Nonprofit Cohort FAQ


What is the time commitment required to participate in The Greater Sum's 2019 cohort?

Great question.  It's honest and practical.  Most nonprofit leaders are pressed for time and don't want to overcommit. If you're selected to work with The Greater Sum, you'll participate in planning and reflection conversations at the beginning and end of your participation.  Throughout the year, you'll check in with your lead SME monthly and have virtual access to relevant SMEs to help you meet your goals.  We'll convene once during the year in person.  

The SME involvement and professional development opportunity are key components to Greater Sum's work, so our project is probably not right for your organization if your leadership isn't looking for this type of support.

Does my organization have a good chance? Are we a good fit?

Here are the questions we use to evaluate applications.

  • Are they doing something truly innovative? Our top scoring applicants will be those who are using a new approach to effect change, and have already validated through early results that their approach is working.

  • Are you measuring the impact of your work? Our reviewers prioritize applicants who track success metrics and use those metrics to fine tune their service delivery.

  • Is this project feasible? We love innovation, but only when it’s coupled with practicality. Successful applicants will be working from a detailed plan, have experts on their team, and make realistic assumptions about budget and scope of work.

  • Does the project have potential to scale? Many worthwhile endeavors are bound by constraints of logistics. Our founders are specifically searching for innovations whose business model allows for significant expansion, or of replication of your model in other communities.

If you can answer “heck, yeah!” to these questions, that’s a good sign. If you’re Googling some business terms, that’s not a bad sign. But if you aren’t measuring your impact, haven’t tested your concept, or don’t want to expand, this isn’t the right time to join our cohort.

Am I eligible to apply if I operate under fiscal sponsorship with an umbrella 501(c)(3) organization?

Yes! This is a great way for an early-stage organization to get established. If your fiscal sponsor allows you to apply for funding under their 501(c)(3) you're eligible to apply.  You'll need to provide a letter verifying your fiscal sponsorship status and your sponsor's awareness of the application, and we will only consider one application from each 501(c)(3) organization.

Am I eligible to apply if my organization is not a 501(c)(3) but our work contributes to social good?

At this time, we're only funding  501(c)(3) organizations.  We're excited about future opportunities to support social impact through other avenues, though!

What if my organization has APPLIED for 501(c)(3) status but has not yet received IRS determination letter?

We welcome your application.  However, please be aware that we will only award grant funds to eligible 501(c)(3) organizations.  If you are selected as a finalist, your status must be confirmed by our final decision in December 2018.

What comes after the written application on your website?

If you're selected as a finalist, you'll be notified in late September.  Finalists will participate in a virtual pitch and Q&A session in late October or early November, and we'll announce the selected organizations in January 2019.  If you've never created a pitch deck or used Google Meet for video meetings, we'll have resources available to help you prepare.

What if I have more questions?

Ask away!  Reach out via e-mail or give us a call at (904) 990-4589.