Eligibility & Participation Requirements

To apply for the Innovation Catalyst, you must meet all of the following criteria:
  1. An established nonprofit
  2. A current member of the Center for Nonprofit Management
  3. A current profile on the Community Foundation’s GivingMatters.com website 
Applicants must: 
  • Submit a completed written application no later than Friday, April 10. Early applicants will have priority scheduling for interviews.
  • Be prepared to cover the agency out-of-pocket portion of the costs  (up to  $4,125).
  • Applicants must be available for an interview on Thursday, April 16 or Friday, April 17. Executive director AND a board member should attend if at all possible. Interviews will be scheduled as application are received, but no later than Monday, April 13.  
  • Commit to full participation in the Innovation Catalyst program by designating the project as a strategic priority and through your identified The Impact Team™.
  • Build an The Impact Team™ (description below). Potential team members should be identified in the written application.
  • Commit  to team participation in all scheduled group sessions and  plan presentations (meetings every 3 or 4 weeks for nine months);
  • Develop, over the course of the program, a detailed business plan to launch-ready status
The Impact Team
The Impact Team is responsible for doing the work of developing new ventures or initiatives. The Team is recruited by the Executive Director, with help from the Board Chair and/or the Project Lead. The Project Lead organizes and facilitates the Impact Team meetings, coordinating with CauseImpact consultants.

This is not a committee. This is a task force that develops new ideas and makes recommendations to the Executive Director or CEO, Board of Directors, and other key stakeholders/decision makers.

Your Impact Team should consist of 6-12 members, including:
  • The Executive Director (may also be the Project Leader).
  • The Project Leader
  • Select members of management staff (two to three).
  • Staff members of different levels, including client-facing staff (one or two).
  • Members from Board of Directors (two to three).
  • Outsiders -- people somewhat unfamiliar with your agency but experienced in areas that may be important to your efforts.  Ask them to bring a fresh perspective to your organization (no more than two).
  • Serial entrepreneurs –individuals who have successfully built more than one small or medium-sized businesses (one or two).
Team Member Role and Responsibilities
  • Roll up your sleeves. Apply your core skills to the task(s) at hand. This is an active role.Offer advice and guidance based on experience.
  • Challenge assumptions and ask questions, acting as a skeptic when necessary in order to keep plans firmly grounded.
  • Assist in establishing evaluation criteria, reviewing program analysis results, and making recommendations.
  • Serve as a sounding board for the project management team as information and research findings are presented
  • Assist in the opportunity research or feasibility study phase.
  • Take an active and vocal role in providing the organization with a fresh perspective. 
  • Assist in analyzing the results of the planning process and formulating recommendations to the Board of Directors regarding next action steps.
  • Share business expertise in various aspects of organizational management — human resource development, marketing, financial systems, cost/benefit analysis, and the like.
  • Help the organization develop market positioning and strategies for key products and services or develop business plan outline for new high potential ideas.
  • Serve as a guide to action plan implementation and provide feedback from general community stakeholders.