PHASE I: BUILDING THE PORTFOLIO (2017)
Phase I consists of measuring and providing support to help our first four nonprofit partner organizations maximize impact, recruiting investors/donors to join our Impact Fund, and allocating Impact Fund dollars to start generating the most effective poverty-fighting return on investment.
PHASE II: DIVERSIFYING THE PORTFOLIO (2018)
In Phase II, we layer additional nonprofit partner organizations into our poverty alleviation portfolio. Having generated more capacity to effectively measure and scale, we will focus on recruiting more investors/dollars for our Impact Fund.
PHASE III: EXPANDING AND REBALANCING THE PORTFOLIO (2019)
In Phase III, we partner with even more nonprofit partner organizations. After another year of analysis and fundraising, Slingshot Memphis is positioned to scale our platform, accelerating (or slingshotting) more of our city's most highly effective poverty-fighting solutions. Following our three-year launch, we will continue adjusting our charitable investment platform, always embracing the following methodology:
Measure, Invest, Improve, Repeat.
We are targeting four key areas to leverage impact and diversify our poverty alleviation portfolio:
Jobs / Economic Security
Early Childhood / Youth
In 1999, Advance Memphis was founded by Executive Director Steve Nash to bring resources for financial self-sufficiency to residents in and around the Cleaborn and Foote Public Housing Developments. That year, 38126 was the third poorest urban zip code in the nation. For decades, the community has been plagued by generational poverty and its symptoms: crime, unemployment, low graduation rates, and a high infant mortality rate. Conversely, the neighborhood is blessed with many residents who are working hard to learn, grow, and care for their families and neighbors. Over the last 16 years, programs at Advance have expanded to create a holistic, stepping-stone system, supporting our neighbors in 38126 as they move toward financial stability. http://advancememphis.org
Alpha Omega Veterans Services (AOVS) exists for the express purpose of assisting homeless and disabled military veterans in their struggle to regain their independence and to reintegrate back into society. Our stated mission – “Helping Veterans Help Themselves” – is reached by providing services at our six facilities that are specifically designed to meet each veteran's physical, social, and psychological needs to promote their health, security, happiness, and usefulness in society: the Drop-in / Outreach Center, with 19-beds for transitional housing; an 8-bed hospice-palliative care facility known as “Life-House” that serves our medically fragile veterans; and four permanent supportive housing facilities; a 32-unit apartment style complex, 8 townhouses, a 10-single resident occupancy (SRO) facility designed for the chronically homeless, and a 15-bed facility situated in a converted residence. http://alphaomegaveterans.org
Shelby County has over 45,000 opportunity youth: young adults aged 16-24 who are out of school and out of work. Nearly half of these young adults are in poverty, and only 1% will obtain an Associates Degree by the time they are 28, which leads to living wage careers. The Collective was started in 2017 to solve this crisis in three fundamental ways. First, The Collective partners with young adults to support them in getting to their dreams and to in-demand careers making a living wage. Second, it engages with employers to build career pathways and ensure that young adults have meaningful work opportunities. Finally, The Collective works to change systems by elevating the voices of young adults and their ideas on how to fix a broken system. As a membership organization, The Collective is led by young adults and addresses poverty in Memphis by investing in their ideas directly. Its vision is that every young adult has the power to live their best life and the tools to make that a reality. http://changeiscollective.org
The mission of Communities In Schools of Memphis (CISM) is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. CISM is part of the national Communities In Schools network, known as the leading and most effective dropout prevention organization in America; the only one that is proven to decrease dropout rates and increase on-time graduation rates. CISM works to remove the non-academic barriers that prevent student success in the classroom. In partnership with local school districts, CISM provides daily school-based interventions to students in grades K–12 to address academic failure, truancy, behavioral issues, social service needs, and more. https://www.cismemphis.org/
In 2003, Juvenile Intervention and Faith-based Follow-up (JIFF), was established to break the destructive cycle of juvenile crime through Christ-centered intervention. JIFF works with juvenile court-referred youth, ages 10 to 17, who are caught in the repetitive cycle of crime. Most youth served are born into poverty, live in a single parent home, are four years behind in school, don’t have a positive male role model, and are close to believing life has no meaning or purpose. JIFF programs are built around earning the trust and acceptance of the youth served. Over a sixteen-week period each youth develops a life plan with guidance from a JIFF Case Mentor. After graduating from the program, a volunteer is assigned to each youth for one year as a life coach, focusing on school completion, setting life goals and developing a vision for the future. http://jiffyouth.org
Just City was founded in Memphis in 2015 to advance policies and programs that strengthen the right to counsel and mitigate the damage caused to families and communities because of contact with the criminal justice system. Inspired by and aligned with the local public defender’s office, Just City serves public defender clients and others who are or have been in contact with the criminal justice system to help them achieve economic self-sufficiency and reduce their chances of re-offending. We advocate for a smaller, fairer, and more humane criminal justice system. We pursue reforms that will help eliminate wealth-based disparities in the criminal justice system. http://justcity.org
Designed by educators and powered by coaches, Memphis Inner City Rugby (MICR) has been expanding opportunities for students in low-resourced neighborhoods since 2012. Using a Value-Based Coaching Model and strong school partnerships, MICR uses the power of a non-traditional sport to challenge students in new ways while exposing them to uncommon enrichment opportunities like yoga, travel, and team-focused tutoring. MICR also works to remove any financial or geographical barriers to rugby and the programming surrounding it. MICR alums are now pursuing degrees from some of the nation's best colleges and many have earned rugby scholarships to do so. http://memphisinnercityrugby.org
Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP), a community healthcare program, yields quantifiable benefits for first-time parents, their children, and the communities in which they live. NFP is an evidence-based community healthcare program that empowers low-income, first-time mothers to become confident parents and strong women by partnering them with nurse home visitors. This trusted relationship instills a level of confidence in the first-time moms that will help guide them and their children to successful futures. www.nursefamilypartnership.org
For over 160 years, Porter-Leath has been the primary resource for Memphis' at-risk children and families. By focusing on the essential building blocks of healthy development, Porter-Leath not only gives them access to the tools they need, but also a sense of hope. Porter-Leath helps build strong children and families and a stronger Memphis through its mission of empowering children and families to achieve a healthy, optimal, and independent lifestyle. Porter-Leath meets the needs of children and families at all stages of life by focusing on forming solid foundations across six focus areas. These programs include: Preschool - Offering top-quality preschool education and wrap around support for the highest-risk children, completely free of charge, in 15 locations throughout Shelby County. Connections - Providing a safe, nurturing environment for at-risk children. Cornerstone - Increasing healthy birth outcomes and preparing families. Generations - Providing opportunities for seniors to reinvest in the lives of future generations. Teacher Excellence Program - Professionalizing the work of early childhood education. Books from Birth - Promoting kindergarten readiness and strengthening family bonds by providing high quality, age appropriate, monthly books for children throughout Shelby County from birth to age five. http://porterleath.org
The Purdue Center of Hope has been providing critical services and shelter for under-resourced Memphians since 2000. Notable programs include New Directions Family Residence, which provides supportive transitional housing for mothers and children experiencing homelessness due to unexpected or emergency situations through daily meals, caring guidance, intensive case management and assistance, with a focus on job placement and permanent affordable housing. Renewal Place, a two-year residential recovery program for chemically addicted women and their children, keeps families together while they work towards sobriety, employment, positive parenting practices and financial literacy. Also, the Single Women’s Residence, which is the only transitional housing program in Memphis specifically designated for single women, houses up to 20 of our city’s most vulnerable individuals. Many suffer from mental health issues, substance abuse, job loss, or displacement. http://salvationarmymemphis.org
Agape Child and Family Services is a faith-based, non-profit organization dedicated to providing children and families in Memphis with healthy homes. Agape serves thousands of local children and families each year in an effort to keep them safe, smart and successful by providing services in under-resourced communities. Services include early childhood programs; school-based initiatives; workforce readiness; homeless services; counseling; adoption and foster care. In partnership with the Tennessee Department of Human Services, Agape and its community partners have expanded services via a two-generation model, wholly serving youth and parents in a poverty-reduction strategy, providing support, permanency, and sustainability in Frayser, Hickory Hill, and Whitehaven. http://agapemeanslove.org
The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) offers individuals just coming home from prison the ongoing support necessary to build career capital and financial stability. We believe that everyone, regardless of their past, deserves the chance to work toward a stronger future for themselves, their families, and their communities. As the largest reentry employment provider in the country, CEO is using our scale, experience, and data – backed by our participants’ feedback on what works – to change the way government invests in criminal justice and workforce development. http://ceoworks.org
The mission of The Excel Center is to provide adults the opportunity and support to earn a high school diploma and begin post-secondary education while developing career paths in sectors of the local economy that offer better-than-average employment and growth opportunities. The Excel Center’s school model is built upon the foundation of helping students identify any of academic as well as non-academic barriers that might stand in the way of them completing their education, including but not limited to any personal, interpersonal, or environmental issues. People who drop out of high school are 3 times more likely to be unemployed than college graduates and earn, on average, $8,000 less than high school graduates annually. Through the power of education, The Excel Center’s goal is to set people on a pathway towards better career prospects that lead to economic self-sufficiency. https://goodwillmemphis.org/excel-center/
Hope House began in 1995 when a group of volunteers from the Junior League of Memphis set out to address a need for those affected by HIV and poverty in our community. There are currently over 7,000 people living with HIV in the Memphis area and those living in impoverished communities are most affected by this horrible disease. Without resources like transportation, affordable, quality child care and nutritious food it is difficult to live a long and healthy life with HIV. Hope House’s mission is to improve the quality of life for those affected by HIV by providing quality early childhood education and social services that will help our clients move out of poverty, toward a more stable life that will allow them to focus on their health and reaching viral suppression. https://hopehousememphis.org
Founded in 1998, Memphis Athletic Ministries (MAM), exists to coach, grow, and lead the youth of Memphis by helping them discover their identity in Christ and their purpose in the community. MAM’s vision is to see identity found, hope restored, and lives changed. MAM provides year-round mentoring programs, including literacy, career readiness, Bible studies, recreation and sports, to youth, ages 8 to 18, through seven neighborhood youth centers. https://mamsports.org
MIFA (Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association) was founded in 1968 in an unprecedented cooperative effort uniting community and church leaders to confront the growing issues of poverty, hunger, and social division in Memphis. MIFA’s vision today is rooted in the organization’s founding principle: uniting the community through service. Serving over 50,000 people annually, its mission is to support the independence of vulnerable seniors and families in crisis through high-impact programs. MIFA senior programs are designed to promote independence, health, companionship, and dignity. Its family programs provide basic services to prevent homelessness, stabilize families, and encourage independence. https://mifa.org
Tech901 is building the Memphis-area information technology workforce by providing entry-level skills training to unemployed and underemployed adults to fill the workforce shortages identified by employers. Over its initial three years, Tech901 provided 800 training courses to over 600 individuals with work and soft-skills instruction complemented by real-world lab exercises. In 2018, Tech901's graduates secured over 100 new IT jobs that represented an over 70% increase in earnings https://tech901.org
Slingshot Memphis is dependent upon building genuine partnerships with our investee / nonprofit heroes, the organizations who fight on the front lines against poverty in our city. These partnerships are built on mutual trust, transparency, and a common love for our suffering neighbors. We push hard, we challenge, and we measure - ourselves and our investees - but we do so in trust and adoration. We understand that this takes time.
Since 1988, Robin Hood has identified, funded and accelerated hundreds of high-performing poverty-fighting organizations in New York City.
Donate and support Slingshot Memphis
In September 2019, Slingshot Memphis, Inc. will begin accepting applications for new Affiliate Partner organizations, beginning in January 2020. Our Board of Directors, led by our Partner Expansion Committee, has created the following process for evaluating applications and selecting new partners.
Our team understands the challenges involved when deciding which opportunities merit our limited time and energy. Thus, before moving forward, we strongly encourage all organizations to become familiar with the information on this website. Doing so will help to ensure that our objectives are complementary.
Requirements for partnership
All organizations under consideration for partnership must meet the following conditions:
An applicant must have 501(c)(3) registered non-profit status or have fiscal sponsorship.
An applicant must have the evidence or potential to facilitate high-impact, data-driven solutions that improve the quality of life for our under-resourced neighbors by increasing income or improving health.
The applicant's work must be primarily focused on Memphis or Shelby County.
If your organization meets the above requirements, we invite you to apply for Affiliate Partner status. The timeline and directions for doing so are as follows. Please note significant dates and deadlines.
Phase I: Matching
This phase begins on Tuesday, September 3, 2019, and is when we will accept initial applications for new Affiliate Partners.
There are two ways to apply.
If your organization has a published profile on WHEREtoGIVEmidsouth (http://WHEREtoGIVEmidsouth.guidestar.org), please send a link to your profile to firstname.lastname@example.org. (For more information and assistance on how to complete your profile, please contact Ms. Olivia Wilmot, Profile Coach at the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, at email@example.com.) You will also need to complete the first section of the Phase I survey. Click here to view the Phase I survey questions. Please note that the survey questions are subject to change.
If your organization does not have a published profile on WHEREtoGIVEmidsouth, you will need to complete the entire Phase I survey. Links to the survey will be shared with interested applicants at the beginning of Phase I. Click here to view the Phase I survey questions. Please note that the survey questions are subject to change. To request a link to the actual survey in order to apply for partnership, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Phase I applications must be received by Friday, October 4, 2019. Slingshot Memphis staff will review all applications on a rolling basis during Phase I.
Applicants who do not advance to Phase II will be contacted by Slingshot staff with feedback on their application and why they were not asked to further explore partnership opportunities.
Phase II: Meet and Greet
On Monday, October 14, 2019, Slingshot's Board of Directors, led by our Partner Expansion Committee, will invite select applicants from Phase I to to continue exploring partnership opportunities in Phase II of the Partner Expansion process.
This phase begins with each candidate completing a survey about its programs, interventions, participants, outcomes, and so on. The goal of this survey is to provide an initial idea of the impact you create in the community. Links to the survey will be shared on Monday, October 14, 2019. The survey must be completed by Monday, October 28, 2019. Click here to view the Phase II survey questions. Please note that the survey questions are subject to change.
Based on the surveys completed at the beginning of Phase II, the staff of Slingshot Memphis will schedule site visits with select applicants. The goal of these meetings is for Slingshot to share more information about our impact assessment process, and for each party to determine if Affiliate Partner status is a good fit. Slingshot will bring at least one staff member and board director to each meeting.
Phase II will conclude on Friday, November 15, 2019.
On Friday, December 6, 2019, Slingshot's Partner Expansion Committee will submit a recommendation report to Slingshot's Board of Directors.
On Friday, December 13, 2019, the Board of Directors will select Slingshot's Affiliate Partners and Community Allies for 2020.
By Friday, December 20, 2019, all agreements and contracts will be signed.
In January of 2020, Slingshot will publicize and initiate its 2020 partnerships.
This is Slingshot's least intensive level of partnership.
Community Allies participate in an assessment of their Measurement Infrastructure, one of four dimensions of the full Slingshot Impact Assessment. This limited assessment culminates in a report with recommendations, and also includes an Impact Tree, a schematic breakdown of programs, outputs, outcomes, and potential impact.
In order to be invited to be a Community Ally, an organization must follow the Partner Expansion process described above. Organizations can be invited to be Community Allies for a number of reasons:
The organization is new or has limited bandwidth and is not ready to be an Affiliate Partner.
The organization works in an area or sector that is new to Slingshot, such that we are reluctant to commit to Affiliate Partner status.
The organization isn't ready to participate in the full Slingshot Impact Assessment process, but would like some insight and guidance into its measurement infrastructure.
At the end of the year, Community Allies are welcome to apply for Affiliate Partner status. Of course, there is no guarantee that the application will be successful.
Community Allies are not eligible for funding from Slingshot Memphis.
An organization who is invited to be an Affiliate Partner will participate in the full Slingshot Impact Assessment process during its first year of partnership. This will involve assessing the partner's performance across four dimensions:
Use of best practices
This assessment process requires a high level of transparency and engagement for both the Affiliate Partner and Slingshot Memphis. The process will culminate in a report of our findings being shared with our partner. Following the assessment process, Slingshot staff will work with our partners to identify areas of improvement and strategies for increasing poverty-fighting impact.
Affiliate Partners are eligible for funding from the Slingshot Memphis IMPACT Fund, subject to our ability to fund current partner organizations in our portfolio, the assessed performance of any given partner organization, the emergence of promising new partner organizations who might compete for our limited funding, and the needs of any given partner organization.
If funding is provided to an Affiliate Partner, that organization is then renamed as an Investee Partner for the duration of the funding period.
There is no guarantee of funding from Slingshot Memphis, nor is there a guarantee that Affiliate Partner status will carry over into the following year if funding is denied.
Only organizations that have spent one full year (twelve months) as Affiliate Partners will be considered as candidates for Investee Partner status. The decision of whether or not to promote an Affiliate Partner to Investee status will be made by our Board of Directors, based on the data and results generated over that year.
Investee Partners participate in the full Slingshot Impact Assessment, the same as Affiliate Partners. However, since an Investee Partner has already experienced the assessment and reporting process at least once, the goal of these ongoing assessments is to measure progress over time toward higher performance.
Funding provided to Investee Partners comes from Slingshot's IMPACT Fund and is unrestricted by Slingshot. However, we reserve the right to inquire about how funding is used and offer suggestions or insights about how it might be best deployed.
There is no guarantee that having received funding in the past will lead to funding in the present or the future. The level of funding provided to each partner in our portfolio, if any, is determined on an annual basis by our Board of Directors with input from our staff.