How do you unlock
the potential of a
small nonprofit?

That’s the big question that inspired the SproutOC Project. After talking to a lot of small Orange County nonprofits, the answer was surprisingly simple:

You help them tell their story.

We’ve learned two things are usually true about small nonprofits:

  1. They have a really easy time coming up with cool ideas and getting stuff done.
  2. They have a really hard time telling their story and finding new donors.

That’s why we started SproutOC: to help them with the second thing, so they can do more of the first thing.

We help small Orange County nonprofits in two big ways:


We have deep expertise in strategic storytelling and content marketing. We work with veteran journalists who have inspired tens of thousands of volunteers and donors in the OC. We help small nonprofits define their audience, tell their story, and choose the most effective channels to connect their story and their audience.


We connect small nonprofits to the mobile-friendly SproutOC crowdfunding platform at, which helps OC nonprofits reach new donors. Crowdfunding platforms like ours raise nearly $2 billion annually for nonprofits, especially among Millennials.

Sprout Stories

We have deep expertise in strategic storytelling. We work with veteran journalists who have inspired thousands of volunteers and donors in Orange County. We help small non-profits tell their story and then connect their story to their audience through traditional and social media channels.

Find out if you qualify:

Currently, SproutOC is considering applications from nonprofits that meet the following criteria:

• Must be a registered 501(c)(3) private non-profit in Orange County, CA
• Must be small (with 10 full-time employees or less)
• Must generate less than $500,000 in total annual revenue
• Must benefit one or more of the following groups or causes:

» children and families
» education
» religious organizations
» veterans
» animal welfare
» arts & culture

We’re going to select five organizations to help in 2018. If you think your organization might qualify, apply here.

Application Deadline is June 15, 2018

Board of Advisors

The SproutOC Project is a nonprofit initiative. Everybody here has two things in common: we love the OC, and we love helping small nonprofits. If you’re interested in getting involved or have questions, reach out at

David Threshie

David is a marketing and communications leader with 21 years of experience in print and digital media. Prior to founding The SproutOC Project, he served in various leadership roles at Freedom Communications. David served on the board of directors of Freedom Communications from 2005-2009 as well as the board of the directors for the Second Harvest Food Bank from 2005-2015. From 2005-2008, he served as a member of The Orange County Register’s Team Freedom, a group of Register associates that volunteered their time to various causes such as Special Olympics and the Boys and Girls Club. David has a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics/Finance from Southern Methodist University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Dallas.

Susan Barrett

Susan has served on the boards of several Orange County non-profit organizations including National Charity League, Yorba Linda Chapter, the Yorba Linda Country Club’s Tennis Association and several high school booster clubs. She has more than 20 years volunteer experience with local charities such as The American Cancer Society, The Ronald McDonald House, Meals on Wheels, Helping Hearts for Friends Foundation and The Women’s Transitional Living Center. She has Bachelor’s degrees both in English and in Communications from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. After college, she joined the staff of a large, international Christian non-profit where she worked as a promotional writer and account executive. She resides in Yorba Linda with her husband, three daughters, two dogs, and a cat.

Nicole Suydam

Nicole Suydam is the CEO of The Second Harvest Food Bank and has more than 16 years of management and leadership experience working with local and national organizations dedicated to meeting human service needs.

Prior to the Food Bank, Nicole served as Vice President of Development for Goodwill of Orange County from 2003 to 2012. One of her most significant accomplishments was completing the organization’s first capital campaign in 2008, which raised $7 million to build the only specialized fitness center for people with physical disabilities and chronic illness in Orange County.

In 2005, Nicole was recognized by the Nonprofit Times as one of the nation’s “Top 10 Nonprofit Fundraisers Under the Age of 40” and named in 2011 by OC METRO as one of the “40 Under 40” top professionals in Orange County.

Nicole received her B.A. degree in History and Political Science from Vanguard University of Southern California in 1995 and was awarded the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award in 2006. She also earned her certificate in fundraising from the University of California Irvine Extension in 2001 and her Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) professional designation in 2004.

JD Montgomery

Mr. Montgomery is a Managing Director at Canterbury Consulting with over 27 years of experience in financial management. At Canterbury, JD advises families in four key areas: Strategy, Measurement, Organization and Effectiveness. Mr. Montgomery is a member of Canterbury’s Board of Directors and a member of Canterbury’s Hedge Fund and Private Equity Manager Research Committees. Prior to joining Canterbury in 1999, he worked as a financial advisor at American Express and spent six years managing his own practice at K.F.M. Mr. Montgomery graduated from Stanford University with an economics and political science emphasis.

Ken Brusic

Ken served as Editor of The Orange County Register from 2002 until 2015. Ken was part of a team at the Register that won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting in 1996. The paper also produced work that led to it being a Pulitzer finalist in 2004 and 2005. In 2007, Ken was named Communicator of the Year by the School of Communication at California State University in Fullerton. He was also honored as the 2010 recipient of the Sky Dunlap Award by The Orange County Press Club, the organization’s highest honor.

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