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BEAM Discovery - for public use_edited_e

For Grantseekers

AR grantee BEAM 

Arbor Rising is always on the lookout for exceptional nonprofit partners.

If joining the Arbor Rising portfolio piques your interest, we encourage you to read the details below and fill out the interest form at the bottom of the page. 

Partnership structure

Arbor Rising partnerships typically involve a three-year investment which includes both financial contributions and consulting support. During each year of engagement, we invest additional money and time, helping to strengthen grantee capacity in critical areas such as outcomes measurement, financial planning, and performance management.

Financial support

The cash portion of the grant is unrestricted and distributed immediately following selection. Though only one year of support is promised at a time, more than 90% of Arbor Rising grantees are funded for three years.

 

Grantees that enter the Arbor Rising portfolio in 2024 will receive $100,000 and can expect future support in the range of $125,000–$150,000 per year.

Consulting engagement

During each grant year, the Arbor Rising team invests 200–300 hours working closely with each Executive Director to diagnose pressing challenges, co-create robust solutions, and support implementation of deliverables.

Grantees, in turn, typically spend 4–6 hours of meeting time plus 4–8 hours of homework time per month on these capacity-strengthening projects.

Our grant package

We provide support tailored to the second stage of nonprofit organizations: flexible, multi-year capital alongside deep, consulting support.

In each of our grantee projects, we co-develop customized tools, deliverables, and plans—nothing comes off the proverbial shelf. The work is geared toward strengthening grantee capacity in key areas such as:

  • Strategy Development: theory of change, earned-income strategies, and growth plans

  • Financial Management: true cost accounting and projecting multi-year budgets

  • Data Analysis: quantifying metrics, developing tracking systems, and program evaluation

  • Stakeholder Management: board development, employee performance management, and executive coaching

This capacity-strengthening work is central to the Arbor Rising value proposition, and organizations without a strong interest in this aspect of the grant should not apply. As prospective applicants weigh the potential value of this significant time investment, we encourage them to review Arbor Rising's track record of impact, hear from prior grantees about their experience, contemplate our commitment to equity, and peruse our annual grantee survey results.

Eligibility

Arbor Rising supports nonprofit organizations that are:

Building pathways out of poverty

Organizational models that create meaningful opportunities for low-income individuals to achieve economic mobility, most often in the fields of education or job training

High-potential

Committed and diverse leadership teams employing a model which has produced (or is on track to produce) meaningful outcomes for program participants

Second-stage

Operating an observable program with a modest budget

(AR's median incoming grantee is 5 years old with a budget of $1.1M)

Historically, we have partnered with organizations directly serving participants in the NY-NJ-CT region, but in 2023 we began expanding our footprint. Going forward, we are open to applicants from the lower 48 US states, though we continue to prioritize applicants in the greater NYC metro area and those serving under-resourced populations in the eastern half of the United States.

Additional requirements

  • 501c3 status or be fiscally sponsored by a 501c3 organization

  • At least one full-time, paid staff person

  • Annual local budget of more than $200,000 and less than $2,500,000 (excepting schools)

Re-application guidelines

Organizations that have applied for Arbor Rising funding in the past are eligible to re-apply. That said, those that have repeatedly applied (especially in the last five years) are much less likely to be competitive unless they have new leadership and/or have undergone significant programmatic changes.

Selection

Shared mission

A strong application will describe a clear mission that addresses an opportunity gap – somewhere from cradle to career – that limits economic mobility. Are the organizational goals appropriately ambitious and clearly defined? Are target outcomes specified and measurable?

Strong leadership

The application and interviews with management shed light on the leader’s desire to adapt and grow. What kind of commitment to the organization have they demonstrated? Does management have a record of achievement? Is management curious and motivated to improve the organization?

Effective program

A strong application will also explain how the organizational model, typically in the fields of education or job training, gives program participants a feasible path to achieving the target outcomes. Can the organization achieve these outcomes efficiently over time?

Needs alignment

Additionally, management interviews suggest the degree to which consulting support might help address the organization’s most pressing challenges. What is holding the organization back? How might resolving these challenges increase efficiency or impact? Is Arbor Rising equipped to add value?

What we look for

The most competitive applicants build a clear and compelling case around each of these aspects within the framework of our application process.

Our selection process involves a relatively brief written application, a 90-minute virtual meeting with applicant management, and an in-person 2-3 hour site visit. Arbor Rising's staff and board evaluate applicants and ultimately select the portfolio. 

Interest form

We run an open-invitation process once every three years, most recently in 2023. In 2024 we are running an invitation-only process over the summer and will select new grantees in the fall.  If, after reading the above you'd like to put your organization on our radar for consideration either this year or in a future grantmaking processes, we encourage you to fill out the interest form below. Submissions received after May 15th will not be considered for our 2024 selection process.

Please note that while we are not able to respond to individual submissions, we are always excited to learn about new organizations and do draw from this database when sourcing potential portfolio applicants.
 

Join Arbor Rising's nonprofit database

Eligibility

Status

Must answer "yes" to all questions to submit

Does your core programming target the empowerment of low-income populations?
Is your primary activity direct service to individuals (rather than advocacy, lobbying, research, etc.)?
Are you and your participants based in the United States?
Do you have a full-time executive director?

Details

Thanks for submitting our interest form!

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