Is my organization eligible to apply for a team?
If your organization is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit that serves the Louisville metro area (including Southern Indiana), you are eligible to apply. Some government (state and local) agencies, programs, and educational institutions may also be eligible. B-Corps may also be eligible. Business leagues and chambers of commerce with a 501(c)6 status are also eligible. Nonprofits that have applied for a 501(c)3 status but have not yet received it are not eligible.
There are some restrictions for returning applicants:
Organizations that have had a Community Acceleration Team (CAT) team must wait for two years before applying again. The waiting period can be waived if recommended directly by your current CAT team. For example, if you currently are partnering with an Ignite Louisville team and they recommend (as part of their project) that you apply for an Encore Louisville team, you do not need to wait before applying.
What are Community Acceleration Teams?
Community Acceleration Teams are groups of business and community leaders who work together to make nonprofits thrive.
Teams help by providing pro-bono strategic consulting on organizational issues or project design and implementation for your area of need. Participating nonprofits come away with improved operations, increased exposure, and more strategic focus, all while connecting with potential board members and strategic volunteers.
Teams convened and facilitated by the Center have been transforming the community and nonprofit organizations for decades. They include our Bingham Fellows, Ignite Louisville Challenge teams, Encore Louisville teams, and alumni projects. Nonprofit and civic organizations (including government agencies) are invited to submit proposals for consultancy-based teams and project-based teams two times each year. Our Community Acceleration Teams Proposal form is now open through January 18, 2021. The next window will open in July 2021.
What is my organization’s role in the partnership?
Having a team working for you is only successful if the team is supported by your agency.
Someone must be available as an ongoing liaison between the agency and the team. The CEO must be the contact for some teams. Meetings with the Executive Director/President/CEO, additional leaders from staff or Board may be requested.
Teams that have the most success are teams that have the best communication with their agency. This will require time and energy on the part of the agency to attend meetings, return emails, take phone calls, and make decisions in a prompt manner. If the team is not given direction and feedback from their partner, they will have difficulty moving forward and achieving success.
During the project time period, you will also be contacted by the Leadership Louisville Center staff for status updates and feedback. Evaluations at the end of the project will also be required from all parties.
How are proposals selected?
There are two rounds of selection:
- Round 1: The Community Acceleration Team committee will rank proposals and determine which nonprofits move to round 2
- Round 2: An in-person pitch to the CAT teams. The teams then select the nonprofits they would like to partner with.
Note that not all nonprofits who make an in-person pitch will receive teams.
What can a team do for my organization?
For examples of the results of Community Acceleration Teams, see:
- Results of teams doing project-based work – Examples 1 | Examples 2
- Results of teams doing consultancy work
Are there guidelines for project proposals?
When designing your project proposals, consider these things:
- The project must be realistic in scope and be able to be completed in the given time frame (2-3 months for consultancy work, 6-7 months for project-based work).
- The project should produce sustainable results, allowing your organization to better serve the community, and be strategic, structural, operational, or organizational in nature.
- The nonprofit agency must be open to new and innovative ideas that the team will provide.
- The nonprofit agency must have the capacity to communicate with the team regularly, meet with the team regularly, and work with them to make decisions quickly regarding the direction of their project.
- Make sure your submission is clearly written so the teams can understand exactly what you are asking.
I want to submit a proposal. What are the next steps?
You may submit a proposal now through January 18, 2021. Click here to submit a proposal for a CAT team
If you have questions in the meantime, please contact Jo Lloyd-Triplett via email or call (502) 889-0177.
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