Helping Others to Help Themselves
Start Corporation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Louisiana that provides programs that help supply supportive housing, skills training, case management and other services to those with low incomes and/or behavioral, physical or developmental challenges. “We take great pride in helping our community,” says Casey Guidry, Executive Director of Start Corp. “We’re always looking for ways to enhance our programs and grow our services so that our citizens may benefit in a meaningful way.” Around 15 years ago, Casey was working to secure a HUD Continuum of Care (COC) funding and was introduced to Mike from Strategic Funding Group. “I was very impressed with their ability to anticipate potential funding coming down the pipe and felt they could help Start Corp grow and expand our community offerings.”
To get things going, SFG created a strategic funding plan for Start Corp. “As we are a very localized organization, SFG had to do some research on us and learn about our community and its needs as well as our overall mission and vision,” says Casey. “They were very thorough and once they had a grasp on those needs, they created a strategic plan that outlined funding opportunities that matched our needs.” Since then, SFG has regularly updated the plan to include new opportunities and options, making a point to check in with Start Corp to learn about new endeavors and areas where they can provide assistance.
SFG continues to assist Start Corp with sourcing and applying for funding opportunities. Says Casey “They are excellent at finding federal and other funding, some I never would have thought of or found if not for them. They take the time to walk us through and help us understand all of our options and are always responsive when we contact them and ask them questions. It’s a great relationship and I know they will continue to help us grow into the future.” When Start Corp began, they were receiving around $500,000 in yearly funding from two or three funders. “Thanks to the expertise of SFG, we now have a more diverse group of about 20 funders and receive $6.5 million in yearly funding.”
— Casey Guidry, Executive Director of Start Corp.