Ten millennial-focused nonprofits competed for grants totaling $10,000; anonymous donor provides opportunity for additional $1,000 grant
UB Heals, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reconnecting the homeless population with the health care system by engaging UB medical students in outreach efforts to provide care to those on the streets, won the top prize of $5,000 in the recent Pitch 10, a competition-style event where small, young or millennial-focused nonprofit organizations had a chance to "pitch" their project or idea to the public for a chance to win funding.
Mason's Mission and YWCA Western New York won second and third place respectively, each earning $2,500 grants. An unexpected fourth winner, Buffalo Urban League Young Professionals (BULYP), was also chosen after an anonymous donor provided an additional $1,000 donation at the event. The winners were chosen by audience vote after short presentations by 10 local nonprofit organizations.
UB Heals will use the funds toward the purchase of a van or ambulette that will help volunteer medical students better serve homeless populations with medical care by providing a private space for clinical consultations, and to carry and store medical equipment as the team makes its usual rounds throughout the city. Mason's Mission will use the grant toward building the first true all-inclusive, Americans with Disabilities Act-approved, wheelchair-accessible playground for those with and without disabilities. Funding will allow YWCA WNY to expand capacity at the organization's early childhood programs. Buffalo Urban League Young Professionals will use the surprise fourth-place prize to fund its third annual education mini-conference, which will take place this fall.
Pitch 10 was developed and hosted by Next Generation United, an initiative of the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County focused on organizations that are small, young, led by or focused on the millennial generation.
Additional chosen participants included Buffalo Architecture Foundation, Small Business Legal Clinic, Westminster Economic Development Initiative, Third Estate Ventures, International Child Advancement and B. Team.
Organizations were required to submit a proposal about their project as well as an explanation of how the funds would be used in order to be considered to pitch. Each organization was required to be, or affiliated with, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization addressing a need in Buffalo or Erie County. They were also required to be either millennial-led or a millennial-focused organization and/or benefit a millennial target audience, incorporated no earlier than July 1, 2010, or have revenues of less than $500,000 annually
The event was held at Buffalo RiverWorks and was made possible by collaboration. The Hunt Foundation, Ingram Micro and Buffalo Metropolitan Federation Credit Union are sponsors of Next Generation United. This event was the second of its kind to be hosted by Next Generation United. More are planned for the future.
For 100 years, the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County has worked to unite the whole community to improve the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community in Erie County. United Way of Buffalo & Erie County mobilizes thousands of people every year to give, advocate and volunteer to help children reach their full potential, families achieve financial stability, and the whole community attain and maintain good health and wellness. For more information, visit www.uwbec.org.