Frequently Asked Questions

About the Impact Accelerator Program

How do I apply for the OU Impact Accelerator program?

Applications for  the Impact Accelerator are now closed. You can request an application here and we will notify you when the applications open once again. Be sure to stay connected by subscribing to our newsletter here and following us on Facebook and Instagram.

How does the Accelerator work?

The OU Impact Accelerator is a three part program that includes: selection, education, and graduation. Through our selection process, we choose 4-6 innovative, new nonprofit organizations to join our annual cohort. In the cohort, nonprofit founders participate in seminars, workshops, mentorship, and consultations to grow their organizations. The cohort graduates at a community Demo Day to present their work and build partnerships for continued growth. Our hope is that by supporting innovation in our community, we can transform the landscape of the Jewish future.

What does the OU Impact Accelerator look for in a nonprofit?

The Accelerator aims to address critical needs of the Jewish community through innovative solutions. We look for five main criteria when evaluating applications: communal need, innovation, maturity, leadership, and potential for impact.

What kinds of nonprofits do you support in the Accelerator?

We accept organizations that serve the North American Jewish community. All organizations must have or be looking to obtain 501c3 status or fiscal sponsorship. We do not accept organizations that are in the idea-stage with no initial proof of concept.

 

How is the OU Impact Accelerator different from other grants and training programs?

Since its inception, the OU has accelerated programs that address the needs of the Jewish people; it is this long-standing impact that sets us apart. With the Impact Accelerator, you will receive unparalleled support and resources from the OU and a personalized experience catered to the needs of your nonprofit. Through the OU Accelerator, we combine funding, education, and mentorship to support innovative new nonprofits.

Does the OU Impact Accelerator provide grant money?

Yes. The OU Accelerator awards a grant to the selected nonprofits upon successful completion of the Accelerator cohort. Clear guidelines for graduation are outlined in the welcome materials upon acceptance to the Accelerator. Requirements include preparation, attendance, and active participation, as well as consistent and visible growth.

Applying to the OU Impact Accelerator 

How do I know if my nonprofit is the right fit for the Accelerator?

Are you a Jewish nonprofit founder? Does your nonprofit help the North American Jewish community? Are you looking for mentorship, guidance, strategy, collaboration, and much more to help grow your organization? If the answers to these questions is a resounding YES, then the Impact Accelerator is right for you!  Apply today! Regardless of your nonprofit stage, we recommend completing the online application. Past applicants view the long-form application as a critical part of their organizational growth and development. 

Does my nonprofit have to be located in the New York Metropolitan area?

No. As long as your venture serves the North American Jewish community, you can be located anywhere. The weekly program will be run virtually. We will require cohort participants to join in-person events no more than once per quarter. In-person gatherings, optional or required, will be held in New York City, many at the Orthodox Union Headquarters in downtown Manhattan.

How many nonprofits are accepted to the cohort? 

We have a rigorous selection process starting with this application. At the end of the process, 4-6 nonprofits will be chosen for the cohort. 

What is the time commitment for nonprofits in the accelerator?

While most founders only have time to work in their businesses, the accelerator is a time for you to focus on your business. We expect cohort gatherings to be 4-6 hours weekly. This includes learning seminars, consultations, mentor meetings, and more. The program meets virtually, with in-person gatherings throughout the year, not required more than once per quarter. We expect you to integrate your accelerator learning into the day-to-day of your nonprofit program. 

What will I/my nonprofit gain from the OU Impact Accelerator program?

We can (and will) tell you what we offer, but we think it’s best to hear from our alumni. Upon acceptance into the cohort, we offer a nonprofit management curriculum, collaboration with other nonprofit founders, mentorship from lay leaders, 1-1 consultations, a grant of up to $10K, and more.   

Who is involved in selecting the Impact Accelerator cohort?

Throughout the selection process we have a team of nonprofit professionals and communal lay leaders assessing the nonprofit applicants. These committees read and review applications, interview applicants, and select the cohort of new nonprofit organizations.

Should I still apply if I lead a new program in an existing organization?

Yes. Even if you are starting a new program within an existing larger organization, the Accelerator can still be right for you. If you feel that your program will benefit from collaborating with other startup nonprofit founders and learning basic building blocks to running a nonprofit, apply!

Application Specific Questions

Who should my references be on my application?

Your references can be both professional and/or personal. Often times they are clients, board members, mentors, community leaders, and friends. They should know both you and your work and should be able to speak highly of you and the amazing work you do for the Jewish community.

If my nonprofit’s name is still not solidified, what should I submit?

We understand that sometimes a name can be a work in progress, and that’s ok! Apply under the name you currently use, if it changes throughout the selection process, or later, feel free to keep us updated.

Remind me, how can I apply?

Applications for  the Impact Accelerator are now closed. You can request an application here and we will notify you when the applications open once again. Be sure to stay connected by subscribing to our newsletter here and following us on Facebook and Instagram.