The Sprout Fund has been investing in this region for 17 years. They are sunsetting now and have used a nomination process to award $1,000 sunset grants to 50 individuals in the region to carry on their values.
I am one of the awardees. My Sprout value is “Challengers of the status quo and unrelenting in their pursuits”
My relationship with Sprout dates back to 2008. I was working as a foster parent recruiter with Family Services of Western Pennsylvania. I proposed my first ‘coffee house tour’ to engage potential foster parents and get our team out of the office and into the community. We teamed up with Starbucks, Coffee Tree Roasters, Hoi Polloi, the Union Project, Amani, and others that I can’t recall. A local marketing firm designed concert style tee shirts and coffee mugs for us to distribute. I still have a mug, rather Ledcat still has a mug. She uses it at work to drink tea.
It was a positive experience working with Sprout. They invited us to set up at their famous Hothouse benefit; we were paired with Starbucks and had a really nice event. I’ve used the concept of touring coffeehouses with other outreach project over the years.
In fact, this concept is part of my other two pieces of good funding news. Last week, we received $4000 from Three Rivers Community Foundation to do outreach in Southwestern PA. And, we’ve been invited by ioby and the Buhl Foundation to receive a 100% match in a crowdfundraiser organizing similar outreach events in the Northside of Pittsburgh.
“Challengers of the status quo and unrelenting in their pursuits”
That feels apt. I look at the other names in the awardees and see many that I recognize – some from my artistic residency cohort at Most Wanted Fine Art and others are Northside neighbors while I also recognize some LGBTQ organizers as well. I think I’m among the oldest of the group which is exhilarating and sobering a bit.
I’m sorry to see Sprout sunset. There are very limited resources for community level programming that is not owned by an established 501c3. It is hard to get off the ground and difficult to stay there. They played a key role in many critical projects and I appreciate that they are investing this one last time, without restrictions, in the community. Check out the folks in the list and consider following them on Twitter and/or Facebook.
And, if you are nodding your head as you read this, please consider helping us with a modest donation for our crowdfund so we can access that 100% match! Here’s the link – here!
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