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PMA Pro Bono Update: Autism Foundation of the Carolinas

Patton McDowell & Associates is honored to be working with Autism Foundation of the Carolinas on a pro-bono project centered on strategic planning.  The Foundation was founded by five families in Mecklenburg County who were directly affected by autism.

autismThe families wanted to provide inclusion-based programs that benefit the child, the family, and the non-affected participant or volunteer.  To ensure that they did not duplicate the efforts of other autism-focused nonprofit organization, the families initiated a needs assessment and met with representatives of the community to evaluate and validate needs.

Since the beginning of the organization, the Foundation has developed a variety of programs that have been meaningful and have filled a need not being offered by other nonprofits.  The programs currently being offered are as follows:

  • After School Program for Children with Autism: In partnership with branches of the YMCA and CMS, this program helps integrate children with Autism into typical afterschool programs.
  • University Autism Outreach Program: A program connecting students at local academic institutions who are seeking experience working with children with autism.
  • iCan Bike Camp (formerly known as Lose the Training Wheels): A national program utilizing trained coaches to teach children with a variety of disabilities how to ride a two-wheeled bicycle.
  • All Faith’s Autism Initiative: In collaboration the Autism Society of North Carolina, this program helps places of worship build inclusive services to meet the needs of families affected by autism.
  • Financial Assistance Program: This provides scholarships to programs and assistance with summer camp costs to those families in need.

As this organization has developed successful programs, the Foundation is looking to become financially sustainable.  PMA will be working with the organization to develop a strategic fundraising plan to provide the tools for successful fundraising programs.  The PMA team will meet with members of the staff, board, volunteers and parents who have helped build the Foundation.  We are excited to be working with an organization that is filling gaps in services for those affected by autism.

For more information on our pro bono work in the Charlotte community, contact Associate Director David Ibsen at