September 12, 2014

14LCS Idea Accelerator Pitches – Onward!

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[Photo credit: Idea Accelerator contestants high five after practicing their pitches at the Microsoft evening reception, Sept. 5. Credit: Broken Banjo Photography]

It takes a lot to jump onstage and pitch a brand new idea in front of a new group of people. Will they laugh at you, start to cheer, or be intrigued? On September 5-6, during the Microsoft evening reception and Idea Accelerator finale at the 2014 Leading Change Summit, 24 brave individuals and teams pitched ideas for social good. It was an incredible testament to the commitment and dedication of the nonprofit sector to put words to action – identifying needs and proposing concrete solutions.

The program was designed by LimeRed Studio’s Emily Lonigro Boylan, Owner and Creative Director, and Demetrio Cardona Maguigad, Director of Strategic Design, who teamed up with NTEN to carry out the event. Also essential to the day were 12 coaches, whose areas of expertise ranged from digital media to business analysis, and three judges: James Rooney, Microsoft; Deena Pierott, iUrbanTeen; and Sonya Watson, Tides Foundation. The task of narrowing the 24 teams down to three winners was a challenge, but for the 21 ideas that did not win the awards, the journey is not over yet.

You can learn about the three winners here. Right now, though, we want to share the 21 other fresh ideas that were pitched. They didn’t make the final cut at the Idea Accelerator, but we are still rooting for them. Interested in any of these ideas? Want to learn more? Leave a comment below and we’ll connect you to the masterminds (and note that the ideas written here are just the initial starting pitches from the opening reception on September 5; they may have evolved and morphed throughout the day on September 6).

  1. Redefining Philanthropy – Dwayne Rice
    Build a Salesforce application to facilitate a culture of philanthropy around education reform by providing a platform to track constituent engagement to lead people up the engagement ladder.

  2. Starter Google Analytics Dashboard for Nonprofits – Kerry Meyers
    Prepare a simple dashboard for nonprofit metrics — acquisition, cultivation/engagement, solicitation, retention; Explain in easy steps who to set goals and implement snippets in donation forms of leading providers.

  3. Virtual Parent/Family Education – Richard Wollenberger
    This tool will provide video chat help for parents with children aged P-5/6; Trained parent educators will provide research-based support for specific early childhood issues via video chat.

  4. Personalized Healing and Support Plan – Elaine Walters
    Online research-informed health and wellness assessment and planning tool for people who have experienced adversity and trauma.

  5. Come Out to Play? – Christine Gilmore
    Playgrounds are where our youth develop socially, emotionally, and physically; Conflict-resolution, sharing, and relationships are all formed on playgrounds; Safe, clean playgrounds allow children to just be children in a world where they are often forced to take on adult responsibilities

  6. Tech Know Leader – Jana Byington-Smith
    Weekly video/sound round-up of fresh ideas, techniques, and developments to spark innovation and change in nonprofits.

  7. Impact Circles – Birgit Pauli-Haack
    Executive Directors meet to open the Pandora’s Box of technology and take the beast to serve their organization’s mission and save time and money.

  8. Find Your Parks & People – Ed Goodell
    An app that helps New Yorkers find their parks and programs.

  9. Simple Phone – Jason Shim
    A centralized control panel that allows an organization to provision phone numbers to staff, eliminating need to issue second cell phones and allowing for bulk pricing; Useful for frontline workers who don’t want to carry two phones–and affordable.

  10. Data Translator – Lisa Stegman
    Pets are dying unnecessarily; We can solve this and big data is key to insights into communities and nationwide trends; Most shelters use a shelter management system of one kind or another; A simple tool that would translate this data into basic usable data that can be shared and aggregated will unlock the door for those working in this space to increase efficacy and successful outcomes.

  11. The Engagement Dial – Spencer Windes
    Replace the unsubscribe link with an email engagement dial to let your list turn down email frequency without opting out. The goal: greater open rates.

  12. Nonprofit InfoSec – Spencer Bolles
    Compliance awareness  (PCI, HIPAA, FERPA) tools for measuring risk management and mapping of resources to meet organizational needs. (Data, fraud prevention & legal responsibility)

  13. Public Digital Media Center – Sarah Francis
    Public Digital Media Center in a local underserved community. Includes computer labs, classrooms, video recording studio, and current technology accessible to the community.

  14. Silo Busters – Adam Rasmussen
    Nonprofits hire separate consultants for operations initiatives. These consultants work in silos, often unaware of how their work might be affected by each other. This leads to missed opportunities to have one initiative support and enhance another or even obstruct each other. Solution: Guidance to help nonprofits connect the dots among their initiatives.

  15. I.T. Everywhere – Emilie Valentine
    Moving away from IT being a stand-alone department. Looking for a business process/model for moving tech to each department.

  16. Stones Worldview Tango – Richard Cirille
    Empowering learning for students world wide. Using scalable technology to access leadership and learning a minimal cost. Collecting data on all user learning activity. Design solutions for collaboration, empowerment, global views, and self awareness.

  17. Text, Talk, Act – Rebecca Reyes
    Way for people, especially young people, to talk and think about action ideas around a certain issue. It’s a one-hour conversation with 3-4 people. Questions/conversation prompts are sent via text. Participants also text in some answers so others around the country can see responses.

  18. Conference Match – Ritu Sharma
    “Tinder 4 Nonprofits.” Modify and adapt 2-3 matchmaking apps like Tinder to democratize nonprofit to nonprofit, nonprofit to sponsor (for profits), nonprofits to consultants matches.

  19. The Guide to North Carolina Citizen Engagement – Nancy Rose
    Maps processes, guidebooks, tours, citizens’ guide, lobbying registration effectiveness, and influence rankings; Online community around topic-connecting employees with each other.

  20. The Un-Network – Emily Squires
    Nonprofit organizations more often see each other as competition, rather than as a resource for sharing failures, challenges, and successes. The Un-Network is a space for peer-to-peer real talk-no funders allowed–to intentionally find each other and map our ecosystem.

  21. Volunteer recruitment platform – Shannon Paine
    Many neighborhood associations are looking for more people to get involved with the community; Not all associations make it easy for caring citizens to get involved. Proposed solution: An online community portal that would allow associations to post events or projects that need volunteers.

Joleen Ong
Joleen is a strong advocate of the nonprofit sector’s role in bringing about social change, and the power of technology to make this happen. At NTEN, Joleen is the editor of NTEN: Change, the quarterly journal for nonprofit leaders, and helps to support NTEN’s 50,000+ community members meet their mission through technology. Joleen is a published writer and researcher on the topic of nonprofit fundraising, communications, marketing, as well as international human rights and labor relations in Asia and Latin America. Prior to NTEN, she was the Communications Manager at Social Accountability International in New York for five years, where she focused on supporting programs to advance workers rights in factories around the world. Joleen earned her MS in Nonprofit Management from the New School, and BA in International Studies and Spanish/Anthropology at the College of New Jersey. She has led presentations on the topic of nonprofit marketing, communications, and sustainability worldwide. She is also a member/blogger of the Integrated Marketing Advisory Board (IMAB) and frequent webinar trainer for FundsForNGOs. Joleen is also the editor of two award-winning social justice documentaries that focus on responsible procurement with Fair Trade on college campuses, and military recruitment.
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