Inaugural Philanthropitch Atlanta Invests More Than $60,000 in Local Nonprofits

P$ATL2016 It was standing room only in the Junior Achievement's Chick-fil-A Foundation Discovery Center for the inaugural Philanthropitch in Atlanta introduced by ChooseATL. The excitement on the stage and in the crowd made for a night of high energy and community engagement.

Seven local nonprofit organizations each presented a three-minute pitch before a panel of six judges and an audience of more than 200 for funding to expand or scale truly innovative solutions to issues impacting their community. Our judges and sponsors were so impressed they increased their funding on the spot, raising our investment total from $55,000 to $61,500.

Rohit Malhotra, Center for Civic Innovation, was our MC for the night. In addition to inspiring the audience with his passionate introduction to social impact in Atlanta, he also had them singing Outkast lyrics and laughing to nonprofit jokes only a philanthropically engaged community could love.

If you missed the excitement, check out the ChooseATL Periscope of last night’s excitement here and here.

We’re taking a much deserved weekend off, and then we will be back at work planning for Philanthropitch Atlanta 2017.

Philanthropitch Atlanta 2016 Awards

  • Audience Choice Award: The Scholarship Academy
  • EO Atlanta Award: The Community Guild STE(A)M Truck
  • Sage Foundation Award: Next Generation Men
  • Total Funding
    • Community Farmers Market: $13,500
    • GCAPP: $2,000
    • Moving in the Spirit: $2,000
    • Next Generation Men: $17,500
    • re:imagine/ATL: $4,000
    • Scholarship Academy: $10,000
    • STE(A)M Truck: $12,500




Philanthropitch Atlanta 2016: Finalists Announced


Philanthropitch is coming to Atlanta on June 9th! We are partnering with Choose ATL, the Georgia Center for Nonprofits (GCN) and the Center for Civic Innovation (CCI) to highlight and support some of the most innovative social impact organizations in Atlanta.

“We’ve been spotlighting impressive nonprofits here in Austin for the past four years. When we started our expansion plans, we knew we were looking for a city with the same type of innovative and entrepreneurial culture and a city with high civic engagement. Atlanta was exactly the right choice for the first Philanthropitch expansion city outside of Austin,” said Sara Reeves, Philanthropitch Program Director.

For our inaugural year in Atlanta, the selection committee had a difficult time narrowing down the applications to this standout group of seven finalists.

“The applications in Atlanta came from organizations addressing top local issues including transportation, education, and food security. Though all the applicants are doing important work, we’ve selected our seven finalists for their innovative visions and potential to scale. We’re looking forward to giving our finalists a platform to reach a wide audience and financial support to ramp up their efforts,” said Chelsea Manning, Philanthropitch Atlanta Program Officer.

Philanthropitch Atlanta 2016 Finalists

CFM Web LogoCommunity Farmers Markets envisions a future in which Atlanta will be home to a diverse, interconnected food system that promotes healthy food, sustainable ecosystems and living wage working conditions. Over the past few years, they have discovered the transit divide in the city is limiting lower-income communities’ access to fresh, local products. To help put healthy foods in the hands of all Atlanta residents, CFM is partnering with MARTA to launch the Fresh MARTA Markets in transit stations - making local farmers’ produce available to Atlantans on the go.

steam truck logo high resFor Community Guilds, access to hands-on, interactive education in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math is a vital component in creating opportunities for disadvantaged and underrepresented youth. Their STE(A)M Truck targets elementary and middle school students with an on-campus, 20-day maker-space curriculum that gives the students access to a mobile workshop of equipment and the expertise of local “maker-mentors.”

PrintCan you remember when you had “the talk” with your parents? Was it awkward? Were your questions answered? Or did you need to turn to friends or older siblings - or for kids today, the internet? Since 1995, the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential has empowered young people to make healthy decisions about their bodies. In this new program, they will focus on communication between parents and teens and tweens by developing digital content that will arm parents with the information they need to have on-going communication with their children.

Moving in the Sprit Web LogoMoving in the Spirit uses the art of dance to positively transform the lives of children and teens in Atlanta. An important part of their effort is instilling confidence and resilience in their students while creating a nurturing environment. However, for many dancers it is difficult to feel confident and welcomed when dance wear brands ignore your body type or skin tone. Moving in the Spirit believes you deserve to feel good in what you are wearing and no matter your body shape, you are still a dancer. They are developing a dance wear line for children of all body types and skin tones that will make them feel welcome in the dance community.

NGM-8Next Generation Men believes that for men to strive for success, they deserve to be shown what success is and how to reach it through real-world exposure, service projects, leadership development, and professionalism training. NGM has developed a cohort-style, year-long program for young men in Atlanta schools and are now looking to scale - including their first cohort of women next year and work on a for-credit elective course offered to 9th graders.

reimagine logo_150px_whiteBGre:Imagine/ATL brings together diverse groups of young people from across Atlanta to share their stories through multimedia productions. However, their goals go much deeper as they seek to take these youths from apathy to empathy and on to action. For the re:Imagine/COMMUNITY program the students become problem solvers when paired with a local nonprofit to research and tackle local problems with storytelling and community outreach.

TSA-LOGO-WIDEThe Scholarship Academy recognizes the difficulty many students have covering the ever-rising costs of a college education. They address this issue through a comprehensive scholarship preparatory program that teaches low-income, first-generation college students to navigate the maze of financial aid in order to fund their college education. In addition to the curriculum that addresses funding in a holistic manner, they are also launching an online platform to connect all the relevant players - students, parents, school counselors and the organizations offering scholarships.

These seven organizations will spend the next few weeks developing their three-minute pitches following a Pitch Workshop with CCI, GCN and Speakeasy. Then, on June 9th, they will take the stage at the Junior Achievement Discovery Center to pitch to an audience of judges, corporate sponsors and audience members for $50,000 in funding. We’d love to see you in the audience too. You can purchase tickets here.

Social Impact Organizations Win Big at 4th Annual Philanthropitch Austin


blog grapicWhat an amazing night!

Congratulations to the eight Philanthropitch finalists who inspired an audience of almost 500 with their innovative social impact pitches. Overall we were able to award $140,000 bringing Philanthropitch total giving in Austin to $500,000!

Con Mi MADRE won the Audience Choice Award and acceptance into the Mission Capital Mission Accelerator. Overall, the organization that hopes to expand its successful model supporting Latina youth from sixth grade through university was awarded $37,500.

The second place Audience Choice Award went to the Goodwill Careers and Technical Academy. GCTA was also selected into the Mission Accelerator by the Social Venture Partners.

ECORise Youth Innovation and BookSpring took the and SailPoint corporate awards respectively.




Philanthropitch 2016 Awards

  • Mission Accelerator Class of 2016: BookSpring, CareBOX, Con Mi MADRE, ECORise Youth Innovation, Goodwill Central Texas.
  • Con Mi MADRE: $37,500 including the Audience Choice Award
  • Goodwill Central Texas: $25,500 including the Second Place Audience Choice Award
  • BookSpring: $21,000 including the SailPoint Corporate Award.
  • ECORise Youth Innovation: $17,500 including the Corporate Award.
  • Black Fret: $15,500.
  • CareBOX: $12,000
  • Creative Action: $6,000
  • Circle of Health International: $5,000

Last night was particularly meaningful for those of us on the Philanthropitch team. We were excited to see our total giving top $500,000, and we took the opportunity to look back at Philanthropitch’s origins at We were lucky to have all three of the founders, Chelsea Woodhead, Dee Miller, and Chelsea Manning, with us last night to celebrate this milestone. We are excited to continue to build on their vision. Chelsea Manning was on her flight back to Atlanta Tuesday morning where she’s already planning Philanthropitch Atlanta for June 9th.


Philanthropitch Austin 2016: Finalists Announced


The quality of the applications for Philanthropitch and Mission Accelerator this year blew us away. Our selection committee was challenged to narrow down the pool of exceptional organizations to only eight finalists who will compete for $125,000 and acceptance into the Mission Accelerator. These finalists really do represent some of the most exciting and innovative social impact efforts in Austin right now.

Philanthropitch 2016 Finalists

black fretBlack Fret is creating a thriving middle-class of working musicians here in Austin by developing a sustainable funding model that pays high-quality local artists to live, create, and perform. Philanthropitch investment and acceptance into the Mission Capital accelerator could help Black Fret expand their efforts here in Austin and scale this model to other top music cities.


BookSpring Vertical Logo-300-with TaglineAt BookSpring, they believe all children should love to read. Through their ReadWell program, they are putting books in pediatricians offices -- allowing doctors to prescribe nighttime reading for their patients. Philanthropitch investment and acceptance into the Mission Capital accelerator could help BookSpring reach up to 22,000 children in Central Texas and expand nationally.


CareBoxProgram (1) (1)One in five cancer patient deaths will not be from the disease, but rather from malnutrition, infection, or falls. CareBOX provides the in-home, post-hospital supplies not covered by insurance necessary to stop these preventable deaths. They are seeking investment and accelerator support to expand to Dallas, Houston, and five other Texas cities.


COHI logoCOHI provides quality care to women and children in crisis situations around the world. Through the COHI Cloth Network, they will tackle poverty reduction by selling a line of sustainable cloth diapers produced by low-income women. The financial and human capital from Philanthropitch and the Mission Accelerator will give them the runway and expertise needed to launch this effort.


con mi madreCon Mi MADRE improves secondary education outcomes for young latinas through an intergenerational support program for both the young women and their mothers. They are poised to scale their services to school systems in additional counties and ramp up for a national expansion with investment and accelerator support.


creative actionCreative Action supports the academic, social, and emotional development of young people through the arts. Their intensive collaboration with Campbell Elementary School that provided arts programing for every student, every day has shown impressive turnaround results for this failing school. Creative Action is ready to expand these efforts to additional schools in Austin through investment and Mission Accelerator support.


ECORise is developing the next generation of innovative leaders through a school-based curriculum focusing on environmental literacy, social innovation, and hands-on design skills. They are seeking Philanthropitch investment and accelerator support to leverage new partnerships and grow their impact from 600 to 5,000 schools in 35 countries and raise their sustainable revenue to more than 50 percent.


gctaGCTA sees two Austins. One with low-wage workers seeking employment opportunities. The other with employers hard-pressed to find qualified workers. In partnership with industry, GCTA bridges this gap with trainings that put people to work in higher paying roles quickly. Philanthropitch investment and Mission Accelerator acceptance will allow GCTA to pilot and test additional programs in Central Texas for roll out nationwide through the Goodwill network.


Over the course of the past week, the finalists developed their three-minute pitches following a pitch workshop with Monique Maley of Articulate Persuasion and ongoing feedback from Notley, Mission Capital, and Social Venture Partner representatives. And on Monday, May 2 they will pitch their programs to an audience of more than 400 including investor judges, Social Venture Partners, corporate sponsor employees, and community members.

With the awards on Monday night, Philanthropitch will bring its total four-year giving to $500,000.

“Philanthropitch has had such a significant impact on the community during the last four years, not just because we’ve granted half a million dollars, but also because we’re highlighting some of the most innovative nonprofits in Central Texas,” said Sara Levy, executive director of Philanthropitch and the Notley Fund.


Philanthropitch Alum: Amplify Austin Giving Guide


Amplify Austin is Austin’s annual community-wide day of giving. On March 8, Central Texans will come together for 24 hours with a goal of raising $9 million for local nonprofits! Check out some of Philanthropitch’s alum to learn more about their impact and how you can support their amazing work:


  • Colin’s Hope - Did you know that just $25 can purchase a life jacket for a loaner board at the lake or $75 can provide swim lessons and water safety education for a four-year-old in their Pre-K Swim Safety Program? Help Colin’s Hope amplify water safety and drowning prevention to save lives!
  • Easter Seals - Help Easter Seals raise $12,000 and support children and adults with disabilities.
  • EGBI - A donation of $25 to EGBI will help provide high-quality entrepreneurship training accessible to underserved communities in Greater Austin.
  • Habitat for Humanity - Help fund the construction of a home for Whitney & Aaden and change a family’s life forever.
  • Multicultural Refugee Coalition - Help refugees resettle in Austin and support programs such as Open Arms, a social enterprise that provides living wage work for refugee women through textile manufacturing, or New Leaf Agriculture Program, which provides growing opportunities for refugees at 3 area community gardens and a weekly community resource center.


Amplify Austin Events

March 8

    • Amplify Austin Assembly Event - a FREE kick-off event for Amplify Austin along with 40+ other local nonprofit organizations on March 8th from 6pm to 9pm at Austin Public (1143 Northwest Ave., Austin, Texas 78702) - EVERYONE IS INVITED TO ATTEND. RSVP:
    • Habitat for Humanity Kick-off Party -  Festivities begin 6pm at Radio Coffee & Beer. All attendees 21+ will receive 3 drink tickets.
    • WeViva Amplify Austin Party - Amp up the giving for WeViva! Join for free appetizers and watch as the donations roll in. 6pm at Gloria’s Downtown (300 W. 6th St. Unit 100).
    • Lake Travis Amplify Austin Event - Get to know 8+ nonprofits working in Lake Travis (including Colin’s Hope). Enjoy complimentary appetizers, a full bar, and live music! (

March 9

  • MRC Amplify Austin Open House - Come learn more about MRC and its social enterprise- Open Arms (12pm at 200 East 8th Street on the 3rd floor of Central Presbyterian Church).
  • Going Away Party for St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store - From 9:30am-12pm, breakfast tacos, coffee, and mimosas will be served (1327 S. South Congress).  As part of Amplify Austin, Society staff will be on hand to help donors make a gift to launch the Vincentian Family Center or to help any nonprofit of their choice. During the event, shoppers will be treated to 30% off all items in the store. Shoppers will also receive coupons for the new thrift store, and donors to SVDP and other local nonprofits through the Amplify portal will receive an additional 10% off coupon to use at the new store.

To make a donation, you can visit the Amplify Austin site ( either before or during the 24 hour blitz!


Judge Interviews: Leon Chen of Tiff's Treats


Co-founder and CEO of Tiff’s Treats, Leon started Tiff’s Treats in 1999 in partnership with his wife Tiffany while sophomores at The University of Texas.  Since then, the company has grown to over 350 employees and 20+ locations in Austin, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, with national expansion plans in the works.  In addition to running Tiff’s Treats, Leon was a former Director at Epic Brands, which sold to General Mills in January 2016.  He has also been involved in SKU, an Austin based consumer packaged goods incubator.  His volunteer work includes being the past Chair of the Small Business Council, on the Board of Directors at The Austin Chamber of Commerce, Past Chair of The Fifty and being on the board at the Foster Angels of Central Texas.


This will be Leon’s third year serving as a Philanthropitch Austin judge and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have him on the panel! We asked Leon a few questions about his involvement with Philanthropitch and his passion for giving back:


Why is it important to you/your company to support local nonprofit organizations? Which organizations are you/your company involved with?

It’s so very important to Tiff and I to support the local community.  On of the reasons is that we believe that the only reason there is even a Tiff’s Treats today is because of the support we received from the local community when we first started out.  That kind of support meant the world to us and we feel it is our duty to pay it forward the best we can.  In addition, there are so many great causes out there and it is motivating to us and to our entire company to be able to make a small difference in the lives of people that are in this community.  We have worked with many charities in the past, Austin Dog Rescue, Easter Seals, Safeplace, Make-A-Wish of Central Texas and many more.  Currently we work closely with Foster Angels of Central Texas, a wonderful organization that I am on the board of that provides daily needs and special needs requests for foster children in Central Texas.

Leon Chen at Philanthropitch

What is your favorite part about serving as a Philanthropitch judge?

I love the giving part!  It really is true that it is better to give than to receive.  We love to see that our donation is going to great causes, local causes that can make a difference.  

Have you learned anything about community challenges or gotten involved with any of the finalists after Philanthropitch?

We have definitely learned that there is so much need out there for many wonderful causes.  Some of the big name charities get a lot of the attention, but there are many new and fledgling charities that are doing amazing work that need help and support as well.  

Tiffany Chen, Leon Chen, and Clayton Christopher

Why should people attend Philanthropitch on May 2nd?

It’s a wonderful event for great causes and because Clayton Christopher is a very handsome man, and he’ll be there as a judge I am assuming. [ed note: Clayton will be there!]


Thanks, Leon!

Philanthropitch Austin Applications Open Now!

Eight nonprofits from greater Austin will come together on May 2 to pitch their innovative and scalable program in front of a panel of business leaders and an audience of more than 400 individuals. The fourth annual Philanthropitch Austin will be held at ZACH Theatre where nonprofits will have the chance to receive more than $100,000 in cash grants and entrance into the Mission Accelerator, a five month program designed to fast-track the growth and impact of nonprofits in Greater Austin.

Does your nonprofit have an innovative program, product or service that you’re ready to grow? Do you need an infusion of financial and human capital to bring your vision to life? Then apply now.

We encourage all organizations interesting in applying to attend our Q&A Session or webinar to learn more.

Here are some helpful tips from previous Philanthropitch participants:

  • Apply if you have a growth strategy in place for a specific program and need help scaling to the next level.
  • Familiarize your leadership and board with the opportunity prior to applying. It will be necessary to receive their support before beginning the process.
  • Understand that some organizations walk away with seed funding, some walk away with entrance into the Mission Accelerator, and some walk away with both.

Philanthropitch alum Alissa Magrum, Executive Director of Colin’s Hope, said it best: “This opportunity forces you to get super distilled and focused to look at your program and see how much of an impact you can really make. It can really refresh organizations.”

For more information on eligibility, check out our program overview.



We are thrilled to be joined by Meg Erskine, Co-founder and Executive Director of Multicultural Refugee Coalition (MRC) and 2015 Philanthropitch finalist. Last year alone, Austin resettled more than 1,500 refugees from 25 countries. MRC is helping these families build a life of self-sustainability and successfully integrate into the Austin community. The nonprofit social enterprise branch of MRC, Open Arms, offers sustainable apparel and sewn goods made by women refugees through living wage employment. Open Arms has partnered with IKEA and currently has pillows made by Central Texas refugee women in the Houston, Round Rock and Frisco IKEA stores. We highly recommend these products, especially for anyone who needs to do some last minute holiday shopping! Check out a video about the partnership here and look for the HÅLLNING collection in IKEA stores! 2015-12-03-mrc-featured-image

Guest Blog Post, Written by Meg Erskine

About 9 years ago when I co-founded Multicultural Refugee Coalition and would speak about my excitement about this work–many people didn’t know what a refugee was. If you used the term “political refugee” or aiding those fleeing violence and genocide- some people were afraid I was getting involved in something that was dangerous or something that I shouldn’t since these were words that we don’t often have much experience with in the United States. That all changed when folks would meet or hear more of the individual stories of refugees that were fleeing these kinds of situations and could understand clearly the commonality and heart that unites all of us.

Here we are, 9 years later, and now the topic of refugees is very top of mind for many, for which I am oddly grateful, but worry deeply about in the same sense. I believe to my core that Love is always greater than Fear and that the best way to overcome fear is actual experience. Many people haven’t had the chance to engage with refugees, and without this experience their mind, often fueled by commentary of the media and politicians, is left only to fear. My attempt here is to share a little bit about the refugee situation and why I am inspired and compelled to help this population resettled to our community.

First and foremost – refugees are the most vetted people trying to enter our country, taking at least two years of intensive processing and screening that proves they are fleeing the violence and persecution themselves that we are so fearful of. Many refugees have only known life in a refugee camp- some 20 plus years- waiting, hoping for a chance of a peaceful new start for their families. Our work at Multicultural Refugee Coalition is to provide a warm welcome and connection for refugee families to the opportunities for success in their new community. We do this by helping them to gain access to growing opportunities for their families through our Agriculture Program, learn a new skill such as sewing that can lead to employment at our social enterprise- Open Arms, or provide support through our weekly community center programs.

The unifying theme of all refugee families I have come to know and love is HOPE. They live with such fierce determination and hope for their family’s future and I am amazed by the love they show, even with such unjust experiences they have lived. I will never forget meeting a refugee child from the Congo who was resettled with her family of 8 here to Austin. She was only in the 5th grade but wanted someone to hear her stories of the country that she loved and the violence that she had witnessed, and to help provide her some hope for life here in Austin. She was determined and hopeful and has become an incredible writer and is now a freshman at a major university here in Texas. She is one of the most inspiring people I know.

I treasure my relationships with other refugee women- mothers who taught me how to become a mother myself. These mothers held baby showers for me, helped me to learn to carry my baby on my back, and so much more. We are connected by the love we share as mothers and the hope we have for our children.

I adore our dear friends from Iraq that served as interpreters for the US Military, who we have celebrated birthdays and marriages with, and who never miss the chance to acknowledge every major holiday with a warm phone call of gratitude for our friendship.

I am always amazed by the sense of hospitality- always ready for a visit over tea and snacks and open and ready for dialogue. These experiences teach me how to slow down and engage in real dialog, prompting me to do the same for guests in my own home.

I love having refugees in our community which provide the opportunity for rich cross cultural experiences, opportunities to learn about the world around us and make our communities so much stronger.

If you would like more opportunities for engaging with the refugee community, please contact us and we will share the various ways to get involved here at Multicultural Refugee Coalition. Donations are always welcome as well, as we continue to provide a warm welcome and show the refugee population and the world that love is always greater than fear.

-Meg Erskine 106c344

Contact Meg at to learn more about how to get involved with MRC. Make any donations here:


“Philanthropitch can really refresh organizations!”

-A conversation with Alissa Magrum, Executive Director of Colin’s Hope  by Taylor Prinsen, Associate, Philanthropitch, a program of the Notley Fund

img_2569 Colin’s Hope, a water safety awareness program to prevent children from drowning, received $28,500 from Philanthropitch Austin in 2015. We wanted to check in with Colin’s Hope to see how the money impacted their organization and where they are now. I met up with Alissa Magrum, the Executive Director of Colin’s Hope, at the YMCA of Austin to see their Pre-K prevention program in action.


Philanthropitch’s goal is to help innovative programs like Colin’s Hope grow their impact significantly. How did the $28,500 prize help Colin’s Hope scale?

This donation was a tenth of our budget for the year, so it has been a huge help programmatically for us to expand the program to two more schools, and ultimately tripling the number of children and families impacted with our water safety messages. We are launching our new programs in Spring 2016 at Dobie and Uphaus Pre-Kindergarten Centers here in Austin. We are also currently running our initial program this Fall at Lucy Read Pre-K and are further refining the curriculum and the model.

That’s incredible! About how many more children now understand water safety?

450-500 children plus their families received training that otherwise would not. And, thanks to Philanthropitch, we provided an additional 4,000 swim lessons.

Philanthropitch aims to provide more than just funding. In what other ways has this experience helped Colin’s Hope?

Organizationally, we saw a HUGE increase in brand recognition…throughout the year at different events, people would come up to us and say “I recognize you from Philanthropitch!” Brand recognition is huge for us as we are an awareness program. It also helped us look at our program and determine how much impact we could truly make.

Personally, having Philanthropitch as a speaking opportunity helped me learn how to tighten up my messaging when giving a pitch about our program’s purpose and evaluation strategies. It helped me get super distilled and focused at “selling” our model.

How can people help?

We will be launching the replication programs in the Spring. We are most in need of donations so that we can hire a staff member to serve all of these kids and their families.

We also need $2,000 to fund a bus to transport the children to the YMCA from the Uphaus Pre-K Center. Without this funding, students will not be able to participate in the lessons because they don’t have a means of getting to the YMCA. The school did not have it in their budget to cover a bus or driver and it was an unforeseen expense for us.

I’d also really like to partner with an guidance from an accelerator-type coach who can to help us launch new programs and help us develop the curriculum into a product/toolkit that can then be used to “sell” the program and scale it.

And, swimsuits! Many of these children either do not have a swimsuit or cannot afford one. New suits are okay, but a monetary donation allows us to get the right size when we need to. But if you’d prefer to donate a new suit, the sizes are as follows: Girls/Boys Size XS (4/5) or S (6/7)

As for people who want to volunteer, in January, we’d like to train some new “Community Ambassadors” who can represent Colin’s Hope at our events or in their own communities spreading the water safety message. In February, we need volunteers for our Austin Marathon waterstop that we sponsor. Then, from March through June, we need TONS of volunteers to assemble and distribute water safety information cards, which is a very flexible opportunity that’s great for groups, families etc. This can be done onsite at a workplace or can be done on one’s own.


After speaking with Alissa, it was clear that Colin’s Hope has made great strides to help lower incidents of drowning in Central Texas and raise awareness about water safety. Alissa said that participating in Philanthropitch helped them verify the Pre-K program is where they can make the biggest impact. We’re so proud of the work they’ve already done at Lucy Read Pre-K this fall.

It was a huge honor to get to go watch these tiny, adorable children learn to swim for the first time. Many of them have never even been in a pool before, so to see the excitement on their faces as they experienced the joy of paddling around the pool with a swim instructor was a reminder at the wonderful work Colin’s Hope is doing! Colin’s Hope programs not only provide memorable experiences to these children, but also provide incredibly valuable education to help prevent unnecessary deaths due to drowning. We, as Philanthropitch, are so glad that we were able to help this program come to fruition.

Colin’s Hope needs your help!

  • Donate before the end of the year to help provide transportation from Uphaus Pre-K to the YMCA so these 4 year-olds can receive swim lessons! 95.6% of students at Uphaus Pre-K are considered “economically disadvantaged,” so providing these lessons for free is significantly helping these families. Colin’s Hope needs $2,000 to make this happen.
  • Donate swimsuits for the children receiving swim lessons in Spring 2016.
  • Volunteer with Colin’s Hope (see Alissa’s volunteer needs above)!
  • Spread the word! Colin’s Hope is an awareness program dedicated to highlighting the need for water safety among children and families. Check their website and Facebook page for more info!

If you are interested in donating swimsuits or volunteering with Colin’s Hope please contact Alissa Magrum at

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why-blogAre we the only ones who think it’s crazy that 2015 is coming to a close? We’ve hit some big milestones through Philanthropitch this year and have some pretty exciting plans in place for 2016! But the real story here is the awesome work our finalists continue to do long after their involvement in Philanthropitch.

For those of you who have attended a Philanthropitch event, you know that these nonprofit leaders have about 3 minutes to share their story with you and hopefully get you hooked on their mission/vision. But then what happens? How do you keep up with their programs?

We plan to use this blog as a platform to extend these nonprofits’ stories and share them with all of you, plus create a resource for you to find ways to stay engaged in the community in between Philanthropitch events.

Sound like something you might be interested in? We hope so!

Now we keep mentioning our previous nonprofit finalists, but who are they? We’re so proud of the work each of the finalists have accomplished after participating in Philanthropitch and are excited to add to the list in 2016. Check out the full list of finalists and results here!

Since we started Philanthropitch in 2013, it has given $375,000 among these organizations! We look forward to sharing with all of you how this program (and the funding that comes with it) has made a tangible impact, as well as our plans to expand Philanthropitch. So check back for more exciting updates and stay tuned for our next post as we’ll highlight a previous Philanthropitch finalist. Think about it as a “Where Are They Now” segment!

Stay tuned!


You’ve been told that Philanthropitch is a one-of-a-kind “Shark Tank” style fast-pitch forum for high-potential nonprofit organizations. But…what does that really mean? What does the event look and feel like? What kinds of questions do judges ask during the Q&A session? What do some of these pitches actually sound like? Let Chelsea Woodhead, Chief People Officer at, tell you all about it!