Two organizations have partnered to create Amplify Hope, a new platform aimed at teaching nonprofits financial literacy, sustainability, board development, marketing and more out of the Collaborate 317 coworking space near Geist.
Amplify Indy and Community Outreach for Financial Education partnered to create the program. Currently, 50 nonprofits are going through the 10-month inaugural program.
Amplify Indy founder Harrison Painter said many nonprofits don’t approach their organization with a business mindset when they should.
“We have people in our program who put second mortgages on their houses. They are in debt or broke and trying to help other people,” Painter said. “They don’t approach nonprofits as a business or a startup. I bring to the table that if you can’t eat, you can’t help other people eat, so let’s find a way to make this sustainable.”
Four mentors, Charles Guynn, COFFEE CEO Josh Bach, professional grant writer Luke Keay and Painter lead the program by inviting guest speakers and following a curriculum. The curriculum includes nine monthly challenges nonprofits must conquer and a competitive fundraiser. Performance evaluations, weekly trainings and more are all provided.
A recent monthly challenge required the nonprofits to raise $500 without using the internet and without contributing their own money.
“We want these nonprofits to go build their base,” Painter said. “We get lazy on the internet. We wanted them to sit in coffee shops and share their vision and ask people to donate or volunteer so they can physically build their own base.”
One nonprofit raised more than $900 during the challenge. Seventy percent of the nonprofits met the challenge.
For another challenge, nonprofits were required to submit a weekly video about their nonprofit on Facebook and raise $1,000, half on the internet and half not on the internet.
“It’s a lifeline,” Painter said. “They’re going to always have to fundraise no matter what.”
Amplify Hope also is teaching on sustainability, and creating a business to support the nonprofit.
The Hope Center, which launched out of Collaborate 317, is a nonprofit providing shelter to victims of sex trafficking and operates a boutique out of its facility. This supports the nonprofit financially, as well as providing a way for the community to support The Hope Center by purchasing clothes.
“Instead of always begging for money, now they have way to create value to people,” Painter said. “We want them to run this just like a startup. We are just trying to break that cycle of broke for them.”
“Our syllabus was really created on the top 10 reasons nonprofits fail, and we are able to answer those with our curriculum,” Bach said.
Many of the nonprofits are from central Indiana. Painter said any nonprofit can apply to the program, but they are evaluated. Out of the 50 accepted for the first program, 550 nonprofits applied.
“One of the biggest things we look for is their willingness to thrive as an organization,” Bach said. “There has to be an element, we are definitely looking for positive energy.”
Painter said he plans to have the 10-month program culminate in a black-tie event. The group may look at expanding to other cities once it becomes established. Amplify Hope’s goal is to improve its program for the 2019 session.
If accepted into the program, nonprofits are not charged. All costs are covered by corporate sponsorships and grants.
The Amplify Hope nonprofits meet twice weekly for a few hours at a time.
For more, visit amplifyindy.com
NEW PROGRAM: AMPLIFY VETS
In addition to the Amplify Hope program, Amplify Indy founder Harrison Painter is establishing an Amplify Vets program.
Amplify Vets is designed to help for-profit businesses started by veterans. Applications are being accepted for 50 military veterans in the Indianapolis area who would like to start or grow a business through the program.
The collaborative 6-month program offers veterans all of the tools needed to start, or scale, a business. Members of Amplify Vets will have weekly training, bi-monthly mastermind sessions and a monthly accountability group. Veterans also will have an official business address with mail service and 24/7 access to a 300-person event center, a 50-person training room, a media studio and three boardrooms.
Applications being accepted through March 31. For more, visit amplifyindy.com/amplify-vets-program/. Upon acceptance, there is a fee of $99 for the six-month program.