Call for Applications for the 2017 Philanthropitch Austin and Mission Accelerator!

Accepting Applications: February 8 – March 3

Does your nonprofit have an innovative program, product or service that you’re ready to dramatically grow? Do you need an infusion of capital to bring your vision to life?

On February 8th, the call for applications for the 2017 Philanthropitch Austin and Mission Accelerator goes live.

Philanthropitch Austin is a social impact, fast-pitch competition that spotlights some of Austin’s most promising nonprofits and the innovative solutions they bring to local challenges. Finalists pitch for financial and human capital to fast-track organizational growth, including more than $100,000 and acceptance into Mission Accelerator.

The Mission Accelerator is a five-month program designed to fast-track the growth and impact of Austin-area nonprofits. Accelerator participants engage in group classes and receive one-on-one guidance from nonprofit consultants and some of Austin’s most successful business leaders and social entrepreneurs. This unique opportunity brings new, high-value resources to a select group of nonprofits each year. Some of our Accelerator alumni include: CareBOX Program, Caritas, Con Mi MADRE, E3 Alliance, Easter Seals Central TX, Goodwill, Mothers Milk Bank, Multicultural Refugee Coalition, and Society St Vincent de Paul.

This year, organizations may choose to apply for acceptance into both Philanthropitch and the Mission Accelerator, or those organizations not ready to leverage the intense human capital resources of the Accelerator may choose to apply for only the pitch competition.

All finalists will present their case at Philanthropitch Austin on May 22, where more than $100,000 will be awarded and the 2017 Mission Accelerator class will be selected!

We encourage you to attend one of these optional information sessions to learn more, ask questions and build a winning application.

In-Person Session
February 16, 2017 / 9:00-10:00am / Click here to register

February 22, 2017 / 12:00-1:00pm / Click here to register

Applications can be found starting February 8 at and

Deadline for applications is March 3. Questions? Contact

Philanthropitch 2016 Finalists Chosen as Mission Capital Investees

We are thrilled to announce that CareBOX, Con Mi MADRE and The Goodwill Career and Technical Academy have been selected as 2016 Investees by Mission Capital. All three organizations were 2016 Philanthropitch finalists and were chosen for this opportunity by the Mission Capital Partner Investee Selection Committee. The process began when 5 different Philanthropitch finalists were accepted into the Mission Capital Accelerator, where they received a $3,000 investment and a devoted mentorship. The accelerator concluded on October 27th, when CareBOX, Con Mi MADRE and The Goodwill Career and Technical Academy were chosen as 2016 investees. Each of the three organizations will receive some form of assistance from Mission Capital.

CareBOX will receive a three-year engagement of partner time ad an initial investment of $30,000. The Mission Capital Partner Investee Committee decided on the three-year partnership based on the willingness of the leadership team and their motivation for growth. CareBOX is committed to improving the lives of cancer patients by providing high quality essential care supplies, and through this partnership they will have the opportunity to scale and reach a larger population of patients in need. Jillian Domingue, the Executive Director of CarBOX noted that the partnership with Mission Capital “surrounded the CareBOX Program with an invaluable team of advisors to help our small team further develop our business model, strategize for growth, and determine avenues for accessing sustainable funding. This has all been critical as we head into the third year of the CareBOX Program and continue to scale to serve more cancer patients.”

Con Mi MADRE will receive a one-year engagement of partner time and expertise. The committee voted on the one-year partnership with the hopes of expanding into new markets while retaining the quality of the program. Working together, they will construct a new model that is able to reach a larger audience. Through Con Mi MADRE, young Latina women are provided the resources to graduate high school and enter college through a 4 step holistic approach. The program also requires the involvement of a mother or legal guardian to mentor the student through the 13-year journey. Due to the expansive growth in the Latina community, this partnership will allow Con Mi MADRE to magnify their reach and make an even larger impact.

Goodwill Career and Technical Academy will receive a one-year engagement of partner time and expertise. The goal of this partnership is to provide strategic support in shaping the program so that more Texans will be able to find employment. The Goodwill Career and Technical Academy provides participants with affordable and accelerated career certification. The program includes certifications in the fields of healthcare, technology, skilled trades, and business professions. Through this partnership more Texans will receive the education needed to secure long-term employment.

We look forward to seeing how each organization utilizes this strategic partnership, and we extend our most sincere congratulations to CareBOX, Con Mi MADRE and The Goodwill Career and Technical Academy.


Philanthropitch Finalist, Goodwill, Amplifies Impact in Central Texas

Three months ago, Matt Williams, Vice President of Education at Goodwill of Central Texas, stood on stage at the Zach Theater and shared the Goodwill Career and Technical Academy’s (GCTA) vision for a new approach to workforce development.  An approach designed to bridge the gap between employers with good jobs and the un-and underemployed eager to fill those positions.

It was Austin’s fourth annual Philanthropitch, and GCTA was granted $25,000 that night, including the 2nd place Audience award. The audience proved to be more valuable to Matt than he could have known leaving the Zach that night. From her seat in the audience, Virginia Potter heard Matt’s pitch. When it came time to text in her vote for the Audience Choice Award, she texted GCTA. She also heard Matt explain that to truly launch GCTA would need a total of $125,000 in initial capital. Lucky for Matt, Virginia is Portfolio Director of Central Texas with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and knows how to make GCTA’s vision a reality.

“I am really excited about this partnership with GCTA,” said Virginia Potter. “They have an incredible vision of how to bridge the workforce gap in Austin which aligns with the foundation’s desire to close the poverty gap in Central Texas.”

In his pitch, Matt described two Austins: One with low-wage workers seeking employment opportunities and another with employers hard-pressed to find qualified workers. In partnership with industry, GCTA pitched an initiative to bridge this gap with trainings that put people to work in higher paying roles quickly. Virginia saw a connection point with her work at the foundation in K-12 education by providing high school seniors job training as well.  

With the money received at Philanthropitch and the extra funding from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, GCTA has surpassed their initial goal reaching $150,000!  

And it’s not just about the money.  Virginia envisions a truly collaborative process to develop a strong program to measure impact. “The great thing about the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation is that they’re in it with us and they understand it’s total innovation,” said Matt. Instead of relying on traditional industry benchmarks, their joint goals are focused on long-term success in the workforce development sector.

GCTA will continue to fundraise to ensure the sustainability of the program. They are also participating in the Mission Capital Accelerator program – a spot awarded to them by the Social Venture Partners at Philanthropitch. According to Matt, the Accelerator has already been helpful in developing the model and their network.

Matt and GCTA appreciate the value of participating in Philanthropitch. “This network is really valuable and the most important piece is to truly understand who is in the room at the event,” said Matt.

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


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 HopeDid 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.
  • EGBIA donation of $25 to EGBI will help provide high-quality entrepreneurship training accessible to underserved communities in Greater Austin.
  • Habitat for HumanityHelp fund the construction of a home for Whitney & Aaden and change a family’s life forever.
  • Multicultural Refugee CoalitionHelp 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 HouseCome 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

L to R: Clayton Christopher, Tiffany Chen, & Leon Chen Photo credit: TriD Photography

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.