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Spring 2024 Ignite Louisville Results

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Presented by Norton Healthcare, Ignite Louisville is a six-month program that grows young professionals by developing the critical components of leadership. The Ignite Louisville Leadership Challenge is an opportunity for teams from the program to undertake a project for a local nonprofit, gaining experience in community leadership, board involvement, and teamwork. These teams put their lessons from the program days directly into action in hopes of winning the Ignite Louisville Leadership Challenge and earning additional funds for their partner agencies.

The 29th Ignite Louisville class graduated on April 11 and included a day of presentations to a panel of esteemed judges. The winning team worked with the Falls of the Ohio Foundation – a support organization for the natural, cultural, and historic resources of the Falls of the Ohio area. Falls of the Ohio Foundation will receive the $1,500 prize made possible by the Leadership Louisville Center. While one team was chosen as the winner, all seven nonprofits received significant in-kind support. The seven teams collectively contributed over 2,100 hours of service and over $108,000 in value to this class’s nonprofit partners.

The project outcomes for this graduating class varied, ranging from marketing plans, to cultivating community partners, and maximizing event strategies. Scroll down to learn about each team’s outcomes:

Winning Team:

The Electric Eight

Nonprofit: Falls of the Ohio Foundation

Team Members (back to front): Joel Stinnett, Louisville Business First; Jacob Shepard, Norton Healthcare; Layne Taylor, Humana Inc.; Jordan Clemons, Greater Louisville Inc. | GLI.; Alesha Frazier, Brown-Forman Corporation; Cole Bruner, Dean Dorton; Jennifer Hamma, Confluent Health; and Vashti Proctor, AMPED (Adventurous Minds Produce Extraordinary Dreams)

This Ignite team developed a communications plan to maximize the impact of the Falls of the Ohio Foundation’s rebrand, which included drafting the organization’s first-ever Annual Report, developing a targeted corporate sponsorship campaign, and establishing year-round intern executional support, at no cost to the Falls of the Ohio Foundation, through partnerships with Bellarmine University and Hanover College.
They also developed an event strategy, based on reviews of the local competitive landscape, to build brand awareness and increase corporate/foundation giving. To bring this strategy to life, the team developed several recommendations, including family-friendly events, member-only offerings, and a large-scale fundraiser modeled after a successful event held in Cincinnati each year.

As a result of their efforts, they uncovered over $820,000 in future revenue potential for the Falls of the Ohio Foundation and will deliver over $75,000 in administrative savings over the first 3 years.

Sparks & Recreation

Nonprofit: Jewish Family and Career Services

Team Members (from back to front): Oscar Heithaus, Blue Wave America; Kevin Buechler, WesBanco; Aaron Miller, Farm Credit Mid-America | Rural 1st; MaShayla Hays, The Lawyering Project; Jane Rudnick, Yum! Brands; Roshni Patrawala, The Al J. Schneider Company | AJS Hotels; Alexus Richardson, Dare to Care Food Bank; Natalie McGraw, Go Social

This Ignite team paired with Jewish Family and Career Services to support marketing and ticket sales for the 2024 MOSAIC Awards event recognizing refugees and immigrants who made an impact in the Louisville community.

They developed a multifaceted approach to assist with a comprehensive marketing plan focused on highlighting the organization as a whole, including content for all JFCS events.

They created a social media calendar with full content and copy. To raise awareness of the event’s significance, the team secured several media spots. They recommended a corporate engagement strategy. They encouraged innovative fundraising initiatives including auctions, donation drives, and sponsorship packages to ensure future financial success. The team’s deliverables also included increasing ticket sales, securing corporate participation, and raising awareness to advance JFCS initiatives.

Inferno Initiative

Nonprofit: The Book Works

Team Members (from back to front): Sara Butryn, Jefferson County Public Schools | JCPS; Austin Young, Advanced Business Solutions | ABS; Brian Wehneman, Humana Inc.; Ashley Kuszynski, The Al J. Schneider Company | AJS Hotels; Andrea Ghooray, Norton Healthcare; Brad Butler, Frost Brown Todd; Brandon Hill, Louisville Water Company; Erin Sigmund, American Printing House for the Blind | APH

This Ignite team worked with The Book Works, which helps local at-risk youth finish high school, helped the organization expand to additional locations. The team helped make this expansion a reality by applying three perspectives: (I) implementation, (II) growth, and (III) sustainability.

Their implementation committee developed employee training and safety manuals, applied for a $75,000 staffing grant, prepared a significant number of legal documents, and assisted with developing a plan to improve its technological infrastructure to qualify for cybersecurity insurance, which will help to obtain crucial information from JCPS about its students.

Their growth committee focused on refreshing existing materials, creating several additional infographics and new handouts, and designing a new website specific to the expansion project.

Finally, their sustainability committee created surveys for different stakeholders to determine areas for improvement. Additionally, several members of the team plan to assist with different aspects of the project after the Ignite program concludes.

Leaders United

Nonprofit: Holy Cross High School

Team Members (from left to right): Jerrica Valtierra, Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana; Katie Scales, Confluent Health; Angelina Harlow, Volunteers of America Mid-States | VOA; John King, Jr., German American Bank; Charlie Todd, Stored Value Solutions; Skyler Daugherty, Advanced Business Solutions | ABS; Cameron Curry, Thieneman Construction, Inc.

In the past six months, Leaders United had the opportunity to partner with Holy Cross High School in elevating their Corporate Internship Program. Their team worked with the organizers of the program to develop a strategy to increase corporate sponsors and ensure students are paired with businesses that best align with their career goals. To ensure an influx of corporate sponsors, Leaders United developed a marketing plan to allow for greater outreach through using social media, created an outline for an alumni board to ensure continued support, and provided an outreach program and tracking sheet to allow for a broader network of businesses.

To ensure student engagement, Leaders United provided a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion plan to showcase how DEI is practiced in the workplace. Additionally, they expanded the current surveys used at the end of internships to allow for streamlined feedback from both businesses and students. This will allow Holy Cross to gain feedback consistently to adapt the program to the needs of the industry and the needs of the students.

Team Altru[nition]

Nonprofit: Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana

Team Members (from left to right): Daniel Mazza, Confluent Health; Camille Moore, Farm Credit Mid-America | Rural 1st; Kaylee Collins, MCM CPAs & Advisors; Johnecia Seay, Metro United Way; Matthew Butts, Aline; Lili Peters, DNA Hospitality

This Ignite team collaborated with Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana to enhance alumni recruitment by developing and launching an alumni data collection tool. The tool aims to identify alumni, obtain contact information, success stories, potential volunteers, donors, and advocates.

After increasing alumni engagement by 560%, they equipped JAKY with a strategic plan for connecting with their new network. The plan includes an 8-point member benefits package and a 15-point omnichannel marketing plan. Within 4 months, they made sustainable connections to support JAKY’s 2024 Hall of Fame event making history with over $90,000 raised – the highest donation total from that event to date.

To continue the brand’s positive trend, they outlined a week-long community celebration to commemorate JAKY’s 75th Anniversary. The event series includes occasions for a diverse set of community stakeholders – from students to Laureates. Their recommendations are slated for implementation in September 2024.

Magnificent 7 Ignited

Nonprofit: Educational Justice

Team Members (left to right): Sand Garrison, Seven Counties Services Inc.; Alexa Welch, Glow Brands; Lance Ballard, Baptist Health; JaFayre Covington, Messer Construction Co.; Ce Garrison, Louisville Metro Government; Charles Evans, UPS Airlines; Le’Artis W. Allen, LG&E and KU Energy

Magnificent 7 Ignited were working as a team for their nonprofit Educational Justice. Together with Educational Justice, the Magnificent 7 Ignited wanted to create a plan that helped increase the business community’s awareness, assess EJ’s effectiveness, and write a comprehensive plan to help EJ achieve their organizational goals.

A survey was conducted to gauge current awareness of the mission and impact. This information will be used to tailor outreach efforts more effectively. Additionally, branded materials specifically designed for business audiences will be created to get the message across during outreach initiatives.

To streamline internal operations, an organizational chart for the nonprofit was established. To visually depict roles and reporting structures, ensuring everyone within the organization understands their responsibilities and how their work contributes to the bigger picture. Furthermore, standardized job description templates were also developed to benefit both existing staff and simplify the onboarding process for new hires.

The team also collaborated with the organization’s leadership to define their long-term vision, establish clear objectives, and develop a roadmap for success. Finally, connections between Educational Justice, Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS), and local/state government family resource providers were established to further expand Educational Justice’s reach and impact.

Team RazzMatazz

Nonprofit: APRON, INC.

Team Members (back to front): Thomas Bell, Triangle Talent; Katie Molck, 6AM City, Inc.; Robert Leasure, Confluent Health; Mariah Mitchell, University of Louisville School of Medicine; Sarah Hugenberg, PNC Bank; Marcella Bagniefski, Delta Dental of Kentucky; Whitney Hickman, Louisville Metro Government; Jay Jones, Farm Credit Mid-America | Rural 1st

Over the course of six months, Team RazzMatazz developed a three-prong approach to meet APRON Inc.’s initial ask: To help improve engagement, boost brand awareness, and secure new supporters in the Gen Z and Millennial demographics. In other words, they wanted to position APRON Inc. as a household name nonprofit in the community. What better way to become a household name than to turn to social media, an arena APRON Inc. was underutilizing.

They delivered a social media strategy to the APRON Inc. team, complete with an audit, management workflow, and content ideas. To bolster this strategy and support the newly created awareness, they improved the APRON Inc. website and current fundraising strategy with Gen Z and Millennials in mind. They enhanced APRON’s website’s credibility and usability by improving SEO and creating a positive user experience, making it more attractive to new donors. They also provided new methods for its current fundraising strategies, including recommendations to its monthly Happy Hour Friend-Raiser event, direct mail program, and created the Secret Menu Society, a recurring donor program geared toward Gen Z and Millennials.