A few months ago, FCDI embarked on one of the most interesting and challenging funding opportunities we’ve ever encountered: The Children’s Board of Hillsborough County‘s Social Enterprise Competition. What attracted us to the opportunity, besides the $25,000 top award, were the mandatory training workshops that were part of the application process.Starting with about 10 other nonprofits, we went through an orientation,  workshop sessions on everything from marketing to finance, and “pitch” practices, all designed to help participating organizations strengthen their missions and better tell their stories.

Regardless of final outcome, we felt we’d be a stronger nonprofit for going through the program.  We applied lessons learned throughout the course of the three month effort, incorporating everything from better nonprofit management tools, to a weekly newsletter, and a stronger nonprofit mission emphasis at AMRoC.  We invested hundreds of hours in attending the workshops, refining our business plan, researching our social enterprise model and putting together a cohesive presentation for the Childrens Board.

And then – we won!  Even sweeter, 2nd place went to our wonderful friends and neighbors at  the Caribbean American National Development Organization, Inc. for their Arts & Cafe program. We love that we could share in the honor together, bringing the best of science, technology and the arts to the University Area!

We’re so grateful to the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County to be recognized as the 2019 Social Enterprise competition winner for our work with AMRoCFabLab, and for the wealth of knowledge we gained through the experience.  We look forward to applying the generous award in meaningful and effective ways to maximize our mission driven services to the University Area community.