The Activate Fund
The Activate Fund
As of Friday, January 29, 2021, applications are closed for the Earned Revenue Accelerator program.
Learn more about past Activate Fund programs — including the Earned Revenue Accelerator, the Nonprofit Fundamentals grant, and the Collaboration Pilot award — below.
To stay connected to future resources, including future Activate Fund grant and award opportunities, sign up for our newsletter!
Earned Revenue Accelerator Pilot
How did it work?
Through a competitive selection process, up to six (6) organizations will be chosen to engage in virtual curricula led by experts on topics including:
- Business plan, cash flow mgt., customer discovery
- Financing, tax and legal considerations
- Board Engagement, stakeholder buy-in, staffing + operations
- Marketing, branding, e-commerce
- Storytelling, pitch development + delivery
- Navigating and pivoting operations, post-COVID
In addition to workshops on the above topics, the cohort will have access to one-on-one office hours with the class facilitators. The Accelerator is expected to run from March – June 2021. Participants in this cohort can expect to walk away with the following elements to advance their revenue generating idea(s):
- Business Plan + Cash Flow Projections
- Impact Measurement Criteria + Metrics
- Pitch Deck + Pitch Ready
- Branding + Design Materials
- Opportunity to receive a cash award to advance idea(s)
2021 Course Schedule and Checklist
Who was eligible?
Applicants must meet the following to be eligible:
- 501(c)(3) Status: Organizations must be a registered 501c(3) in good standing with the IRS
- Geography Served: Organizations must serve at least one community within Wayne County
- MVP: Organization has at least 1 Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or Service
- Customer Discovery: Organization has identified a target customer profile and completed minimal customer discovery
- Commercial Sales History: Organization is selling the product or service (not donation based) and has at least six months of commercial sales history*
*NOTE: This history does not have to be within the last 6 months. We recognize COVID-19 may have significantly impacted operations. There are no restrictions on what year the 6 months of sales history occurred.
Who is ineligible to apply?
- Organizations that require a fiscal sponsor.
- Organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, sexual orientation or veteran status.
- Organizations that require membership in certain religions or advance a particular religious faith (Faith-based organizations may be eligible if they welcome and serve all members of the community regardless of religious belief.)
- For-profit organizations or organizations operated to benefit for-profit organizations.
- Community college, college and university programs that concentrate primarily on degree-granting activities. Academic institutions may be eligible if they provide other programs beyond primarily degree-granting activities that serve a broader community.
Have additional questions? View a recording of an information session and/or sign up for drop-in office hours below!
View Information Session RecordingOffice Hour Sign-Up
- Tuesday, January 26, 2–3PM
- Wednesday, January 27, 2–3PM
- Friday, January 29, 2–3PM
As of 11:59pm ET on January 29, 2021, applications are closed for the Earned Revenue AcceleratorApplication video
Activate Fund Service Providers
How did it work?
Co.act issued a public RFQ for service provider participants to the program in June 2019. Submissions were reviewed by a diverse cross-sector jury and evaluated based on qualifications and experience, client service, alignment with Co.act values, capacity to participate within in the program timeframe, and relevancy of service expertise to specific grantee needs. Service providers who successfully qualified through the Activate Fund RFQ process are eligible for a service match with nonprofit organizations selected through the Nonprofit Fundamentals and Collaboration Pilot program.
Please note we strongly encourage conducting your own due diligence before engaging in direct services.
Nonprofit Fundamentals Service Providers
Service providers who successfully qualified through the Activate Fund RFQ process are eligible for a service match with nonprofit organizations. Service providers are listed below by category*:
- Assessment and Evaluation
- Associations, Networks & Other
- Board Development
- Coding and Digital Technology
- Data Analysis and Management
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- Facilities Planning and Management
- Financial Planning
- Grant Writing
- Graphic Design
- Human Resources
- Information Technology
- AF Service Providers – Legal Services
- Management & Operations
- Organizational Planning and Development
- Ownership Transition and Succession Planning
- Public Relations
- Strategic Planning Page 1
- Strategic Planning Page 2
- Strategic Planning Page 3
- Turnaround Management and Mergers
- Web Development
- Communications and Marketing
- Interior Design
*Please note that providers self-selected their category of expertise. Conducting your own due diligence and acquiring work samples relevant to your capacity project needs is highly encouraged
Collaboration Pilot Service Providers
Nonprofit Fundamentals Grants
- $10,000 to AIGA Detroit
- $50,000 to American Indian Health and Family Services
- $50,000 to Build Institute
- $37,000 to the Center for Community Based Enterprise, Inc.
- $50,000 to the Chaldean Community Foundation
- $43,000 to Congress of Communities
- $50,000 to the Coalition on Temporary Shelter (COTS)
- $50,000 to the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP)
- $47,000 to Detroit Hives, Inc.
- $50,000 to Detroit Police Athletic League, Inc.
- $50,000 to Downtown Boxing Gym Program
- $43,000 to Family Assistance for Renaissance Men (FARM)
- $50,000 to Give Merit
- $50,000 to Journey To Healing
- $50,000 to Macomb County Rotating Emergency Shelter Team (MCREST)
- $50,000 to the Michigan League of Conservation Voters Education Fund
- $50,000 to the National Veteran Business Development Council
- $50,000 to New Detroit, Inc.
- $50,000 to the Student Advocacy Center
- $50,000 to The Arts League of Michigan (dba the Carr Center)
- $50,000 to The Education Trust-Midwest
- $50,000 to The International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit, Inc.
- $50,000 to The Yunion, Inc.
- $50,000 to Wayne County SAFE
- $50,000 to We the People
How did it work?
Grants totaling $1.18 million went to 25 organizations to support four key areas:
- Funding and Resources
- Organizational Culture
- Program Development, Implementation and Evaluation
Whether you are awarded a grant or not, Michigan Nonprofit Association’s Principles & Practices Assessment is available at no cost to nonprofit organizations through our Co.Lab Connect program. The assessment provides a holistic view of your organization’s strengths and opportunities for growth, with a custom action plan and four hours of complimentary technical support from MNA. The assessment can help you determine how your organization can best take advantage of the Nonprofit Fundamentals grant program and craft a competitive application to meet your nonprofit’s most pressing needs. Organizations that have already taken the assessment through CoLab Connect will have the option to bypass this step if awarded a grant, as long as there have been no significant changes since the assessment was last taken (e.g., leadership changes, changes to the organization’s core mission).
Supporting documents for Nonprofit Fundamentals grants are available as PDFs at the links below.
Collaboration Pilot Award
- Alliance for Youth Good Food (25 partners)
- Collective Impact Network for Opportunity Youth (14 partners)
- Culture Source (three partners)
- Detroit Neighborhood Housing Compact (80 partners)
- Millenials for Nonprofits (two partners)
- Reading Works Network of Adult Education and Training Programs (28 partners)
- Shared Services at the Durfee Innovation Society (18 partners)
How did it work?
The transformative potential of collaborative action has perhaps never been as clear as it is today. As we work together around the globe and within our communities to navigate these uncertain times, we also recognize the ways in which the mechanics of collaboration must change in the interest of public health.
Up to five collaboratives were awarded resources to enhance their work including paid space (physical or virtual), facilitators and convening support.
Supporting documents for Collaboration Pilot grants are available as PDFs at the links below.