20 Jul Client Highlight: Interview with The BairFind Foundation
Kevin Monahan took us on as a client and educated us on how to lay the foundation for a successful nonprofit organization.
What is the mission of BairFind?
The mission of BairFind is to find missing children by generating leads and tips in the search. BairFind crowdsources the search for missing children by putting their profile pictures in highly trafficked public places like Minor League Baseball stadiums and professional basketball arenas.
How did you come up with the idea for BairFind?
I was a pitcher in the minor leagues for the Chicago Cubs, and I watched a documentary about parents who have a missing child. Their most difficult task was trying to figure out how to keep their daughter’s picture in public view until she was found. I played in stadiums with thousands of fans in attendance every night, so I thought that the logical and obvious place to put a missing child’s photo on display for all to see would be in the stadiums.
What has been your greatest achievement?
Our greatest achievement has been that going into the 2018 baseball season, 1,377 of the 2,145 missing children that we have featured nationwide in stadiums and arenas since our inception in 2010 have been safely located. That’s 64%. Also, we have been named an Official Charity of Minor League Baseball, and our program has been adopted by the NBA’s Indiana Pacers. We are the current “Bold City’s Best” local charity here in Jacksonville, as voted by the readers of The Florida Times-Union, and we’re “#1 in the 904” local charity and nonprofit as voted by the readers of VOID Magazine. We’re also partners with the Jumbo Shrimp, where you can see our sign featuring North Florida’s missing kids on the stadium’s concourse all summer long. Finally, we are a GuideStar Platinum nonprofit, which is the highest level of transparency and accountability that a nonprofit can achieve.
What’s next for the organization?
Our ultimate goal is to have one of our signs in every sports stadium and arena in the country. We want to be the best there is at getting views on photos of missing children. Our next step will be to attract the kind of funding and support that will enable us to grow our efforts to reach that goal.
How did the FSBDC at UNF help you?
Kevin Monahan took us on as a client and educated us on how to lay the foundation for a successful nonprofit organization. The most important thing Kevin did was to introduce me to one of his other clients, Ellen Sullivan, and to recommend that we work together. That has been the key factor in our growth and success over the last few years, as Ellen’s expertise, work ethic and good judgment have been immeasurably valuable. We simply would not be where we are without Kevin and Ellen in our corner. In addition, Cathy Hagan has helped us with budgeting, and several other staff members have helped us to prepare grant applications and manage our social media.
The BairFind Foundation Dennis Bair
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