According to GoodReads, Marc Sparks, a Dallas entrepreneur has developed an exceptional passion for fostering community development. About 15 years ago, he met Lynne Sipiora who shared the same passion. Together, they took over a homeless shelter situated in Collin County, Texas and transformed it from a small run down house to a $ 3 million annual operation establishment.
The Samaritan Inn now houses and feeds up to 200 people on a daily basis. In addition to that, they pioneered a transitional living apartment complex in northern Texas, set up a successful thrift store and have also begun constructing a family shelter that is estimated to cost a whopping $ 7 million.
On the same note, Marc and Lynne recently introduced a unique concept known as Spark Tank. It is a Social Innovation Challenge that allows philanthropic groups in the Dallas-Fort Worth to submit their proposals for a chance to win a $ 5000 grant in a bid to support their nonprofit cause. The concept is simple, all interested social service executives with an entrepreneurial spirit send their applications online for a review by the Marc.
From the applications, three applicants are chosen and given a date when they will come to present their ideas to the Spark Tank panel. Each finalist will then be given 10 minutes to pitch their ideas followed by 10 minutes of questioning.
The project however only provides for an organization with not less than two years of operation. The nonprofits can be human services, animal services, arts, or faith-based non-religious initiatives. Restrictions are put for National charities, United Way charities, Political Action Committees, and faith-based programs.
Spark Tank has already awarded two winners in the social challenge the most recent being Mommies in Need, a nonprofit that provides qualified nannies to families that cannot afford the cost of childcare.
The organization was formed by Natalie Boyle, a cancer patient who met challenges raising her infant daughter and realized that there were many other moms out there faced with a similar need. The $ 5000 grant will go towards paying the highly qualified and able nannies. Learn more about Marc Sparks: http://www.amazon.com/They-Cant-Eat-Marc-Sparks/dp/0990495000
Round one was highly contested, out of 14 finalists, Dogs Matter emerged the winner. It is a program that provides foster care services to pets owned by drug addicts and alcoholics in recovery.
Dogs matter realized the options left to inpatients regarding the care of their pets and decided to provide this service to prevent the loyal companions from being surrendered. Application for round three is open until October 1st where the winner will compete against the other two winners for the grand prize in December.