bloom365 phoenix nonprofit

Nonprofit of the Month: BLOOM365

With a mission focused on educating young people about relationships and how to stop domestic abuse and dating violence before it starts, BLOOM365 has been invaluable to young people in the Valley since 2006. Here, founder and CEO Donna Bartos, discusses the nonprofit’s long-term goals, BLOOM365’s upcoming events and how readers can aid in its mission of abuse prevention.

What is the mission of BLOOM365? ​BLOOM365 is on a mission to prevent domestic abuse and dating violence before it starts by interrupting root causes, reducing risk factors and removing the barriers to help Gen Z youth who are experiencing, witnessing and/or using interpersonal violence. Through education curricula, victim advocacy, behavioral health interventions, student-led activism and adult ally trainings, BLOOM365 increases the capacity of schools, military installations and communities to promote healthy relationships for all. Our name is our purpose and promise: Bring Love On Others More, 365 days a year.

What prompted the start of the nonprofit? The commitment to fight for a cause sometimes surfaces months, years or even decades after an adverse experience. Other times, it’s born in an instant to find a solution to a problem. In my case, the path to dedicating my life’s work to preventing the root causes of interpersonal violence in a generation was a little bit of both. For more than three decades, I tucked away the sexual assault, domestic violence and dating abuse I was exposed to and experienced as a child, teen and young adult. In 2006, after serving in executive, consulting, fundraising, marketing and training capacities for nonprofit public health and youth development organizations, I founded BLOOM365 to uproot abuse in a generation.

What is the greatest reward in being involved with the nonprofit? The greatest reward comes in the form of testimonials and quantitative evaluation data which indicate BLOOM365 programs and services are effective, and in some cases, are even lifesaving. The organization’s team of 12 skilled and passionate staff members and more than 30 student Lead Peer Advocates inspire positive impact every day at the individual, relationship, community and societal level across Arizona and the U.S.

What is the biggest challenge the nonprofit faces? BLOOM365’s current challenge is securing the right combination of funding, marketing and operational support to scale our prevention model across Arizona and the U.S. Right now, the bulk of our $1.5 million in funding comes from government sources. To sustain and scale our impact, we need to build our internal and external capacity to increase donations from individuals and grow earned revenue from the sale of curricula, training programs and consultative services provided to schools, military installations, corporations and other organizations who want to elevate their interpersonal violence prevention and response efforts with a focus on Gen Z.

In addition to infrastructure challenges, we are also facing the financial challenges of rising rent as well as utility, technology and operational costs, which are expenses not typically funded by restricted government and foundation grants.

BLOOM365 focuses on those aged 11 to 24. Why that particular age range? Domestic violence and sexual assault are not only adult problems. In Arizona, between Jan. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2022, there were 1,573 domestic violence-related deaths. Of these tragedies, 213 of the victims were under the age of 18 and 74 of the victims, under the age of 24, were killed by a current or former intimate partner (ACESDV Fatality Reports). Healthy relationships are the foundation for preventing youth interpersonal violence. BLOOM365 provides youth, aged 11 to 24, with education, advocacy and intervention programs and services that develop positive behaviors.

Our education, advocacy and intervention programs teach skills such as recognizing controlling versus caring behaviors; setting and respecting boundaries; communicating and resolving conflicts without aggression; coping with life stressors such as a break-up; practicing self-care, self-advocacy and self-esteem building; providing peer-to-peer support; and cultivating social norms of empathy, respect and consent.

Our comprehensive prevention strategies, which reduce the risk of violence perpetration among youth and increase the protective factors missing from their environment, are delivered in schools, youth organizations, at BLOOM365 and online. The most effective and empowering part of our prevention methods is our Peer Advocate program. Young people are more likely to tell a friend what they are going through before seeking the help and support of an adult. We train student Peer Advocates about how to appropriately respond when peers disclose victimization and how to safety provide a warm hand off or referral to a trusted adult. Student Peer Advocates are involved in designing our youth services, have leadership roles in implementing school-based campaigns and outreach activities, and are involved in monitoring and evaluating our effectiveness.

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What are your goals for the remainder of 2023? BLOOM365’s big goal is to educate and activate 10 percent of Gen Z youth by the year 2030 to visibly promote the intolerance of interpersonal violence by cultivating a culture of empathy, respect and consent. Our goal for the rest of 2023 is to launch our mobile outreach unit so we can provide curbside counseling and intervention services to youth and teens directly in their school communities, with parent/guardian consent, of course. We also aim to grow our Peer Influencer sexual assault prevention and response training for junior military officers and newly enlisted service members in five states.

How can readers help? Community support is crucial to BLOOM365’s sustainability and scalability as the problem of youth interpersonal violence is just too big to prevent and tackle alone. We are fortunate to have the support of student and community volunteers from high schools, colleges, other nonprofit organizations and corporations. Because of the confidential and sometimes volatile nature of our work, we are limited in how we can engage volunteers daily. Below are just a few ways readers can help to advance our mission:

Remote/Online: BLOOM365 uses social media ambassadors to promote our First Friday Awareness Campaigns in October (Domestic Violence Awareness Month), February (Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month) and April (Sexual Assault Awareness Month).

In-Person: We use volunteers to run tables at community outreach events and to assist with registration and logistics at our signature fundraising events: Rock the Purple Golf & Jam and our Empathy Awards Event.

Hybrid: We train volunteers to facilitate in-person “Elephant in the Room” conversations and panel discussions aimed at providing a safe and confidential space for youth to ask questions, share thoughts and reach out for help.

“Done in a Day:” These volunteer opportunities at our locations in Phoenix or Peoria include folding T-shirts, packing peer advocate launch kits, assembling self-care bags for students in partner schools, cleaning, decorating, etc. 

Donate: Individual donations are essential. Readers can donate online at or buy one of our signature t-shirts to support our cause at BLOOM365 is a qualifying Arizona charitable tax credit organization.

Board Involvement: We also have openings on our volunteer advisory, governing and honorary boards.

Does BLOOM365 have any events or fundraisers on the horizon? Our upcoming campaigns and fundraising events include:

Oct. 6, 2023: #GoPurple First Friday to kick off October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month

December 2023: Year-End Arizona Charitable Tax Credit Campaign

Feb. 1, 2024: Self-Care Summit

Feb. 2, 2024: #GoOrange First Friday to kick off February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Feb. 2, 2024: Empathy Awards Lunch

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