CT Entrepreneur Applying New Tools to Fight Poverty

Christopher Brechlin testifies before a legislative committee

Crowdfunding to help Nonprofits Maximize their Impact

One enterprising, young Connecticut entrepreneur has discovered an innovative way to open a new front in the War on Poverty – software. Data has become a currency that people exchange every day for the ability to use services like Facebook and Twitter. Now, Christopher Brechlin, of Blueprint for Impact wants to take the raw economic power of data and use it as a force for social good, by building high quality, low-cost tools that help nonprofits maximize their social impact.

Brechlin is part of a new business movement in Connecticut, driven by the Hartford-based nonprofit reSET, Social Enterprise Trust, where entrepreneurs develop businesses that focus on creating a public benefit and a financial return. The social enterprise sector has attracted thousands of people who want to run their own businesses, but see the opportunity to help the billions living in poverty through commerce.

Brechlin, who has become a spokesman for the social enterprise movement on Connecticut Public Television and in testimony before state legislative committees, founded his company after his year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Willimantic, CT. He discovered that the data and technology that local nonprofit groups needed to make vital decisions was far too expensive and lacked important features.

“A lot of people ask me why I didn’t start a nonprofit,” Brechlin said. “Nonprofits cannot be owned, which would make it hard to quickly scale my idea to meet a national need.” Many social entrepreneurs want their ideas to flourish and become a global solution to hunger or disease. However, they see limitations to the traditional nonprofit model which relies on grants and donations to be successful.

In order to take Blueprint for Impact to the next level, Brechlin has launched a Kiva Zip Crowdfunding Campaign.

There are 1.5 million registered nonprofits in the US and each year they must decide whether to invest limited resources into helping more people or new technology to increase the overall impact of their services.

Brechlin’s organization simplifies that decision by providing cutting edge data tools to cash poor nonprofits for free, and then makes money by selling his services to organizations with larger budgets. His business conducts research, visualizes data, and hosts it online so that vital information about community needs is accurate and easy to access.

Blueprint for Impact has helped nonprofits acquire over $4 million to build affordable housing in northeastern Connecticut and built data tools for over 30 community organizations focused on issues ranging from homelessness to economic opportunity. Christopher serves on Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s Open Data Advisory Panel working with other leaders to create new data policy in Connecticut and has testified before the state legislature multiple times to support creating new economic opportunity for social entrepreneurs in Connecticut.

To learn more, visit www.BlueprintImpact.com, and consider joining dozens of other supporters for his crowdfunding campaign.

Mr. Brechlin is available for interviews or to provide background information at the contact points listed below.

Phone: (203) 631-2840

Email: Christopher {at} BlueprintCT.com

Posted on September 15, 2014 in Data & Indicators

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About the Author

Christopher is the Founder of Blueprint for Impact, a registered Benefit Corporation based in Hartford, CT, that offers a collection of data tools, services, and expertise specifically for nonprofits.
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