Audience to vote in millennial-focused nonprofits competition
Ten local nonprofit organizations will compete to win a grant of up to $5,000 to advance their work at Pitch 10, an event sponsored by Next Generation United, an initiative of the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County.
The competition-style event will provide each organization an opportunity "pitch" their project or idea to the public, with the winners chosen by the audience. The competition will focus on organizations that are small, young, or led by/focused on the millennial generation.
A total amount of $10,000 will be distributed, with $5,000 going to the first-place winner and two awards of $2,500 to the second- and third-place winners.
The event will take place from 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, at Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute on Ellicott Street on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
Twenty-three organizations applied to be considered and, from that list, 10 qualified to participate. All organizations were required to be, or affiliated with, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization addressing a need in Buffalo or Erie County; millennial-led (executive director/board chair must be age 21-35); or a millennial-focused organization and/or benefit a millennial target audience. Each had to be incorporated no earlier than July 1, 2010, and have revenues of less than $500,000 annually.
The competing organizations are:
•Explore Buffalo, which seeks to expand its educational programming to reach more students, especially in lower-income schools, working toward the goal of eventually providing a free tour to every student in Western New York.
•Big Big Table, which seeks capital cost funding to open its first community café, a pay-as-you can lunchtime restaurant, focused on addressing hunger and building community.
•University Heights Tool Library aims to expand its two major community projects to beautify and improve the University Heights neighborhood (ReTree the District and Bailey Fights Blight).
•Family Promise of WNY wants to implement a financial literacy program and provide security deposit assistance to families experiencing homelessness in the community.
•Clean Air: Organizing for Health & Justice looks to increase its capacity to engage millennials in Buffalo's participatory budgeting process and launch a participatory budgeting pilot on Buffalo's West Side in the Niagara District for 2017.
•Buffalo Game Space wants to offer scholarships to underrepresented populations in the gaming industry to attend training to build a comprehensive understanding of game development.
•Seneca Street Development Corp. seeks to implement a millennial outreach program in the Seneca Babcock neighborhood to empower young people to succeed in their career
•Westminster Economic Development Initiative wants to expand its "Focused Learning for Youth" program to serve more students and meet the growing demand for ELL-centric after-school programs.
•F Bites intends to expand its "20/20: A Journey of Vision" program, which matches youth in impoverished neighborhoods with mentors, job shadowing opportunities, and training in the culinary field, by creating a new project within the Delevan Grider neighborhood.
•GOBike Buffalo aims to implement its "Crosswalk Pop! Buffalo" project, which will create colorful, artistic and community-driven crosswalks that also enhance walkability and engage the community in advocating and supporting safer, pedestrian-friendly traffic infrastructure.
The public is invited to attend and can register at https://nextgenideas.eventbrite.com. There is a $20 donation. Tickets include appetizers and beverages.
Next Generation United is a group of millennials who seek to involve younger donors in philanthropy and engage them in improving the community through service, collaboration, accountability and innovation.
The United Way of Buffalo & Erie County brings people, organizations and resources together to improve community well-being. Through program funding, community collaborations and strategic initiatives in the areas of education, financial stability, and health and wellness, the United Way helps children reach their full potential, adults achieve financial stability, and all people achieve and maintain good health and wellness. For more information, visit www.uwbec.org.