Pitch It! The Innovation Challenge Announces Finalists

The Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF) has announced the finalists for the 2016 Pitch It! The Innovation Challenge, an initiative that supports breakthrough ideas in the nonprofit field.

Lighthouse Louisiana, New Orleans Food & Farm Network, and the YMCA will be presenting their innovative ideas to a live panel on October 7. The grand prize is $25,000 with second and third place winners receiving $7,500 and $5,000.

“In an environment of uncertain economic times and shrinking public coffers, we’re turning more and more to nonprofit organizations to tackle our toughest social problems,” said Joann Ricci, vice president of organizational effectiveness at the Greater New Orleans Foundation. “As demand grows for their services and programs, nonprofits must continuously seek novel solutions to meet community needs.”

Judges include: Leah Brown, Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs for Chevron’s Gulf of Mexico Business Unit; Fred G. Karnas, Senior Fellow, Human Services and Health Program at the Kresge Foundation; Quentin Messer Jr., President and CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance; and Yvette Ruiz, Vice President, Office on Nonprofit Engagement, JPMorgan Chase.

Pitch It! The Innovation Challenge was launched four years ago alongside the Kresge Foundation to fund a novel approach, an innovative product, a new process, or an innovative service that supports a new way of doing business in the nonprofit sector.

Past winners are Café Reconcile, Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans & Acadiana, and UNITY of Greater New Orleans.