A business incubator for nonprofit organizations heard pitches Monday at 36 Degrees North.
Sean Kouplen, CEO of Regent Bank and state secretary of commerce and workforce development, joined a panel of philanthropists to help launch philanthrOK: Rally Point, which was presented by Write On Fundraising and Tulsa Tech.
He was accompanied by David Zemel, director of the Grace and Franklin Bernsen Foundation, and Jeff Burdge, newly appointed director of Kiva Tulsa, a Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation program that makes microloans to small-business owners and entrepreneurs.
The fall cohort of philanthrOK: Rally Point accepted 12 applicants from a pool of more than 30. They engaged in six weeks of targeted start-up training that included how to create a nonprofit business plan, leadership methods, building a high-impact board of directors, fundraising and creative capital, and market research. It culminated Monday with presentations to a funder panel, which gauged each idea’s viability.
“As one of the most philanthropic cities in the United States, we should also be launching some of the nation’s most innovative nonprofit organizations,” Lindsay Jordan, CEO of Write On Fundraising and incubator director, said in a statement. “This program provides the tools that change-makers and thought leaders need to tackle big picture issues.”
Nonprofit participants included a diverse array social projects and organizations, including ReRun Medical Equipment, which will focus on creating greater access to affordable medical equipment by rescuing, repurposing and renting gently used items.
After losing her infant daughter to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, one woman was inspired to launch Aspyn Arrows, an organization that will work to educate parents on safe sleep habits for infants and provide free Owlet baby monitors to new parents.
While there is no seed funding at the close of the program, participants who complete it do receive complimentary fundraising consultation from Write On Fundraising to help them secure grants and other donations, a year-long mentorship with a local nonprofit executive and a certificate from Tulsa Tech.
Write On Fundraising powers nonprofit fundraising through expert-level grant writing; board, capital and comprehensive campaign development; strategic planning; and research and evaluation services.
Headquartered in Tulsa with operations in Denver and Austin, Write On Fundraising is endorsed by the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation’s Kiva program and focuses on providing innovative, high-impact fundraising solutions to small- and medium-size nonprofit organizations.