City budgeting challenges, crisis services and food deserts are among the problems that local nonprofits are hoping to solve with innovative ideas at Pitch It! The Innovation Challenge.
The Greater New Orleans Foundation has selected CBNO MAC Foundation, New Orleans Mental Health Institute St. Tammany and Reconcile New Orleans to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 2, at the New Orleans Museum of Art. The nonprofits will receive money to pursue their ideas. The top prize is $25,000. Second- and third-place prizes are $8,000 and $5,500, respectively.
“In an environment of uncertain economic times and shrinking public coffers, we’re turning more and more to nonprofit organizations to tackle our toughest social problems,” said Albert Ruesga, president and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. “As demand grows for their services and programs, nonprofits must continuously seek novel solutions to meet community needs.”
Other sponsors include the Kresge Foundation, Chevron and Uber.
The three finalists were selected from among nearly 30 nonprofit applicants.
The Committee for a Better New Orleans pitched an idea for city budgeting; NAMI St. Tammany’s pitch concerns crisis services; and Reconcile New Orleans Inc. is interested in solving the problem of food deserts.
Judges are: Leah Brown, interim manager of policy, government and public affairs for Chevron’s Gulf of Mexico Business Unit; Quentin Messer Jr., president and CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance; and Michael Shaw, program officer of human services at the Kresge Foundation.