Greater New Orleans Foundation Announces Pitch It! The Innovation Challenge

July 29, 2013 | New Orleans, LA – The Greater New Orleans Foundation in partnership with the Kresge Foundation is pleased to announce Pitch It! The Innovation Challenge to support breakthrough ideas in the human services field. Organizations in the human services field play a critical role in our community. They shelter the homeless, provide meals for the elderly, care for children, and employ the disabled.

“Human and social service organizations work tirelessly to address the often complex needs of our community,” said Albert Ruesga, president and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. “Through their innumerable programs and services, they are helping to improve the quality of life for all. Yet despite their many achievements and measurable outcomes, it’s sometimes necessary to stop and ask: is there a better way?”

Pitch It! The Innovation Challenge will fund a novel approach, an innovative product, a new process, or an inventive service that supports a new way of doing business in the human services field. The top prize is $25,000 with second and third place winners receiving $5,000 and $2,500. Ideas can be submitted that solve a particular challenge whether it pertains to management, finance, governance, technology, or programs. All 501(c)3 human service organizations within the 13-parish Greater New Orleans region are eligible to apply.

“Nonprofit organizations must continue to seek innovations that improve efficiencies in order to keep pace with the ever-changing economic landscape,” said Joann Ricci, vice president of organizational effectiveness at the Greater New Orleans Foundation.  “Thriving organizations are ones that re-think, re-frame, and re-imagine how they do business.” In her role at the Foundation, Ricci provides assistance and trainings to hundreds of local nonprofit organizations to strengthen their operations.

“The Challenge is a way to reward organizations that are willing to take a risk, act on a hunch, or think outside the box,” said Ricci. “Innovation is also about sharing. Ideas that surface here may flourish within the human services field and beyond.”

The deadline to submit ideas is August 26, 2013. The simple application is available here.  Three finalists will be selected to further develop their concept. They will present their ideas in a public pitch to a panel of judges on Monday, September 30th at 11:30 am at a location to be announced.


About the Greater New Orleans Foundation
The Greater New Orleans Foundation is the community foundation serving the 13-parish Greater New Orleans region. We design and lead initiatives that improve the region, connect donors to community needs, identify and support great nonprofits, and strengthen civil society.

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