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Mission Fuel welcomes area leaders to third cohort of accelerator program

Mission Fuel logo

Mission Fuel, the Cardinal Stritch University accelerator program for leaders of nonprofit organizations, will welcome 15 representatives from six area organizations when the third cohort launches Monday, March 2.

Participating organizations include:

  • African American Roundtable of Wisconsin Voices
  • BizStarts
  • Menomonee Valley Partners
  • Public Allies Milwaukee
  • SaintA
  • UMOS, Inc.

Mission Fuel helps leaders develop and implement strategies to diversify revenue streams, become more entrepreneurial, and ultimately realize more stable and self-sustainable organizations. The program supports the skill development of nonprofit professionals to address a variety of complex challenges in a mission-driven, economically sustainable and holistic manner. Mission Fuel breaks down silos by bringing together leaders from organizations that represent various service sectors, cultures, races, ages and geographic locations.

In addition to experiential learning courses focusing on social entrepreneurism, innovation, business development and design, each organizational team receives technical support, mentoring from business leaders, and individual leadership assessment and coaching from a master coach.

“We are thrilled to welcome another very talented group of professionals to Mission Fuel,” said Dr. Mark Gesner, executive director of the program. “They will build upon the foundation that members of the first two cohorts established, and continue to build upon the extraordinary impact this group of leaders has had on our community."

Participants from the first two cohorts represent nonprofit organizations totaling more than 250 staff and 7,000 volunteers. Together their organizations have generated over $40,000,000 into the Milwaukee economy each year, impacting more than 70,000 individuals annually.

“Mission Fuel is helping transform greater Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin,” said Gesner. “The leaders who complete the program have learned how to support their missions with the financial margins needed to sustain and deepen their services and results."

Examples of Mission Fuel’s impact on participating organizations from the first two cohorts include:

  • The Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce (HWCC) garnered $1.5 million in grants and contracts since program completion, and hired their Mission Fuel mentor.
  • Walnut Way Conservation Corp further developed their Wellness Commons concept in Mission Fuel, and now are close to raising $3,000,000 in capital to launch the project.
  • The Milwaukee Area Health Education Center leveraged their new skills to receive a $400,000 grant from the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Advancing Healthier Wisconsin Foundation.
  • CannedWater4Kids secured new sponsors and contracts worth $250,000, and were recently featured in the Costco Connection Magazine that reaches 14 million people.
  • Metcalfe Park Community Bridges was approved for the Milwaukee Employment/Renovation Initiative (MERI) Program, enabling them to rehab six buildings for neighborhood residents.
  • The African American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) developed their “SHARED” kitchen incubator in Mission Fuel and incorporated it into their Legacy co-working & innovation space, which recently received a $300,000 private investment.