Over the past year, I have realized that HRPS is experiencing a growth spurt much like that of a teenager, and I have heard some of my predecessors make that same observation. In fact, the seeds of HRPS were sown when Patricia Ferraro Klos led the first HRPS Walking Tour to celebrate National History Week in May 1997 – almost 17 years ago.
HRPS is not the first nonprofit organization run by volunteers to fit this analogy. In her book, The Five Life Stages of Nonprofit Organizations, nonprofit consultant Judith Sharken Simon lays out these stages of growth that all nonprofits go through as they mature. According to Simon's definitions, HRPS is hovering overall between stage three – "Ground and Grow" – and stage four – "Produce and Sustain." Depending on the category, like marketing, financing, or services, HRPS may find itself at a different stage.