Philanthropitch is a fastpitch competition for local nonprofits to compete for donated funds. Of the nonprofits that sign up for the opportunity they narrow it down to the 7–10 that they think are the most likely to succeed and then they provide coaching and guidance. These nonprofits compete based on their financial sustainability and scalability to a panel of judges who are specifically chosen for their experience and impact within the community. This year, that panel of judges included our very own Ryan Frederick, Principal of AWH.
Let’s talk about the contenders
South Side Early Learning walked away with $24,897 in donations based on their inspiring pitch for project NUDL. The goal of project NUDL is professional development training and research to support and arm teachers with the skills they need to better educate their students and set them up for success. With this donation, they will reach 64 teachers and in turn, those teachers will impact over 1,150 students across the southside of Columbus (South Side Early Learning). Using data to make informed decisions South Side Early Learning maximizes its impact in the community to drive enduring change, and because they are a social enterprise, any profits generated by NUDL will be reinvested to further support the teachers and continue the cycle.
Co-Founder and Executive Director, Erin Nealy, pitched for Bridgeway Academy and they walked away with $23,020. Their mission is “to inspire the potential and celebrate the ability of every child” (Bridgeway Academy). The money they won at Philanthropitch will be used to buy more AAC equipment (Alternative Awesome Communicators) which is specialized equipment used to teach children with autism how to communicate. They have a waitlist of students who would like to attend Bridgeway but a limit on how many students they can take on based on the number of AACs they have for students to use and limited staff members. This additional equipment will greatly increase their capacity to impact more children.
3. Zora’s House
Zora’s House proudly walked away with $23,020 to support their co-working and community space for women of color. Their mission is, “to equip women of color with the clarity, confidence, and community they need to live their best lives and do their best work — all within a curated environment of sisterhood and support” (Zora’s House). With this additional funding, they will continue to tip the scales towards equality and equip women of color with the skills and support they need to be successful.
Youth Yoga Project kicked off the night with a powerful pitch and walked away with the second-highest judge's award and the second-highest audience choice award for a total of $12,465. Their mission is to “empower youth through yoga and mindfulness with life-long healthy coping skills to manage their stress and make healthy choices each day” (Youth Yoga Project). They use yoga as a tool to help kids regulate their emotions so they can stay engaged in the classroom. They will use the money they won to help them train more teachers on the power of yoga for mental and emotional health and classroom management. In turn, they will be able to reach an exponential number of students and transform the way discipline is handled within school walls to a more productive and healthful model.
After pitching their nonprofit, PCs for People walked away with $11,873. Their mission is, “through electronic reuse PCs for People provides the opportunity for all low-income individuals and nonprofits to benefit from the life-changing impact of computers and mobile internet” (PCs for People). For organizations, they offer the service of e-waste recycling. They will pick up old electronics for re-use if they are in good enough condition and otherwise responsively recycle them. For low-income community members, they offer computers and internet services at a rate that more people can afford. They work with individuals and nonprofits to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity and access to technology.
Buddy Up Tennis walked away with $10,167 to support their mission to serve individuals with Down syndrome by providing an environment that supports physical, social, and emotional development. They offer a variety of adaptive programs for children and adults alike to get active and compete to their fullest potential. They will use the money they won to continue growing and expanding their programs and locations to fill the gaps in organized sports for people with down syndrome.
7. Food Finder
Jack Griffin, Founder and CEO of Food Finder, presented the Food Finder app and walked away with $9,647. The app was created to connect hungry people with free food assistance near them. It is designed to be easy to use and provides details on hours of operation, address, phone numbers and more. This app bridges the gap between local nonprofits who don’t have large marketing budgets, if they have a budget for marketing at all, and local people who need their services. With the money they won, they will continue to expand their reach and their mission to end hunger.
Philanthropitch is creating buzz and exposure for nonprofits who are ready to scale sustainable business models. They are choosing nonprofits they know will be successful and arming them with the training and coaching they need to accelerate growth. At AWH, we are proud to support Philanthropitch and the nonprofits who competed this year. If you’re a founder and you’re ready to take the next step for your business but you don’t know where to start, let’s have a conversation. At AWH, we offer digital product consulting, user experience, and software development. From startups to enterprises, we collaborate with clients and leverage data to build great digital products for competitive advantage.
“Bridgeway Academy.” Bridgeway Academy, bridgewayohio.org/about-us/faqs/.
“PCs for People.” PCs for People, 2 Dec. 2019, www.pcsforpeople.org/.
“South Side Early Learning.” South Side Early Learning, www.southsidelearning.org/.
“Youth Yoga Project.” Youth Yoga Project, www.youthyogaproject.net/.
“Zora’s House.” Zora’s House, 2018, zorashouse.com/.