When Nonprofits Have A Financial Emergency, There’s Now A Fund To Bail Them Out
Nonprofits and social enterprises generally lack extra funds to help out if things go wrong. Unlike traditional businesses, it’s hard to develop a rainy-day fund when donors (or investors) expect most of your money to toward changing lives.
At the same time, the chance that something will go wrong at some point is all but certain. Many cause groups work in small teams with a network of equally bootstrapped partners, often in remote or politically unstable areas. If one small financial issue occurs, everything could topple like dominos.
Open Road Alliance is a philanthropic initiative set up to prevent such scenarios. Since launching in 2012, its provided $13 million in emergency grants or loans to organizations that might have otherwise folded. As Fast Company has reported, ORA has joined another effort alongside several major funders to rethink the issue. Called The Commons, it has provided, among other things, a toolkit for groups and funders to assess and plan for mission risks. But the group has also doubled-down on how to provide short-term monetary assistance.
Photo courtesy of Paul Falardeau.