonprofit organizations and church leaders. SDNC helps simplify complex terms, concepts and tasks to provide the fuel leaders need to propel the nonprofit to sustainability and successful service to the community.
Her skill set includes but is not limited to donor database management, board development, event planning as well as accounting (she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting). She hosts a class in nonprofit management basics and coaches and mentors executive directors and church finance leaders. She has held workshops in Succession Planning for L.A. County Native American Commission, an Effective Financial Management workshop for Valley Nonprofit Resources, and webinars in Nonprofit Management Basics and Reviewing Your Financial Management Operations.
This month, Lydia was honored with the Inspirational Women of the San Fernando Valley award from the United Chambers of Commerce that recognizes women who have been an inspiration while trailblazing on a path to making the San Fernando Valley a better place. The committee seeks nominations from across all industries, including for profit, non-profit, education, government and law enforcement.
What has been your favorite project/program at Hands4Hope LA?
There are too many to pick just one.
I love all of our parent resource programs, after-school classes and summer camp! We have transitioned to a virtual format during the pandemic, but I can’t wait to see everyone’s faces and connect in person. One program that holds a special place in my heart, and which we will hold either virtually or in-person this summer is our annual 5k HopeWalk and Kids’ Fair. It starts and finishes at the North Hollywood Park and winds throughout the NoHo Arts District. NoHo Neighborhood Council and North Hollywood North East Neighborhood Council generously sponsor the event, and the kids are so active and having fun not sitting in front of screens? which is all the more important in 2021. I am enjoying watching our kids learning things like knitting and sign language in our virtual classes we have now but my preference is seeing them active.
In our parent program I loved getting a single mother of five a refrigerator filled with food from a donor. Lately, Black Bottom restaurant has been blessing our parents with a week of free family dinners. I love helping single moms like my mother who had epilepsy and raised four children alone.
Where do you see Hands4Hope LA in five years?
My main goal is to continue to support at-risk youth from low-income, predominantly-minority families in North Hollywood and the greater San Fernando Valley. In five years, I want to still be connecting with families and I dream of doing that at our own site. We are grateful to have a space at First Baptist Church of NoHo but it would be great to expand to our own building.
I would also like to continue on our course of partnering with government agencies to provide our much-needed services with funding support. We are currently contracting with the Department of Mental Health and we are a certified social enterprise through workforce development because we provide transitional subsidized employment and training.
We want to get the word out about our great programs for kids and the resources we provide for parents in order to serve more families in our community.
Why did you start Simple Data?
I want to give small nonprofit and church leaders the help I wish I had when I founded a nonprofit organization 20 years ago.
Why the name?
It is so important to simplify the sometimes complex tasks associated with managing a non-profit organization.
I believe if a nonprofit leader starts right from the beginning tracking their donors and donations in software or even in Excel they are more likely to succeed using this data to cultivate relationships.
How can Simple Data help new and established nonprofits?
Our website lists some of the ways we can help. I have a new client who is so excited to have someone to listen and help her with the questions and challenges she has such as how do I setup Quickbooks, develop my board, plan an event and so much more.
What are your top three tips for nonprofits?
1.Track and record your data, keep it simple, stick to the basic information you need
2.Show appreciation to those who help
3.Keep the faith, you can do it
There will be times you want to give up. “This too shall pass” are words to live by, to get you through the tough times. Remember, people need you.