ANNUAL REPORT, 2014-2015
While Austin experiences significant growth, our community remains overwhelmed by persistent social challenges. 2014-2015 was a transformational year for Mission Capital as we made progress toward our vision to see complex community challenges get solved.
MESSAGE FROM THE CEO
Vision: Complex community problems get solved.
Mission: We multiply the impact of mission-driven people and organizations.
WHO WE ARE
Our vision – to see our most complex community problems get solved – was developed after a multi-year, intensive effort to study the social sector landscape in the greater Austin area and engage hundreds of nonprofit, community, business and philanthropic leaders in a robust, strategic dialogue.
We know that the type of system-wide change this vision calls for cannot be achieved by working with nonprofits alone. After an in-depth strategic planning process, brand audit and extensive stakeholder input, we shifted our approach – recognizing that we need to be more than “Greenlights for Nonprofit Success” since we’re really about community success – and rebranded as Mission Capital. Learn more
To achieve our vision, Mission Capital is committed to the following strategic goals:
- Strengthen nonprofits and other mission-driven organizations to achieve the greatest possible impact.
- Build and support cross-sector partnerships and innovations that result in lasting social change.
- Develop the capacity and connectedness of mission-driven and philanthropic leaders.
- Magnify the impact of philanthropists and funders, and increase their social return on investment.
- Lead and support the social sector, serving as a voice for broad community engagement and problem-solving.
We’re confident that we can achieve these goals by leveraging the capital needed – human, intellectual, social, political and financial capital – to multiply the impact of mission-driven people and organizations.
We believe big community problems get solved through the power of nonprofits, and by bringing together the best that each sector has to offer: proven programs, innovative approaches to problem solving, business savvy, political will, and long-term commitment to mission and purpose.
Although there is no universal formula for defining nonprofit effectiveness, Mission Capital has identified six elements that are critical to all organizations, regardless of mission or scope. These elements guide our work, our service offerings and our approach to community problem solving. Learn more
TURNING PASSION AND VISION INTO REALITY
Mission Capital brings together the people, the tools and the capital needed to improve our community.
PROGRAM AND SERVICE EVALUATION
Service excellence is core to our work and we strive to deliver leading, high-quality content.
Conference Evaluation Score
Average Workshop Evaluation Score
Average Consulting Evaluation Score
IDENTIFYING NEW APPROACHES TO COMMUNITY ISSUES
Accelerator Graduate Improves Homeless Services and Generates Sustainable Revenue
Caritas of Austin
Through their participation in the 2014 Mission Accelerator, Caritas created a plan to transform their homeless services into a neighborhood-based model. While their main office downtown remains intact, each satellite location will serve as a neighborhood resource to truly engage poverty where it exists. Caritas worked with Mission Capital consultants and local business experts to create a comprehensive plan including strategy, cost structure, revenue streams, capital expenditures and growth projections for their new operations.
In April 2015, Caritas successfully opened a satellite center in the Northgate Plaza in Rundberg. Executive Director Jo Kathryn Quinn credits the Accelerator for helping bring their vision to life. Through its Caritas North location, the organization will generate measurable savings for the City of Austin. Read more…
Revenue Strategies for Accelerator Graduate
Easter Seals Central Texas
Easter Seals Central Texas participated in our first-ever Accelerator with hopes of growing their Lawn & Landscape Services. They’re on a mission to reduce unemployment for people with disabilities by 10% by 2020 and was looking at new business models, alternative funding sources and the right connections in the community to help achieve that goal.
After the Accelerator, Easter Seals pitched their idea to a room full of philanthropists and community leaders. Easter Seals was selected to be a Mission Capital investee, receiving $35,000 and three years of continued consulting and mentor support. Since then, Easter Seals received a $50,000 social impact loan from investors in Mission Capital’s Alternative Financing Taskforce. Through Mission Capital, Easter Seals has connected to a deep network of Austin’s entrepreneurs and philanthropists and is well on their way to creating new jobs for individuals with disabilities. Read more…
Collective Impact for Austin-area Foster Children
Travis County Collaborative for Children
Texas Christian University (TCU) Institute of Child Development partnered with Mission Capital as well as local nonprofits, funders, community activists and government agencies to lead a project aimed at improving our foster care system. Goals of the Travis County Collaborative for Children (TCCC) include reducing total time in care for children in the system, reducing total number of placements, creating a network of care based on Trust Based Relational Interventions (TBRI)® caregiving principles, and enhancing advocacy efforts to change policies and practices in CPS and across the system.
The Travis County Collaborative for Children has already engaged 200 representatives from 35 organizations including courts, law enforcement, child welfare services and educators, bringing together the largest group tackling foster care system in Texas. Complex issues like fixing the foster care system take time, but the collaborative is already seeing successes towards transformational change. Read more…
ENGAGING IN CREATIVE FINANCING
Solving our region’s most complex problems will take unprecedented collaboration and greater investments in programs that deliver proven outcomes. Mission Capital brings creative financing opportunities to philanthropists and nonprofits that go beyond traditional funding.
Pay for Success Comes to Austin
Mission Capital helps assess the feasibility of Pay for Success models in reducing teen pregnancy and improving outcomes for low-income African-American women in our community.
Social Impact Loan Awarded to Easter Seals
Easter Seals Central Texas secures a $50,000 loan from investors affiliated with Mission Capital, which will support their efforts to reduce unemployment for people with disabilities.
INVESTING IN HIGH-PERFORMING ORGANIZATIONS
Following the 2014 Accelerator, three organizations were selected by our Social Venture Partners (SVP) to receive additional investment. Beyond advisory support, the work of Mission Capital and SVPs influenced $2.5 million in fundraising commitments for participating organizations.
MOTHERS’ MILK BANK AUSTIN
Goal: Bring a new human-based milk product to market to improve lifelong outcomes for more than 60,000 vulnerable, very low birth weight (VLBW) infants born in the U.S. each year.
Bringing New Product to Market
Very low birth weight (VLBW) cases account for 55% of infant deaths and half the incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)—a debilitating inflammatory condition of intestinal tissues, often resulting in death. NEC is minimized when human milk feedings are provided; however, these feedings currently require fortification, a contributing factor for NEC and the deaths of thousands of infants annually.
Mothers Milk Bank Austin (MMBA) has developed the formula for a fortification-free product, reducing the risk of NEC by 75%. MMBA expects to complete the initial six-month pilot phase of the project by the end of 2015 and will be ready for FDA trials in 2016, assuming their application is accepted.
MMBA’s key accomplishments in the first year include:
- Completed a 2016 strategic plan to support continued organizational growth.
- Developed a proprietary bottle and cap which will be sold to other milk banks, further extending the organization’s earned revenue model.
- Increased distribution of donor human milk-based product to hospital NICUs.
- Hired a lab manager to continue testing and improving the human milk-based product.
The organization is also conducting research to quantify and optimize the therapeutic and nutritional benefits of human milk. In addition, they continue to push toward a capital campaign for a new building, and aim to improve and diversify its products and services in the coming years. Social Venture Partners will remain by their side in a board capacity: John Thornborrow serves as a board member and Chris Earthman is a member of their finance committee.
E3 ALLIANCE: RAISEUP TEXAS
Goal: Scale the RAISEup Texas model to engage 16 Central Texas schools in improving achievement for 28,000 middle school students, thereby increasing high school graduation rates and college enrollment.
Scaling a Proven Business Model
Through the Accelerator, E3 created a five-year plan to scale and reach 20,000+ students by expanding to 16 target schools in Central Texas. E3 was then selected as an investee to receive further support from our Social Venture Partners and Mission Capital consultants.
Thanks to a strong team, including Richard Tagle (Lead Partner), Courtney Hoffman, Milad Taghehchian, Tarik Aossey, Stacie Bennett, Deb Haas and Tara Kirkland, they’re on track to directly impact 28,000 students over five years.
E3’s key accomplishments in the first year include:
- Successfully launched in 8 schools and trained nearly 600 teachers.
- More than 50% of $3.4M private investment goal was raised, pledged or verbally committed.
- Added staff for new roles in development, project leadership and expansion management.
- Recruitment for second cohort of additional 8 schools is now in process and launching spring of 2016.
E3 will continue to work with our Social Venture Partners in 2016 to define and implement their evaluation plan, and resolve key scaling issues.
EASTER SEALS CENTRAL TEXAS
Goal: Scale Easter Seals Lawn & Landscape to provide 900 jobs to people with disabilities over the next 36 months, providing employment income to individuals served and sustainable revenue to support the organization’s wraparound services, which promote independence for people with disabilities.
Harold Ingersoll and Dan Graham
Identifying New Revenue Strategies
Of the 90,000+ people with a disability in Travis County, 70% are unemployed. Easter Seals’ Lawn & Landscape venture connects a common consumer service – lawn maintenance – to donors in a meaningful way. In its infancy, the program garnered 40 customers paying market rate, and generated $50,000 in revenue for Easter Seals.
Easter Seals of Central Texas has had strong support from a partner team that helps with operations (Harold Ingersoll, Larry Smith, Abe Rothbaum), marketing (Sara Finley, Glenn Sutton, Courtney Hoffman, Chelsea Woodhead), and fundraising (Clark Hoffman, Dennis Cavner).
The organization continues to make progress toward their goal of reducing unemployment for people with disabilities by 10% by 2020.
Easter Seals Central Texas’ key accomplishments in the first year include:
- Implemented a new revenue model to help sustain their core programs and services.
- Secured a $50,000 social impact loan from six investors affiliated with Mission Capital.
- Redefined Lawn & Landscape customer acquisition strategy, growing from 28 to nearly 300 customers.
- Evaluated expansion of landscaping services to other geographical areas.
Their business model and committee structure has gained attention from Easter Seals affiliates across the country. Social Venture Partner Harold Ingersoll will continue on the Easter Seals board and is working with CEO Tod Marvin to grow Easter Seals Lawn & Landscape as well as evaluate additional entrepreneurial opportunities for the organization.
CONNECTING AUSTIN’S SOCIAL SECTOR LEADERS
The Mission Capital network is made up of thousands of nonprofit and community leaders, social entrepreneurs and philanthropists who are all on a mission to improve the city we call home.
FORGING A NEW PATH FOR COMMUNITY SUCCESS
No challenge too great, no roadblock too steadfast. We envision a community where everyone prospers.
At the heart of our work is the belief that community problems can be solved. Thank you for sharing in our vision.
IMPOSSIBLE? NOT HERE.
At Mission Capital we provide the guidance that mission-driven people and organizations need to maximize their impact. Together we stare down the most impossible problems and make transformation happen.
- More than anything, Mission Capital has helped us think differently, and helped us drive revenue and rely less on typical nonprofit funding sources.Lucas Wells, 2014 InvesteeChief Program Officer, Easter Seals Central Texas
- We all have a lot of opportunities to write checks to support organizations in the community. But here we have the opportunity to engage our minds, our experience, our relationships to really be catalysts for change in our community.Dennis CavnerMission Capital Board Chair 2015
- Thanks to the cohesiveness that Mission Capital brings to the project, we’re working together to improve the lives of the vulnerable children who find themselves in our foster care system.The Honorable Darlene Byrne, member of the Travis County Collaborative for ChildrenPresident of the National Council on Juvenile and Family Court Judges
- Innovative approaches to philanthropy allows social businesses like ours to move at an accelerated pace.Tod Marvin, 2014 InvesteeCEO, Easter Seals Central Texas
- RGK Foundation is proud to support Mission Capital’s bold vision and leadership to strengthen the Central Texas nonprofit community—working in tandem toward creative and innovative solutions to complex community problems.Jami Hampton, Mission Capital funderSenior Program Officer, RGK Foundation
- My support of Mission Capital is an investment in more effective responses to important community challenges. Mission Capital is a catalyst for creative problem solving, thoughtful collaboration and the leverage of community resources to scale.Dan Bullock, Mission Capital DonorFounder, The Mosey Project
Download our latest financial and audit reports.
Note: In 2014, Mission Capital adjusted its fiscal year to start August 1.
IN THE NEWS
Austin Business Journal
Why Austin is poised to be world’s social innovation capital
By Dan Graham, October 17, 2014
Austin-Travis County selected for potential ‘Pay For Success’ social funding model
By Joe Lanane, March 11, 2015
Austin-based partnership awarded competitive social services grant
By James Barragan, March 12, 2015
Growth not without struggle for Austin’s philanthropic groups
By Joe Lanane, March 25, 2015
Austin nonprofits awarded more than $120,000
By Rebekah Hood, April 30, 2014