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2022 BIPOC Nonprofit Leadership Symposium:  Effective Investor Communications Pitch Competition Winner and Finalists
Winner: Karen Alston, 4 the Jewel N U Global, Inc.; Finalists: Anita Smith Dickson, Community Housing Services Agency;
Georgette Jackson, Divine Rest Inc.; Angela Brantley, Talented Individuals with Power (T.I.P) Organization Inc.

(SAVANNAH, Ga.) United Way of the Coastal Empire is proud to recognize the nonprofit leaders who recently participated in the first BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) Nonprofit Leadership Symposium Effective Investor Communications Pitch Competition in partnership with Creative Coast and SCORE. This executive leadership development program was developed to support BIPOC-led nonprofit organizations in Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty Counties.

The six-week course covered how to effectively engage investors, donors, and philanthropic organizations. Additionally, the course taught skills focused on discovering investors, communicating the ‘story’ of an organization, and targeting messages for different demographics. Creative Coast’s Jen Bonnett curated the course and pitch competition. “It’s a pleasure working with nonprofit leaders, and I’m glad that I could help them craft and present effective messages about their mission,” said Bonnet.

The program culminated with an investor pitch presentation to a panel of local volunteer judges: Alicia Johnson, Executive Director of Step Up Savannah; Margaret Williams, Human Services Assistant Director at the City of Savannah; and Karen Bogans, Communications Manager at International Paper.

Those involved with the initiative say programs like this are needed to meet the diverse needs in our region. “I am excited about the opportunities United Way is providing for BIPOC led nonprofits. These organizations have a better perspective on how to serve people in our communities that look like them and face similar challenges. The training and exposure they receive through the leadership program will increase their likelihood of success,” said Karen Bogans, Communications Manager at International Paper and volunteer judge.

Karen Denise Alston, Founder and Executive Director of 4 the Jewel N U Global, Inc., won the Pitch Competition. 4 the Jewel N U empowers victims of abuse and their family members by educating them on the stigmas associated with domestic violence and sexual assault. “Extensive one-on-one mentoring improved my ability to spark interest from our community as it relates to domestic violence awareness,” says Alston. “Having gained these valuable tools will ensure not only myself but also my Board has the ability to effectively communicate our purpose to specific audiences.” Visit for more information.

Local businesses provided in-kind consultation services as prizes for pitch competition winners. They included:

• Aileen Gabbey, Productive Nonprofits and SCORE
• Jeremy Miller, Boost by Design
• Melissa Reams, Upstream Consulting
• Julie Wade, Wade Law and Consulting, LLC

United Way of the Coastal Empire will be extending additional development members throughout the year. The second annual BIPOC Leadership Symposium will be in August 2022.

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