Life of a Single Mom CEO Jennifer Maggio is prepping to fly to Washington D.C. next month to start a six-month program that she hopes will identify where the Baton Rouge-based nonprofit has the most potential for growth.
Maggio—a 2016 Influential Woman in Business—was accepted last month into the Stand Together Foundation’s Catalyst Program, which offers organizational and leadership development, as well as networking opportunities, to help participants learn to transform and scale their organizations.
Founded in Baton Rouge, Life of a Single Mom currently serves 82,000 mothers a year. There are some 15 million single mothers nationwide, Maggio notes—meaning there’s plenty of room for the nonprofit to grow.
“My hope is to have these business minds dissect the business,” Maggio says, adding she’s hasn’t been able to gleam much information from other nonprofit founders. “This program is formatted for founders of nonprofits, so I’m excited to form relationships with people similar to me, who are passionate about an issue and an organization they grew from the group up.”
Maggio is slated to graduate from the program in February, which concludes with a pitch to investors. Completion comes with an initial $30,000 investment, which can grow following the pitch. Maggio plans to use the funds as seed money to return the National Single Moms Conference to Baton Rouge in 2020. The conference, started in 2014 by the nonprofit, hasn’t been held in the Capital Region for a few years.
Life of a Single Mom is pursuing an aggressive growth plan, which calls for launching 100 new chapters across the nation over the next two decades. In July, it received a grant from the Louisiana Children’s Trust Fund to expand coverage in Louisiana by 40% and start around a dozen new groups in rural areas.
The nonprofit is in the midst of relocating its Baton Rouge office to a larger space, as well as expanding Single Mom University, launched in 2017. The online learning platform offers more than 100 courses that address topics such as co-parenting, abuse, college fund planning and other issues single mothers grapple with. By the end of the year, the platform’s course offerings will be expanded by 10%.
Says Maggio: “We want to give women additional places to attend support groups and receive help.”