Social Enterprise: Itasca County Area
Call for Applications
The Nonprofits Assistance Fund, with support from Northwest Area Foundation and Blandin Foundation, is pleased to announce a new social enterprise initiative for nonprofits in Itasca and surrounding counties. NAF is accepting applications from nonprofits in that area that have plans to launch a new social enterprise, or to grow an existing one. Check back here mid-March 2017 for a link to apply for this social enterprise cohort.
What is Social Enterprise
“A social enterprise is an organization or initiative that marries the social mission of a non-profit or government program with the market-driven approach of a business.” (Social Enterprise Alliance) Nonprofits are becoming more entrepreneurial and are furthering their mission by developing social enterprises to generate earned revenue to add to their mix of revenue sources, while for-profit organizations are looking for ways to integrate socially responsible business into their portfolios.
About this Program
Nonprofits Assistance Fund, in partnership with the Initiative Foundation, developed the Financial Resiliency through Social Enterprise program. With the long-term goal of building the sustainability of nonprofits to further their missions, the goal of this social enterprise initiative is to assist nonprofits in the successful launch or growth of a social enterprise. The program is designed to achieve this goal by addressing common challenges for developing social enterprise, and to foster learning that can be applied in the real world. The program combines developmental training, staff technical assistance, business plan support, and grants to support staff time and obtain specialized consulting.
Why Social Enterprise
It is often difficult for small and mid-sized nonprofits, particularly those led by and serving communities of color and immigrant communities, to expand services because of revenue constraints. This challenge provides a perfect opportunity to advocate for social enterprise as an alternative revenue source for community-based nonprofits.
This Social Enterprise Program Provides Participants:
- Five daylong, intensive, cohort-based trainings that are complemented by expert business consulting and technical assistance to help nonprofits explore social enterprise
- The 5 learning sessions cover the fundamentals of social enterprise, market analysis, competitive analysis, financial capacity, legal structures, business planning, and marketing
- Each session builds around a component of the business plan, and participants work on their plans between sessions
- The cohort serves as peer reviewers and supporters
- Participating organizations receive a planning/implementation grant of $10,000 that can be used to support some staff time and for enterprise equipment or specialized consulting or professional services
You are an Ideal Candidate for this Social Enterprise Cohort if your Nonprofit Organization:
- Already has started to consider or explore social enterprise as a revenue option, or has a social enterprise you wish to expand or optimize
- Has an operating budget between $250,000 and $5,000,000
- Is located in Itasca County, Minnesota or in that area
- Is a 501(c)3 nonprofit
- Serves low-income communities of color, Native communities, or immigrant communities, or is focused on reducing poverty or creating jobs
- Is eager and interested in participating in, and contributing to, a cohort of organizations to explore and evaluate social enterprise together as peers and learning partners
- Has a board, leadership team, staff and volunteers ready and willing to invest the time and energy needed to explore social enterprise. Participants (preferably 5 from each organization) must include the CEO, at least one additional staff person, and at least one board member
Rural Renewable Energy Alliance
Important Dates and Deadlines:
- The cohort application will be due by mid-April 2017.
- Selection of participating organizations will take place by mid-May 2017, with notification occurring the following week
- Training sessions will be daylong and take place on September 6, October 18, and November 29 in 2017, and January 10 and April 25 in 2018.
- The trainings will be held at Blandin Foundation, 100 North Pokegama Avenue, Grand Rapids, MN
"We are a great success story, largely because of NAF. The outstanding thing about NAF is (and has been) their willingness to act as a true partner with us. And as for Janet, her advice and good counsel has been invaluable. She has seen to it that NAF’s work has truly helped us in our work here."Margo Gisselman, Executive Director at the Jungle Theater