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 & 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
Slingshot Memphis, Inc. will be positioned to partner with additional nonprofit organizations in 2019. To facilitate this expansion, our Board of Directors, led by our Partner Expansion Committee, has created the following process.
Because we too seek out partnerships (financial and otherwise), 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.
A few of the requirements for partnership are as follows:
An applicant must have 501(c)(3) registered non-profit status or have fiscal sponsorship.
An applicant must have the proof or capacity to demonstrate high impact, data-driven solutions that disrupt poverty in Memphis, Tennessee.
A significant portion of the applicant’s programs must address one or more of the following Slingshot Targets:
The applicant must have high-quality and dedicated management, staff, and board directors.
The applicant must be able to identify measurable ways that Slingshot Memphis, Inc. can improve its quality and/or capacity to monetize poverty-alleviating outcomes.
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.
A. Phase I - Matching Process. This phase begins on Tuesday, September 4, 2018 and ends on Friday, October 5, 2018. This is the period during which we will accept initial applications for Affiliate Partner status. For consideration as a potential Affiliate Partner, an applicant must meet one of the two following conditions:
• Have a published profile on WHEREtoGIVEmidsouth (http://WHEREtoGIVEmidsouth.guidestar.org). (For more information on completing a profile, please contact Ms. Olivia Wilmot, Profile Coach at the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, at email@example.com.)
• Complete an application form and submit it to the Slingshot Memphis staff. You may obtain a copy of the application form by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once your profile is completed and published, you must notify Slingshot of your interest in partnering by emailing us at email@example.com. Please include the URL of your completed WHEREtoGIVEmidsouth profile when you do so. A staff member at Slingshot will acknowledge your application within two business days. If you do not receive acknowledgement within two business days, please contact us to confirm that we have received your application.
B. Phase II - Meet and Greet. Beginning on Monday, October 29, 2018, Slingshot’s Board of Directors, led by our Partner Expansion Committee, will invite a limited number of organizations to explore partnership opportunities in greater detail. This mutual sharing of information will include Slingshot’s monetization processes, expectations, and timeline. This will also include a more granular and thorough set of questions about the organization and matters such as interventions, outcomes, leadership, budget, theory of change, future plans, and so on. Answers must be submitted by Friday, November 2, 2018.
Phase II will also entail at least one site visit by a Slingshot board director and/or staff member, as well as many more hours of due diligence on our part.
C. Phase III - Final Decisions. On Friday, December 7, 2018, Slingshot’s Partner Expansion Committee will submit a recommendation summary to the Board of Directors.
On Friday, December 14, 2018, the Board of Directors will select Slingshot's partner organizations for 2019 (see below for details on the three tiers of partnership).
By Friday, December 21, 2018, all agreements and contracts will be signed.
In January of 2019, Slingshot will publicize and initiate its 2019 partnerships.
Slingshot Memphis, Inc. will carefully review all information submitted; however, due to our limited bandwidth, we cannot respond individually to each survey form or consider requests for follow-up meetings or calls.
We also regret that many worthy organizations doing extremely important work, even some that offer compelling opportunities for partnership, will not be selected as Affiliate Partners for next year. As we scale our team and tools, we hope to provide full-scale service to any organization that could benefit from our work. In the meantime, we plan to provide varying levels of support to help organizations begin self-measuring and monetizing.
1) Community Allies: This is the broadest and most inclusive tier in our partnership structure. Generally it consists of organizations who are interested in engaging with us on how to better measure impact and monetize outcomes. Some of these organizations will have applied for Affiliate Partner status and not been accepted; other organizations might not yet be interested in pursuing official partnership status but wish to benefit from some of our basic services. Going forward, these might include best practices workshops, minimal consulting time, or the Slingshot App, which is in development. However, it is our hope that some of these organizations will eventually apply (or reapply) for Affiliate status.
2) Affiliate Partners: This is the first tier for organizations when they become official partners with Slingshot Memphis. This is also the first step in the process toward becoming a funded Investee Partner, although not all Affiliates will ultimately become Investees. Essentially, an Affiliate will work closely with our staff for one full year (twelve months), during which time we will guide them through the measurement and monetization process. A high level of transparency is expected of our Affiliates, as our staff will make multiple data requests over the course of the year. (These requests will focus on program outputs, outcomes, budgetary information, and so on.) At the end of one year, an Affiliate Partner might be promoted to Investee Partner status. However, some Affiliates might not want to become Investees, due perhaps to a lack of need for funding; a desire to not publicize their outcomes (this is required of our Investee Partners); or insufficient funding on our part. Regardless, even if an Affiliate neither merits nor desires funding, in order to remain in our portfolio, it must be fully committed to our process, have demonstrable evidence of disrupting poverty, and provide evidence that they are trending (quantitatively) in the right direction. Which organizations are promoted is ultimately decided by our Board of Directors.
3) Investee Partners: This is the highest tier in our partnership structure. 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, with direction from our Investment Allocation Committee, based on the data and results generated over that year. An Investee Partner is also eligible for dollars from our IMPACT FUND, in an amount also determined by our Board of Directors. Please note that financial support is never guaranteed, due to our constant work toward fundraising, and our aggressive stance on deploying dollars. Generally, the expectation is that funding is awarded only to organizations with whom we intend to work in the following year. Further, even for organizations who have already achieved Investee Partner status, ongoing investment at the end of the following year is not guaranteed. Those decisions are made on a year-by-year basis. Lastly, it is possible for an Investee Partner to revert to Affiliate Partner status after initially receiving funding. This could be due to no longer needing funding from Slingshot Memphis, insufficient funding opportunities on our part, or because there are higher impact organizations elsewhere that warrant funding. We can only commit to funding organizations with the proof or capacity to generate the most effective solutions that lift and keep Memphians out of poverty.