Entrepreneurship From the ground up
A new initiative (youth entrepreneurship) funded by the Aibtikar Foundation and USDA, this pilot project will empower high school youth to address food security and lack of youth employment opportunities while exploring urban agriculture, culinary arts and entrepreneurship through the development and sale of value added food products from seed to sale. Through this project, youth will be exposed to new ideas and careers in agriculture and the culinary arts and 21st century life and job skills.
Utilizing Google AdGrant
Many non-profits find out that through Google AdGrant, they can receive $10,000/month in free advertising! That can be 1,000-1,500 new people per month learning about their organization...seemingly for free. In our experience, most organizations do in fact receive the grant after applying.
But for those who are not experts in how Google ranks ads, it is nearly impossible to use even 1% of the grant. This is where Cause Inspired Media comes in. The folks at Cause Inspired not only know the ins and outs of Google's decision making process behind picking which ads to promote, but they also provide advice on what to add to non-profit sites to increase the chances that Google picks their ads to show.
The service, at $200 per month, has the potential to enable non-profits to utilize their full AdGrant in many cases. In terms of increasing awareness for your non-profit and driving stakeholders to your site, it would be difficult to find a better return on investment.
We use Cause Inspired for our mental health site, IDeserveGoodDays.org, and are paying for other non-profits to utilize it as well.
Promoting Support Groups
Support groups are an important part of emotional healing. Therapy is often a necessary beginning for people to gain a greater understanding of what instinctively motivates their feelings and actions. Support groups are a private setting for people experiencing similar difficulties to share and learn with and from one another.
Since Alcoholics Anonymous is by far the most prevalent support group, the most research exists on it. One study showed that abstinence rates from alcohol doubled with AA attendance, with the rate of abstinence increasing with the number of meetings attended. Another study, meanwhile, shows a 45% reduction in alcohol treatment costs among those who attend AA meetings.
There are group meetings for family of alcoholics, people who have been impacted by divorce, grief, gambling, overeating, brain disorders, single parents and many more. Many of the organizations that create material for meetings manage with a very small budget. Meanwhile, the social return on investment is astronomical. Our mission is to a.) make sure that these groups are financially stable b.) help them to increase membership (which in turn, helps them to be more financially stable). We are currently working with numerous organizations to help them to accomplish these two ends. Upon success with this effort (which could take 2-3 years)we will work on assisting other similar organizations in this capacity and develop a strategy to bring support groups as part of a treatment regimen to the forefront of comprehensive health care management.
Fountain house + body
Opened in 2019, Fountain House + Body is a social enterprise by Fountain House with a triple bottom line:
1. Provide meaningful paid working opportunities to people with serious mental illness
2. Produce and sell environmentally sustainable, low-waste products
3. Generate a profit to sustain and enhance our employment program
Early in 2019, we made a small donation to support the start-up of the store. It is exciting to see a true social enterprise that prioritizes it's social mission. We look forward to seeing this venture succeed and being an example for others in the future. The store is located at 105 Thompson Street in New York. It is certainly worth a visit if you are in the city. https://www.fountain.nyc/
IDeserveGoodDays is a directory where people can find therapists who accept insurance and free local support groups. The reason we started this page was to increase awareness of accessible mental health services throughout the state of New Jersey. We have been advertising in different regions of the state with different modalities to see what is the most effective spend of advertising. With analytics, we are also measuring how many pages each person searches on and how long they spend on the site. Our goal with this project is to show stakeholders with more funds then we have access to that spending on the right types of advertising can increase the uptake of mental health services. A model can be built around this that illustrates the long-term financial savings that would result from similar outreach programs.
With the site having been in operation for two years and more than 25,000 visitors, we are turning the attention of the site solely to support groups. This is partially in response to increased spending from therapy focused sites, but more so in order to serve as a national destination for people to find the support group that is right for them and/or their loved ones.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson & Union Counties
Our intention in posting these billboards in the Hoboken PATH station, which sees hundreds of thousands of "passer bys" each month, was to increase recruitment of Bigs (Mentors) in Hoboken and Jersey City. Matches made in Hudson county for the period that the posters were up increased 50% over the prior year. This was the only form of advertising BBBS utilized during this period. We hope to continue to fund creative ways to engage people to participate in child empowerment initiatives such as Big Brother.