If you’ve watched the TV series Shark Tank, you know that no two entrepreneurs are alike. They are, however, united by a few key characteristics, which include having a unique business idea, the passion to convince others of its merit, and the patience and perseverance to bring it to life in the marketplace.
Right here in Sarasota, The Patterson Foundation played host recently to its own Shark Tank-style set of “Fast Pitch” events as part of Margin & Mission Ignition, the earned-income initiative supported by The Patterson Foundation that is designed to help nonprofits build entrepreneurial capacity, boost revenue, and increase mission impact.
At these particular events, however, the presenters were a unique group of “social entrepreneurs” from six nonprofits in the region, each with an idea -- and a business plan -- to launch a new venture (or grow an existing one) for the purpose of generating revenue to increase their organization’s mission impact.
Key to each of the Fast Pitch presentations were the audience members, also known as the “sharks,” composed of a special group of investors, donors, and funders who were invited to participate based on their interest in the organization’s mission. If so inclined, these individuals were prepared to provide a financial “mission impact investment” toward the needed startup or growth capital required for implementation of the business plan(s) for which they had interest. As an added incentive, The Patterson Foundation offered a generous match opportunity to jumpstart each organization’s venture.
To better understand the margin and mission-generating ventures that the “Super Six” organizations (as they’ve come to be known) shared during their Fast Pitch presentations, highlights of each are outlined below:
- Habitat Cleanout and Removal is a new fee-based home cleanout service created to remove furniture and household items that were left behind in vacated homes, apartments, and other living facilities. Targeted to property managers, landlords, realtors, and trust officers, the offering allows for a quicker “move-in-ready” turnaround time for those managing or selling the property. All proceeds generated from Habitat Cleanout & Removal will help Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity serve more families in their mission-focused homeownership program.
- Shade is Good is a new and exclusive line of branded retail sun safety and hydration products that provide protection from solar radiation to help prevent skin cancer. Featured items -- which include car sunshades, baseball caps with an extra-long “bill” for face shade, women’s sun visors, umbrellas with chair clips, cooling towels, and water bottles with spray misters -- will be sold at athletic and recreational venues operated by Sarasota County Parks. The revenue derived from Shade Is Good will help fight skin cancer by funding the installation of architecturally appealing shade structures over the athletic and recreational areas at Sarasota County Parks.
- The Friendship Center for Aging Studies will offer accredited continuing education courses through an aging lens for licensed professionals, such as mental and behavioral health counselors, where there is a growing need for geriatric-focused coursework. This unique program will leverage Friendship Centers' experience and expertise in serving the senior community for more than 40 years. Proceeds from The Friendship Center for Aging Studies will help expand and grow the mission of Friendship Centers, allowing the organization to see more patients, provide more medical and dental services, offer more education and support for caregivers, more meals, more smiles, and more hope.
- Florida Low Bono is a new venture from Legal Aid of Manasota designed to provide quality legal assistance to clients with limited financial means in divorce and paternity cases. Clients can opt for three levels of service offerings, ranging from simple form preparation to one-on-one consultations with a family law attorney. With the proceeds acquired from Florida Low Bono, Legal Aid of Manasota will be able to expand its mission of providing free legal assistance to the lowest income families who cannot otherwise afford access to the judicial system.
- Lighthouse of Manasota plans to expand and improve its existing Low Vision Store, offering a selection of best-in-class low vision products at the best prices. Their expert onsite staff will ensure selection of the right product(s) to match the complex and customized needs of their vision-impaired clients. Proceeds from the Low Vision Store will help Lighthouse of Manasota grow its mission to improve people’s lives by helping them regain confidence to live life with independence, acquire knowledge and appropriate tools, and feel self sufficient again.
- Pines of Sarasota plans to grow its existing and successful Pines of Sarasota Education and Training Institute by expanding its selection of practical, skill-focused, affordable dementia care education offerings in a variety of formats. These unique products will be available in an easy-to-access online store, as well as through streaming, webinars, DVD’s, and live seminars to provide caregivers with immediate, effective, hands-on skills for better care of those who suffer from dementia. Revenue generated from Pines of Sarasota Education and Training Institute will help continue to expand and grow its mission of reaching more families whose lives have been affected by dementia.
Want to learn more about earned income and related topics?
- Read all of our Guest Blogs for The Patterson Foundation
- Follow the initiative on Twitter #TPFMarginMission.
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