LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The 26th class of Leadership Louisville Center’s Ignite Louisville program graduated on April 13 following a day of presentations to a panel of esteemed judges. The six Community Acceleration Teams put their work for local nonprofits on display in hopes of winning the Ignite Louisville Challenge and earning additional funds for the agency they worked to assist.
The team working with the nonprofit The Fuller Center for Housing was selected as the winner of the challenge and will receive the $1,500 prize made possible by the Leadership Louisville Center. While one team was selected as the winner, all six nonprofit agencies received significant support, with the six teams contributing over 1,420 hours of service and providing over $58,900 in value to the nonprofit agencies. The project outcomes for this graduating class varied, ranging from marketing plans to file for a 501(c)(3) status, to revamping an entire home. See details below about the nonprofit agencies and each team’s project results.
Ignite Louisville is a six-month program that grows young professionals by developing the key components of leadership. The program has graduated over 1,160 up-and-coming leaders and offers two classes each year, preparing next-generation talent for expanded roles in their organizations and in the community. The Ignite Louisville Challenge is an opportunity for teams from the Leadership Louisville Center’s Ignite Louisville program to undertake a project for a local nonprofit, gaining experience in community leadership, board involvement and teamwork. Since the first class graduated in 2005, Ignite Louisville Community Acceleration Teams have worked on 160 projects for area nonprofits to plan, execute and sustain new strategies for success. Participating nonprofits benefit from the expertise and energy of these Community Acceleration Teams, which each invest hundreds of hours with their nonprofit agency as they compete for donations.
Ignite Louisville Challenge winning team and agency:
The Fuller Center for HousingTeam members:
Courtney Canty, Paragon Rehabilitation; Missy Fountain, Seven Counties Services Inc.; Charles McBroom, Humana Inc.; Clint Mattingly, Calhoun Construction Services Inc.; Gina Morrison, Norton Healthcare; Kumar Rashad, Jefferson County Public Schools; and Caitlin Tudor, Semonin Realtors.
The Fuller Center for Housing is an international, faith-based non-profit that seeks to provide adequate shelter for all people in need through building and rehabilitation. The Louisville affiliate was started in 2008 and has since touched over 100 families in their quest to help low-income families gain permanent, affordable housing in West Louisville communities.
This team is proud to have partnered with The Fuller Center for Housing of Louisville on the mission to rehabilitate properties in the Parkland neighborhood for local families. The team was able to support the non-profit by formalizing their operational excellence plans, creating a marketing plan (including 52 weeks’ worth of social media content), creating a fundraising plan, and renovating a home for a program family to take ownership. The team committed over 275 hours of service towards this effort. The group’s total contribution amounted to more than $10,000 in volunteer hours, donations, and sustainability planning.
Additional Ignite Louisville teams and agencies:
Team members: Kelsey Breeding, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield; Nannie Croney, Dope Designs by Nannie; William Cunningham, Louisville MSD; Derek Drayer, Red e App; Mollie LaFavers, Fund for the Arts; Ian Pugh, Stockton Mortgage Services; and Kendall Riddle, Campbellsville University.
Austin Harris and Marcus Stubbs founded Cultured Mornings in 2020, with a shared goal to meet the needs of youth in underserved communities. Cultured Morning’s goal is to empower youth to reach their full potential and prevent food insecurity. The organization’s programs focus on teaching kitchen skills, kitchen safety, nutrition, and interpersonal development.
In six months, this team was able to assist Cultured Mornings to articulate and incorporate the non-profit’s mission, vision and strategic plan that will champion youth and foster their aspirations to pursue culinary careers. They were able to assist in filing for 501(c)(3) status, identify his Board of Directors, open a business banking account, open a P.O. Box, establish Bylaws, and re-brand the organization by creating a new logo, re-designing Cultured Morning’s website, and creating multiple marketing videos that can be used to attract donors and recruit program participants. Over 172 hours were dedicated to this project along with $2,225 of professional hours donated.
Team members: Bryan Aviles, DDW The Color House; Matt Bischoff, Schneider Electric; Kate Melican, Brown-Forman Corporation; Eric Schweinhart, K. Norman Berry Associates Architects PLLC; Stephanie Vasquez, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.); and Angus Williams, The Earhart Club.
Since 1971, New Directions has been helping families overcome obstacles to affordable, safe, sustainable housing in Louisville and Southern Indiana. Through their housing, home-repair, and real estate development programs, they help build and strengthen communities, improve lives, and ensure a bright future for those in need.
The team designed and launched a new mentorship program for/with New Directions’ I Rise program. The I Rise program focuses on removing the barriers to self-sufficiency for low-income Louisville residents. The mentorship program, grounded in the simple slogan: ‘People Helping People’, addressed a critical need to diversify the in-house resources and extend the community relationships beyond West Louisville.
Through the program design, workflows were created with residents, mentors, and organization stakeholders. Through these workflows, new tools were created for New Directions to sustainably engage with I Rise residents, uncover short-term goals, and create a structure for long-term outcomes. The mentor system can effectively funnel mentors and community partners to engage with the program. The program is further set up for sustainable use, thanks to the new resident self-sufficiency digital database and digital/print input systems.
The program launched on March 26th at the I Rise Celebration event and already has mentors and residents engaged. Over 226 hours were dedicated to this project, and $6,464 of in-kind donated services were secured.
Paws with Purpose
Team members: Ali Greenwell; Humana, Inc.; John Hunzicker, Underhill Associates; Maria Kidd, Neustar, Inc.; Ashley Masterson, Brown-Forman Corporation; Melissa Miller, Seven Counties Services, Inc.; Juliann Morris, Jefferson County Public Schools; and Gabriel Stewart, Stewart and Associates.
Founded in 2003, Paws with Purpose is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides highly skilled Assistance Dogs as partners to children and adults with physical disabilities or other special needs. These dogs provide comfort and companionship; help to break down social barriers and perform many tasks that help their partners lead more independent lives.
This team worked with Paws with Purpose to refine and enhance its brand identity to more effectively tell its powerful story. The team contributed over 220 volunteer hours, drawing on expertise in the marketing, project management, and volunteer engagement fields to provide over $4,000 in professional value to Paws with Purpose. This includes refreshing physical collateral like brochures and donor packet materials, connecting the nonprofit with a more sustainable and engaging way to release newsletter and social media content, and providing professional photography. They worked with a local CEO to provide training on how to refine and enhance their brand recognition, shifting their overall messaging to focus on the ‘why’ behind their mission. They also boosted community visibility, making it easier for potential volunteers and donors to engage with and support Paws with Purpose.
Sponsor 4 Success (S4S)
Team members: Brittney Abell, Procure; Brandon Burfict, LG&E and KU Energy; Aaron Jordan, Black Complex Louisville; Keenan Long, The Healing Place; Jaclyn Moore, Norton Healthcare; Amelia Murphy, Yum! Brands, Inc.; and Melissa Payton, Baptist Health.
The mission of Sponsor 4 Success (S4S) is to improve the living and economic conditions in poor and under-served communities. S4S achieves its purpose by sponsoring the children and young adults of financially challenged parents and helping them to defer the cost of educational, athletic and vocational programs, disadvantaged senior citizens’ cost of minor home repairs, and the programs of schools, churches, and other nonprofit organizations and more.
This team began working with the Sponsor 4 Success (S4S) Board with the intention of improving its website, increasing its funding, and revamping its marketing. The growth that S4S is planning for – like developing a grocery store and improving homes to rent – exceeded what the team initially anticipated. With this growth enlightenment, they had to adjust the initial ask and build the Board Structure to make it sustainable for expansion. The team brought in a Leadership Louisville Center Encore team to help in this process, and we were able to make headway on rebuilding the Board Structure.
Through the team’s work and collaboration, and over 284 volunteer hours, they have provided S4S with lasting relationships and the ability to grow the great they are doing in our community in other areas.
Team members: Natasha Cummings, Home of the Innocents; Kevin Grout, RunSwitch Public Relations; Brandon Guyton, The Underwriters Group; Nikolette Rost, Jefferson Community and Technical College; Woo Smith, Terracon Consultants, Inc.; Kimberly Taylor, BKD CPAs & Advisors, LLP; and Raj Trivedi, Vogt Power International.
Whitney/Strong pursues majority-supported and evidence-based solutions to reduce the number of lives impacted by gun violence through responsible gun ownership. With every bill they champion, they do it in memory of those who have died gun violence. They also work with community leaders on non-legislative solutions including suicide prevention, firearm safety instruction, and more.
To advance Whitney/Strong’s mission to save lives by ending gun violence, this team set out to overhaul the existing volunteer intake procedure and create a formalized experience. They began by researching peer volunteer programs operating in a similar policy area and other Louisville-based nonprofits. Then, the team worked with Whitney/Strong to greenhouse new strategies for recruitment, intake, and engagement. Finally, they developed a roadmap for implementation and revised current website content to achieve the organization’s goals.
During the project period, Whitney/Strong began a transition to a new online data management system. The team got the chance to understand the new system’s capabilities and limitations alongside Whitney/Strong. The obstacles identified within the platform caused the team and the nonprofit to pivot to a new, multi-phase outcome. The team delivered the content for a new process and updated volunteer experience. Now, Whitney/Strong will work with the vendor to execute the team’s recommendations.
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