In the Fall of 2021, Apparo launched G.A.I.N. – powered by Lowe’s. The Growth, Agility and Innovation for Nonprofits program is a two-year nonprofit accelerator that bolsters the efficiency of Charlotte nonprofits, which each receive more than $200,000 of value in hardware, software, implementation, training and support.
2023 update! Enjoy the cohort first year celebration, graduation and words of appreciation from cohort members, Darryl Bego and Tawruss Sellars.
Through a unique partnership with 15 Charlotte corporations, G.A.I.N. equips ten nonprofit organizations with modern technology to overcome challenges that limit them from reaching their full potential. Participating corporations include Lowe’s and EY (program funders and skilled volunteering), Bank of America (project funder and skilled volunteering), Centric Consulting (skilled volunteering.)
Participating nonprofits receive the tools they need to implement and sustain the benefits of the program, including: new laptops for their staff, cloud-based infrastructure, other remote work tools and the change management support they need to help ensure successful adoption.
- A Better World
- Carolina Raptor Center
- JazzArts Charlotte
- Memory & Movement Charlotte
- S.T.A.R.S. Math & English Academy
- Shepherd’s Center of Charlotte
- The Independence Fund
- Young Black Leadership Alliance
- Youth Development Initiatives
They can expect capacity-building benefits including minimized expenses, saved time, minimized risk and increased employee job satisfaction. As a result, they will be better positioned to fulfill their missions of improving and enriching lives in Charlotte.
“Lowe’s is committed to continuing to grow technology across the Charlotte region to support some of the most critical challenges facing our hometown today,” said Seemantini Godbole, Lowe’s executive vice president and chief information officer. “We are proud to partner with Apparo to provide the volunteer assistance and technology to help these nonprofits amplify and sustain the meaningful impact they have across the area.”
Some G.A.I.N. nonprofits participants share more on why the program is so important to them.
Beyonka Fulton, administrative and fundraising director at A Better World, explains: “Our manual, paper-based processes really slow us down, both in terms of our programs and our fundraising.” Upon completion of the program, she anticipates, “I’ll have more time to collaborate with the community and to reach more schools. We’ll be able to grow our programs and our organization as a whole, helping more kids in our community shape promising futures.“
Ron Baldwin, chief financial officer at JazzArts, shares that he is “ecstatic to be part of this G.A.I.N. cohort and enthusiastic about the journey ahead. We’ve been so focused on client service that we haven’t had the time to plan for our use of technology. Our hope is to be able to step back and focus on technology planning and efficiency in terms of both operations and expenses.” Lonnie Davis, president and chief executive officer, adds, “G.A.I.N. is going to be a game-changer for us. It’s going to make a huge positive impact on our organization and the community. The more efficient we are, the more time we’ll have to focus on our stakeholders.”
Matt Sharp, chief operating officer at RunningWorks, says, “I’m thrilled to be part of the G.A.I.N. program. The work we’ll accomplish even over just the first six months, would have taken us years on our own. Because we have two years together, we’ll be able to really get back on track, get staff trained and gain their buy-in. This is truly a team initiative and as a result, we’ll be as effective and efficient as possible, so that we can do our best to serve our best.”