The AAF Shark Tank!


This is Innovative! This is Creative!  This is Fun!

The Alumni Awards Foundation is always looking for new ways to support Adventist education.  In the past, we have raised funds for many innovative programs.  Over the past twenty years our wonderful donors and friends often ask “in addition to donating, how can we be more involved?” or “How can we really make a difference?”  On the other hand our academies have great needs as they strive to become institutions of academic and spiritual excellence.  They also have creative and potentially high impact ideas to improve their schools.

So we thought, let’s take out the middle man and let the philanthropic investors PICK the special projects that appeal to them.  Let them become involved.  Let them establish their own accountability and bench-marking preferences.  This led to the launching of the first Alumni Awards Foundation Shark Tank.

Modeled after the popular TV show Shark Tank, where entrepreneurs have the opportunity to present their business plans to a panel of wealthy investors, the AAF Shark Tank gives a similar opportunity to Adventist academies in the North American Division. We are bringing philanthropic investors who are interested in supporting Adventist education–together with Adventist academies that have a special need or innovative project they wish to have funded.

Secondary schools in the North American Division with a great project that needs some philanthropic help to get it going were invited to apply for the Alumni Awards Shark Tank program.


Seventh-day Adventist academies in the North American Division with transformational projects were invited to submit their proposals to the Alumni Awards Foundation. Projects were required to benefit the entire school as a whole, rather than a single class or grade.  The academies were encourage you to dream big!

AAF will select a panel of “Sharks” comprised of investors who share a passion for Adventist education and want to contribute. After watching a three-minute video pitch, prepared and submitted by the students, the Sharks will have an opportunity to listen, ask questions and become inspired by an academy’s project or special need. The Sharks can then choose to “invest” or, as often happens in the Shark Tank TV show, to be a part of the funding along with other Sharks.

The schools were required to submit a SUPPLEMENTAL ADDENDUM including detailed descriptions of the following:

  • Project
  • Scope
  • Logistics and time frames
  • Results anticipated or desired outcome
  • Expected or desired impact on academy operations and student body
  • Funding requirements
  • Detailed budget
  • Sustainability
  • Accountability Proposal

Finally, the academies were asked to submit a 3-minute video illustrating their project.  

Preference will be given to projects that are innovative and results-oriented.  We encourage applications that present ideas which will have a significant impact on your school. Projects which involve collaboration with other schools maybe also be attractive to our investors. Schools should be prepared for supportive criticism, be willing to modify their projects based on Shark feedback, and to be held accountable.  The opportunity to have successful professionals critique your project is a benefit in itself!  The investors will choose the benchmarks, accountability and results they would expect.

Funding requests should be for no less than $5,000 but there is no cap other than what Sharks may be willing to invest.


If you are a philanthropic investor who is ready to INVEST in a great idea, or perhaps pool your resources with other investors, please consider becoming one of our SHARKS.  As an AAF Shark, you will fund only the project or projects which excite you, but you will be   As a Shark, you will have the opportunity to build conditions, timeframes and accountability that will assure project’s success and maximize impact.


Schools submitting the best projects will be invited to “pitch” their ideas, before a live audience, at the AAF 20th Anniversary Gala event to be held on April 28, 2018, at the new Westin hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  AAF is hopeful that all selected projects will be so compelling that each school will each find a willing Shark investor.

The Inaugural Alumni Awards Foundation Shark Tank Competition will be held at the Foundation’s 20 Year Anniversary Gala.  Here are the details:

DATE: The evening of April 28, 2018 

LOCATION:  The beautiful new Westin Chattanooga Hotel, 801 Pine Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402

VENUE:  An elegant black tie banquet in honor of AAF’s 20th anniversary will feature the INAUGURAL AAF SHARK TANK COMPETION.

For more information please contact Kathryn Proffitt at 423.308.1855.

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