Mission Accelerator Grant

Mission Accelerator Grant

Capacity-building grant to enable organizations to hire consultants to help their board and staff accomplish work that requires time, energy, expertise, and innovative thinking beyond everyday operations.

Due Date Rolling

The Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF) is committed to strengthening the capacity of our region’s nonprofits to address the ever-evolving challenges and opportunities facing our communities. Capacity building can help make an organization more focused, efficient, and productive. To this end, GNOF’s Nonprofit Leadership and Effectiveness Initiative with support from the Kresge Foundation is excited to issue a request for letters of intent (LOIs) for Mission Acceleration grants. Organizations whose letters are accepted will be invited to submit a full proposal for consideration for funding. We anticipate that this grant opportunity will be highly competitive.

Mission Acceleration Grants

Capacity-building grants enable organizations to hire consultants to help their board and staff accomplish work that requires time, energy, expertise, and innovative thinking beyond everyday operations. In general, the most successful capacity-building projects:

  • Address operational, management, or governance issues that affect the organization as a whole, rather than a single department or program.
  • Focus on a single core challenge or opportunity, rather than a patchwork of unrelated issues.
  • Are critical to the organization’s long-term success in achieving its mission.

Eligibility and Funding Requests

Nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c) (3) organizations that serve the foundation’s 13-parish region are eligible to apply. Organizations that are not tax-exempt but have a fiscal agent relationship with a 501(c) (3) organization are also eligible. A mid-term and final report will be required.

Eligible organizations must have a minimum of one paid employee and an annual operating budget of at least $100,000. Priority consideration will be given to applicants that invest some of their own funds, or funds from an alternate source, in the project. Other eligibility criteria include:

  • Demonstrate readiness for capacity building
  • Board and senior leadership engagement in the project
  • Standard financial management practices are in place
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion

Examples of capacity-building grants may include funding for time-sensitive projects, such as executive transitions and consolidation processes such as mergers, strategic partnerships, and closing responsibly. Other types of capacity-building eligible for funding include:

  • Data Collection and Evaluation
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Executive and Leadership Coaching
  • Financial Management and Planning
  • Fund Development and Sustainability Planning
  • Governance and Board Development
  • Human resources, staffing, and operational planning
  • Organizational Development/ Readiness (preparing to seek foundation or government funding)
  • Strategic Communications and Planning
  • Strategic Planning
  • Succession Planning

Grants will range from $5,000-$25,000 depending on the need and request. Mission Acceleration Grants will primarily cover the cost of consultants. Other eligible expenses include:

  • Assessments and other diagnostic tools
  • Fees associated with executive coaching
  • Workshop or conferences registration fees (travel is not eligible)
  • Operational expenses associated with managing the project including staff time and meeting expenses (up to 10% of the project budget is allowed)

Mission Acceleration Grants will not support:

  • Individuals, either through scholarships or other forms of financial assistance
  • Grant writing services
  • Printing or production of materials
  • Capital including equipment and technology
  • Special events
  • Individual public, public charter, or private schools
  • Scientific or medical research
  • Programs that require adherence to any religious doctrine in order to receive program services
  • Endowments

How to Apply for Funding

Note: All grant applicants will need to create an account using our online system to apply. Basic information will be stored for future use when new applications are submitted. We have a simple two-step process:

  1. Use our online portal to submit an LOI.
  2. Applicants will be notified of their standing within 4-6 weeks of the LOI being received.

LOIs will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Does the organization meet basic eligibility criteria?
  • Does the project meet the grant guidelines?
  • Does the project address a clearly identified capacity building need?
  • Is the project well thought out and strategic given the capacity building need?
  • Does the project have a good chance of succeeding?
  • Will this project result in the organization increasing impact and sustainability?
  • Is the budget realistic and clearly linked to proposed activities?

Have Questions?

Pease e-mail your question to grants@gnof.org (please include the word “Mission Acceleration Grant Question” in the subject line).