+ACUMEN NONPROFIT
EARNED INCOME ACCELERATOR

Incubate a revenue stream for your nonprofit organization in 6 weeks
alongside other nonprofit innovators

APPLY TO HOLD SEAT

PRICE
$2500

DEADLINE
JULY 31, 2018

DURATION
6 WEEKS

— NEED-BASED FINANCIAL AID AVAILABLE —

WHAT WILL I DO?

Rapidly prototype a product or service to earn mission-aligned revenue for your nonprofit organization.

Develop a model to help your organization create, deliver and capture value from your offering.

Get tips & avoid pitfalls by learning from other nonprofit organizations with earned income streams.

Understand the impact capital spectrum and where to look for seed funding for your idea.

Practice pitching your idea to board members, potential funders, or other stakeholders.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

We’ve packaged the steps to help nonprofit leaders to develop a social enterprise model. Over 6 weeks, you’ll learn the basics of developing an earned income stream, complete your own assignments, and then share them via interactive Learning Labs on Slack. You should expect to spend at least 6 hours per week working on your project. Most of this work can be done on your own schedule.

Practical Tutorials

Complete 1 hour of self-paced tutorials each week in a dedicated portal. Tutorials will feature practical case studies, frameworks, and strategies that you can apply directly to your organization's work.

1 HOURS PER WEEK

Weekly Project

Spend at least 3 hours per week working on a structured exercise to advance your idea. You’ll interview customers, analyze competitors, build prototypes, and learn quickly.

3 HOURS PER WEEK

Interactive Learning Lab

Live interactive session with your cohort hosted on Slack. Each Lab will start with a video Q & A session with +Acumen and your peers. This is where the magic really begins to happen!

2 HOURS PER WEEK

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

  • LIFETIME ACCESS TO TUTORIALS

    Continued access to a dedicated portal with guides and videos for each step of the nonprofit social enterprise journey.

  • DYNAMIC COMMUNITY

    Be part of a small cohort of forward-thinking innovative nonprofit leaders & make lasting professional connections.

  • FEEDBACK

    Receive input on your work from +Acumen, based on Acumen’s years of experience training social innovators and investing in social enterprises.

  • ONLINE/OFFLINE LEARNING

    This is a hands-on, project-based curriculum. You won’t just sit in front of your computer screen, but instead get out into the real world to test your idea and then share your work with a virtual community.

WHAT'S THE SCHEDULE LIKE?

Nonprofit leaders are busy. We’ve packaged the key steps for developing a social enterprise model into a 6-week sprint to make it as accessible as possible

WEEK 1

The Social Enterprise Mindset

  • Focus on the Mission
  • The Nonprofit to For-Profit Spectrum
  • Intro to Lean Startup for the Nonprofit Sector
  • Common Pitfalls When Evaluating Earned Income Ideas
  • How to Define Your Organizational Core and Strengths

WEEK 2

Develop Your Idea and Discover Your Customers

  • How to Uncover a Mission-Aligned, Profitable Idea
  • A Framework for Nonprofit Business Models
  • Customer Discovery Tactics for Nonprofits
  • How to Define Your Value Proposition

WEEK 3

Market Sizing, Landscape Analysis and
Value Proposition Refinement

  • How to Size Your Market
  • How to Segment Your Market
  • How to Conduct a Competitor and Landscape Analysis
  • How to Refine Your Value Proposition

WEEK 4

Build Your Minimum Viable Product

  • How to Test Your Value Proposition
  • Types of MVPs and Tactics to Build Them
  • How to Sequence Your MVPs

WEEK 5

Prototype and Validate Your Idea

  • How to Track Your Progress on a Learning Scorecard
  • Workshopping Your MVP
  • Determining When to Pivot or Persevere

WEEK 6

Prepare to Pitch and Understand
the Seed Funding Landscape

  • Understand the Impact Capital Spectrum
  • How to Find Funding Sources to Start Your Idea
  • How to Effectively Pitch Your Idea

WONDERING IF THIS PROGRAM
IS FOR YOU?

Contact our Program Manager.

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

6 Learning Labs and 1 Orientation Session

Lifetime access to 25 video tutorials, 6 practical case studies sharing the detailed experiences of other organizations, and 6 workbooks with step-by-step instructions for each stage of the process hosted on a dedicated resource portal (portal will remain accessible after the 6-week program ends)

Closed Community of Nonprofit Innovators (Slack group will remain accessible after the 6-week program ends)

Certificate in Nonprofit Innovation from +Acumen

Final Feedback Report from +Acumen and a LinkedIn endorsement if you successfully complete the Accelerator

Frequent Questions

  • How are participants selected?

    For this inaugural cohort, acceptance will be on an application-basis. We will be looking for participants who work in existing nonprofit organizations and have the ability to launch an initiative.

  • How will this be different than a +Acumen free course?

    We’ve heard repeatedly from +Acumen course participants that they want more facilitated interaction with peers and feedback on their assignments. Since we can’t offer this at scale to thousands of learners in our free courses, we are excited to be piloting these new Accelerator models so that we can give a smaller group of our best students targeted feedback and a more facilitated experience. Although this Accelerator will build upon some of the core content covered in other +Acumen courses, the majority of video tutorials and case studies are being developed exclusively for this Accelerator.

  • Am I guaranteed to emerge with a profitable idea?

    No. There are no guarantees of profitability in the field of social entrepreneurship. This Accelerator will offer you a structured process for testing out potential ideas to generate earned income for your nonprofit organization, but there is no guarantee that the idea you generate through this 6-week program will be the exact one that starts to earn revenue from your organization. All good ideas require iteration and development as they interact with the market. However, you will gain a replicable process for quickly testing ideas so that you can learn faster and identify a promising business model more efficiently in the long run. We’ll do our best to set you up for success using the best tools and case studies we’ve come across in Acumen’s 15+ years as an impact investor.

  • What if I can’t attend the live Learning Labs?

    The Learning Labs are the core of this experience. If you need to miss more than two, we’d suggest that you sign up for the Accelerator at a different time. We will record access to the Q&A sessions so that you can reference them later.

  • What if I can’t participate this round?

    We plan to offer a next session later in 2018. Sign up to receive information on the next cohort.

  • Will I earn a Certificate?

    Yes, you will receive a Certificate and detailed feedback report from +Acumen if you successfully complete the Accelerator. You can also opt to receive a written, customized endorsement from +Acumen for your LinkedIn profile if you successfully complete the program.

  • How much time should I expect to spend each week?

    The more time you put in, the better the outcomes! We’ve streamlined the steps in this process so that you should be able to complete all activities within 6 hours per week, but there will certainly be opportunities for you to go deeper and spend much more time on each stage to significantly develop your ideas. If you can’t commit to at least 6 hours for 6 weeks, this probably isn’t the program for you.

  • How much feedback will I receive from +Acumen?

    You will be able to submit questions to the facilitator each week. A curated set of questions from all participants will be answered via a live video chat before each Learning Lab and we will also provide written responses over Slack to all participant questions. You will also receive a detailed feedback report at the end of the Accelerator itemizing the strengths and weaknesses of your idea and a list of follow-on resources that could be valuable.