Eligibility Requirements

2014 Business Plan Competition

The Social Impact Business Plan Competition is open to all U.S.-based nonprofit organizations with a focus in education, youth development, health, poverty alleviation or community economic development. (Additional categories to be added in future years.) Individuals and for-profit social purpose organizations are not eligible to enter.

To enter the Competition, nonprofits must meet the following requirements

  • 501(c)3 in the U.S. (i.e., main office, administrative center from which operations are managed, directed and controlled)
  • Member of Social Impact Exchange (membership is free - click here to join).
  • Have begun or are well into the process of scaling an evidence-based solution to reach greater numbers of people, thus increasing impact through one or more of the following strategies:
    • Expanding through program replication: offering a current program, service, product, platform, practice or initiative in new locations – local, regional or national; or
    • Reaching significantly larger numbers of people or new audiences: providing a current service, product, platform, practice or initiative more frequently or in greater quantity to current or new people; or
    • Promoting a model: encouraging the replication of a social intervention by promoting it to others; or
    • Influencing public policy: changing public policy to increase the number served or needs addressed, or to reduce the need; or
    • Effecting systems change: creating a more hospitable environment that allows effective programs to flourish or encourages collaboration among stakeholders (e.g., Collective Impact); or
    • Building or growing a social movement: creating change through a large-scale social movement that influences public opinion or collective action in support of an issue.
  • Meet the following eligibility requirements:
    • Documented key program elements and processes required for additional scaling.
    • Initiative implemented in at least 2 sites for a minimum of 2 years (for geographic scaling).
    • Achievement of product or service adoption for a minimum of 2 years (for other types of scaling)
    • Evidence of positive outcomes, such as demonstrated through a third-party quantitative evaluation, studying the effects of the actual initiative being scaled (not general research data that states a particular method or approach works).
    • A well-defined strategy for scaling in the next 2-3 years. 

Review the Entry Process