12 February 2019 Published in News





Rosemary Roller, Community Relations Manager
Community Foundation of Utah
(801) 559-3005 x5





"Shark Tank for Nonprofits" offers over $72,000 in funding and mentorship to Utah charities

The Community Foundation of Utah’s Social Investors Forum supports Utah organizations developing innovative solutions to pressing community problems.


Salt Lake City, UT – On October 18th, 2018, the Community Foundation of Utah (CFU) hosted the eighth Social Investors Forum, an innovative community program designed to identify and fund pioneering ideas that solve complex social problems. The Social Investors Forum Investment Committee offered a $24,000 matching grant, renewable up to three years, to Volunteers of America, Utah to help transition teens out of homelessness. In addition, The Bicycle Collective and Spice Kitchen Incubator were awarded mentorship opportunities to help scale their services and become more fiscally sustainable.

Prior to each Forum, nonprofits and social enterprises from across the state are invited to submit a call for investments, and a select few finalists are chosen to pitch live to an Investment Committee of entrepreneurs and business professionals. For the eighth iteration of the Forum, CFU invited previous award recipients to apply to pitch for a second round of funding for their groundbreaking programs. Winning pitches feature a combination of inventive solutions to community issues, coupled with strategies to ensure long-term financial sustainability. Since 2014, the program has awarded over $384,000 to Utah nonprofits and social enterprises. 

“The Social Investors Forum not only seeds the social sector’s most exciting new ideas, it serves as a platform to show that organizations can do social good and be financially sustainable at the same time,” said Alex Eaton, Chief Executive Officer at CFU. “The Forum highlights best practices and encourages organizations to innovate their models and make even more impact.”

Volunteers of America, Utah will use their grant to hire a case manager for Maud’s Café, a coffee shop staffed by teens transitioning from homelessness into the professional world. Additionally, The Bicycle Collective was offered six months of mentorship from the Social Investors Forum Investment Committee to assist in growing their bike repair and retail business. Spice Kitchen Incubator was also offered mentorship and potential follow-on financing to help launch a café and storefront for refugee food entrepreneurs.   

The Social Investors Forum runs annually and will hold its ninth pitch day in Spring 2019. For more information please visit:

About the Community Foundation of Utah

The Community Foundation of Utah is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to enriching our community by giving well, teaching others to give well, and uniting philanthropy to improve the quality of life in Utah. CFU serves as Utah’s catalyst for philanthropy through innovative, sustainable, and impactful grantmaking and works with nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals to target the most pressing needs in our community. Since establishment in 2008, CFU has facilitated over $50 million in grants to Utah’s nonprofit sector. For more information, please visit, call 801.559.3005, or email .