The Automobile Driving Museum boasts a rotating collection of 130 classic, antique and vintage automobiles on display for visitors to appreciate and even take a ride in! They work to preserve these cars while educating guests on the history of the automotive industry and it’s evolution.
After participating in the Academy, the Automobile Driving Museum went from total dependence on gifts and museum admissions to bringing in significant revenue from renting out their museum display cars. They are now renting their vehicles for movies, photo shoots, and through a concierge service, for weddings and business openings. They earned $10,000 in the first year, and are well on the way to their goal of $1,500 a month.
The Cancer Resource Center of the Desert (CRCD) works to educate, guide, support, and empower cancer patients and their families through the cancer journey. It is the only organization of its kind providing services to the Imperial Valley community.
Since winning the Social Entrepreneurship Venture Competition in 2015, the Cancer Resource Center of the Desert completed market testing for their “survivor wear” clothing and look forward to launching a lucrative business. They are now going into full production, using the internet as a leading source of sales. Their mentor from the Academy, a former Ernst partner, continues to advise them. The Center’s Executive Director reports, “before Survivorware, we had outstanding service but when we added this, we created tangible products for our patients and a pathway to greater sustainability. Now we are visible. Prior you could not see our services.”
Fleet Street is a non-profit organization that supports teen boys leaving the criminal justice system. One of their core programs is teaching the boys to repair bikes. As the boys learn a skill and contribute to their community they gain confidence and vision. Previously, Fleet Street focused on donating repaired bikes and offering free repair services at community events. After participating in the Academy, Fleet Street “realized that we could charge for many of our repair services and expand our impact dramatically. It changed the mindset of our team.”
With that realization, Fleet Street “pivoted” and began securing contracts for repairing and providing bikes. By partnering with other not-for-profits such as the Rescue Mission Alliance, they are projecting first year revenues of $25,000 to $30,000.
Go Kids is a not-for-profit agency that provides comprehensive child development services and builds community to ensure every child the support they need to thrive. Go Kids runs a social enterprise called GK Financial in which they provide financial, administrative and management services to other not-for-profit organizations. They serve a range of not-for-profit clients and do everything from processing account payables and receivables, strategic planning, budgeting and auditing.
GK Financial has met their goals for success and are generating over $100,000 in annual revenue with plans to expand over the next year. They have caught the social enterprise bug and are looking at many opportunities to provide other back room services to not-for-profits such as HR and IT. Pat DelBene, CFO, says of their experience participating in the Social Enterprise Academy, “the experience of exploring, researching and writing a business plan has been invaluable for our success in present and future social enterprise ventures.”
Whitney Weston and Pierson Blaetz of The Greenway Arts Alliance founded their social enterprises, the Melrose Trading Post and Greenway Court Theatre fifteen years ago. The Melrose Trading Post, a flea market, is the most successful ongoing fundraiser in the history of LA Unified School District with gross annual revenues of $1.2 million. It has raised over six million dollars for student activities, student resources, capital improvements, and salaries.
In the LA Social Venture Academy, they set the goals of starting a consulting venture, training others how to replicate their success, and of opening a second trading post. At last report, an agreement for a second trading post was nearly finalized and their consulting expertise was in demand. Says Whitney, “All the workshops made a lot of sense. It’s nice to sit in a room with other not-for-profits and discuss these issues together. The branding workshop was particularly useful because branding it not something nonprofits usually think about, and it is important to us.”
GrowGood promotes healthy living by providing tools and instructions necessary for people to grow healthful food for themselves and their families. The organization has partnered with the Salvation Army to run “The Bell Shelter Garden”, an urban farm on the grounds of the Bell Shelter. The garden provides fresh produce for the veterans who live there. Their social enterprise is a greenhouse, which grows micro greens for sale to high-end chefs and consumers in Los Angeles.