Nonprofit Social Innovation Hub

The COVID-19 pandemic has left no nonprofit or philanthropic organization untouched, from a human service nonprofit coping with unprecedented demand to an arts organization unable to welcome guests to their venue. The disruptions have been massive in scope. While conducting our survey on the impacts of COVID-19 to the nonprofit sector, we heard hundreds of stories like these from nonprofits across the state.

But we've also heard stories of incredible innovation. Some nonprofits have adopted new technology to continue their services; others have pivoted to new business models to fulfill their missions.

We invite you to share your own experiences for our Nonprofit Social Innovation Hub, where organizations can find ideas and inspiration from their colleagues in the nonprofit community. Your responses here will contribute to an indispensable resource and help lift up the sector together during this time of need.

Fresh Start takes to Zoom, implements new strategies to support women making big changes

When Fresh Start Women's Foundation made the difficult choice to shut down the center in March 2020 because of COVID-19, staff faced the challenge before them head-on: How do we keep serving women? Two weeks later, with a combination of teamwork, determination and ingenuity, Fresh Start took to Zoom, offering all core programs and services virtually.

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Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters

How Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters adapted to COVID-19, from letter-writing to Zoom

Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters bears an important mission: Create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. In 2020 the nonprofit found a way to turn the uncertainty of the pandemic into a step towards innovation within their operations.

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Foundation for Blind Children

Foundation for Blind Children goes global

The Foundation for Blind Children expanded its reach to not just Phoenix families, but a national and global audience through a series of webinars and online programs for children who are blind or visually impaired and their families.

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Free Arts

Worry monsters and hope packets: How Free Arts for Abused Kids of Arizona pivoted through COVID

As Free Arts for Abused Kids of Arizona got further into the pandemic, they developed “to-go art projects” that they started to deliver across the Valley. From April through August 2020, they delivered over 8,000 of these projects to more than 2,000 children across the Valley.

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Online shopping for good

ASU student Anthony Valencia founded the nonprofit organization ShelterShare, an online platform that connects members of a community to local shelters and allows them to buy specific items of need.

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Monique LaFlomme

How a Prescott school district reinvented student support during the pandemic year

It has been the year of great change and challenge. With incredible staff coming together with profound creativity and resilience, we have been able to successfully overcome one of the hardest years educators have experienced and carry on with promise.

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Prescott Center for the Arts contest winner

With performances disrupted, Prescott Center for the Arts innovates to serve patrons and community

Despite COVID-19 canceling shows and postponing performances, Prescott Center for the Arts used the pressures of the pandemic to create opportunities for engagement and innovation so that communities could still experience all facets of the arts, safely.

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Our Neighbor's Farm and Pantry

Small-town food pantry finds big solutions during pandemic

At Our Neighbors Farm & Pantry in Safford, Ariz., donations have taken a drastic downturn - especially in bread, which is down 80%. But the nonprofit has shown resilience by reaching out to local businesses to form unique partnerships and put food on the tables of community members.

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Teen Lifeline volunteer

Teen Lifeline answered the call for youth in need of support

Nikki Kontz, the clinical director for Teen Lifeline, said they immediately saw that teens were going to need their services “more than ever.” They received twice as many texts as the previous year, and overall use of the hotline increased as well. Members at the organization thought these would go down as the summer went on, but they continued to climb. Learn how the organization handled the challenges.

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Share your success story

What has worked for your organization? Share your successes during this time of disruption. Responses will be collected on our website, and a Lodestar Center staffer may contact you for more details.
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