Up to $500,000 Available for Social Innovation on November 4

Elections will not be the only contest occurring on Tuesday, as the Community Foundation of Utah hosts its second Social Investors Forum. 


Eight exceptional nonprofit organizations will pitch their businesses to Venture Philanthropy Utah, a panel of qualified investors. Up to $500,000 has been pledged to invest in ideas that have the potential to change Utah for the better.

The Community Foundation of Utah has received national attention for its unique way of sourcing and supporting creativity in the nonprofit sector. Unlike other funders, the Foundation uses a one-page Call for Investments and asks for an idea that has the potential for deep impact, measurable results, and a plan for sustainability. Eighty-three (83) ideas were submitted from across the state, and eight have been selected to pitch to panels of investors.

  • The Spice Kitchen program of International Rescue Committee, which incubates refugee owned food businesses;
  • The Winter Market at the Depot, a project of the Downtown Alliance;
  • Utahns Against Hunger’s efforts to double the value of the SNAP program to local farmers;
  • Immigration and naturalization legal services through an earned-income program at Comunidades Unidas;
  • A mobile dental clinic for seniors at the Senior Charity Care Foundation;
  • The Gifted Music School, to bring arts education to Utah schools;
  • Leverage solar panel purchasing though Utah Clean Energy; and
  • Investments in small businesses and low income neighborhoods though The Greater Salt Lake Development Corporation.

The public and members of the media are invited to join the event November 4th, at Westminster on the Draw, 2120 South 1300 East in Salt Lake. Registration begins at8:30 am and the pitches begin promptly at 9:00. The public votes on their favorites, and the results are shared with the investors in Venture Philanthropy Utah who together have pledged up to $500,000. The event is sponsored by JP Morgan Chase. Dorsey &Whitney has pledged $5,000 in legal services to the winners.

Last February the Community Foundation of Utah hosted the first Social Investors Forum, which invested $20,000 in the Fruit Share program at Green Urban Lunchbox and $20,000 in the Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective’s Earn-A-Bike program. These portfolio companies continue to receive ‘mentor capital’ from the investors as they grow their sustainable businesses.

The Community Foundation of Utah is a catalyst for philanthropy that is visionary, diverse, and inclusive. For more information go to www.utahcf.org, call (801)559-3005, or email Community Foundation of Utah Executive Director, Fraser Nelson at[email protected].