Purple Binder Blog

Innovation and Change in the Non-Profit Sector

I recently came across a great post on the Idealist Blog: “3 Tips for making the most of failure.” In the post, Christine Prefontaine offers her insights into how innovators in the non-profit sector can learn from failure.


By |July 17th, 2013|Categories: Misc, Policy|

Purple Binder Wins Social New Venture Challenge

Last week Purple Binder won top prize in University of Chicago’s 2013 Social New Venture Challenge 2013.

We are incredibly grateful to the team that joined us for the competition: Lauren Webb, Lauren Johnson and Laura Morales. All three are students at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. Going forward, they will form the core of Purple Binder’s Clinical Advisory Board — a team of people who work on the front lines of social services, who will guide how we fit our site into daily clinical practice.

By |May 30th, 2013|Categories: Startups|

Planting the Seeds

Maybe you’ve heard, “you’re only as good as your sources,” or “knowledge is power,” or even “fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.” Here at Purple Binder, we couldn’t agree more. That’s why this summer a team of Callers, or as we like to call ourselves, the Purple People, has been researching, checking and double-checking information on social services across the city.

From our tiny conference room deep within 1871, the Merchandise Mart’s cool new collaborative workspace, four of us graduate students and recent graduates have been calling hundreds of service providers across Chicago to confirm and collect information […]

By |August 9th, 2012|Categories: Misc|

The Pilot Goes Public

Six weeks ago, we decided to run with an idea that we’d been mulling for a while: building a tool that helps social workers and hospitals find, track, and share social services. We started talking to social workers and building a basic prototype of the site.

Three weeks ago, we gave a small group of folks the first glimpse of this prototype. We held a launch event at Excelerate Labs and got our first round of feedback from a dozen social workers, social service providers, and government officials.

This week, we moved into 1871, a coworking space for tech […]

By |May 1st, 2012|Categories: Misc|

A Smarter Safety Net

These days, it seems like internet is eating the world. Looking for a place to grab a bite? There’s a site for that. Searching for a good doctor? Ditto. Shopping for a new home? The web’s got your back.

You’d be forgiven, then, for thinking that everything is online.

But it’s not – not even close. Take the social safety net, the web of government-funded social programs that help people in need.

At a time of unprecedented need, there is simply no comprehensive, up-to-date, open directory of what social services are out there.

This is a big problem. Because of […]

By |April 4th, 2012|Categories: Misc|