The data tells us that 1 in 5 grants face unforeseen obstacles, yet 83% of donors lack a dedicated budget allocation for contingencies.
Open Road Core Portfolio investments are made across all sectors and geographies and include Charitable and Recoverable grants.
Investment Timeline
Average Timeline 2-6 Weeks
Initial Conversation
3-Page Application
Final Call
Final Decision
Initial Conversation

The process begins with an initial conversation with the Funder and either the Open Road Fund Director or Portfolio Manager, to walk through the current unexpected situation.

3-Page Application

After the initial phone call, potential grantees will complete a short application via our on-line application system, Fluxx. The first submission will always be considered a draft. Open Road provides feedback on all applications within 4 business days of submission.

Final Call

All potential grantees who complete an application in Fluxx then join Open Road’s Investment committee for a final interview. The call is conversational and the applicant should expect a wide range of questions. The call will last approximately 1 hour.

Final Decision

Final decisions are made and communicated to the grantee within one-week of the Final Call. Occasionally, Open Road will deny an application for one portfolio, but suggest a grant from a different portfolio (i.e. recoverable grant, instead of charitable).

Investment Options
Charitable Grants
Recoverable Grants
The Unexpected Fund
Charitable Grants

Charitable grants are designed to address either an unexpected roadblock or opportunity.

Roadblocks

Scenarios in which a disruptive event, beyond the non-profit’s control, has derailed, stalled or otherwise threatened the success of the on-going project. The disruptive event jeopardizes both the original investment and the anticipated impact.

Opportunities

Scenarios in which a mid-implementation project unexpectedly encounters or is offered a chance to catalytically multiply its impact. These opportunities typically arise from sources outside of the organization and are not a result of project iteration or natural scale/growth.

 

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How we do Business:
Our Customer Service Credo

Casestudy: Muso

CRITERIA MET:
  • MID-IMPLEMENTATION
  • UNEXPECTED
  • DISCRETE
  • CATALYTIC
Background

Muso is a global health organization working with governments to design proactive health systems that save lives by reaching patients early, within hours of their first symptoms.

The Problem

In 2014, Muso built out a five-year plan to run a three-year randomized control trial (RCT) beginning in 2016. After completing an in-depth power analysis the Muso team learned their earlier calculations, from which they had created the budget and strategic plan, would significantly underpower the study.

The Solution

A charitable grant from Open Road Alliance closed the financial gap and allowed the on-time launch of the RCT. The Malian Ministry of Health (MOH) has committed to using the findings from the research to steer the Ministry’s national community health workers (CHW) scale-up plan, which will reach over three million of Mali’s poorest and most remote citizens.

Recoverable Grants

Recoverable grants under Open Road’s Core Portfolio are defined as charitable funds provided by Open Road Alliance that function like a loan and are repaid to Open Road after a set period of time.

Impact organizations may have access to future capital, but it has been delayed and therefore is unavailable to meet an immediate and unexpected need. A recoverable grant can help bridge this delay and meet the time-sensitive funding need. Other times when an impact organization has an earned-income revenue stream, a recoverable grant can function like growth capital, allowing the organization to scale their impact when commercial financing is unavailable or not affordable to them.

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Our Customer Service Credo

Recoverable Grants FAQ
Our Recoverable Grant Policies (coming soon)

Casestudy: Atlas Corps

CRITERIA MET:
  • MID-IMPLEMENTATION
  • UNEXPECTED
  • DISCRETE
  • CATALYTIC
Background

Atlas Corps was founded on the idea that talent exists everywhere in the world, yet opportunity does not. Atlas Corps connects people from around the world to opportunities in the United States or Colombia.

The Opportunity

To capitalize on this opportunity, Atlas Corps needed to upgrade their online application system to enhance the vetting and matching of candidates with potential Host Organizations in the United States.

The Solution

Open Road made a $70,000 investment in the form of a $35,000 charitable grant and $35,000 recoverable grant to implement a new online application platform.

The Unexpected Fund

TUF is a matching fund – we hope it will encourage other funders to help their grantees overcome an unforeseen challenge, and along the way help them think about setting policies that make risk management commonplace.

The Unexpected Fund is one of several Open Road tools aimed at encouraging other donors to consider and then change their practice. Ten years from now, Open Road’s goal is that donors think about contingency funding and risk management the same way they think about monitoring and evaluation…standard operating procedure.

 

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Our Customer Service Credo

Casestudy:
Child Relief International (Donor)
Akilah Institute (Grantee)

CRITERIA MET:
  • MID-IMPLEMENTATION
  • UNEXPECTED
  • DISCRETE
  • EXISTING DONOR MATCH
Background

Akilah aims to build future generations of women leaders and professionals in East Africa through the development of a network of college campuses. As of the time of the grant, Akilah had two campuses, in Bujumbura, Burundi and Kigali, Rwanda.

Child Relief International (CRI) is a private foundation focused on helping the poorest people in the poorest countries. They have been funders of Akilah since 2014.

The Roadblock

In April 2015, Akilah was forced to close the Bujumbura campus due to an unstable political and security situation. Violent attacks and protests put students and faculty at grave risk and made it impossible to continue operations.

The Solution

With financial support from Child Relief International, and matching funds from Open Road’s Unexpected Fund, Akilah transferred 43 Burundian students to their Rwanda campus, enabling them to graduate from the program and assist them in launching their careers and businesses.

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Select Case Studies
  • TakaTaka Solutions
    Geographic Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
    Fund: Recoverable Grants
  • Homeboy Recycling (Isidore Electronics Recycling)
    Geographic Region: Southern California, U.S.A.
    Fund: Recoverable Grants
  • Worldreader
    Geographic Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
    Fund: Charitable Grants
  • Muso
    Geographic Region: Global
    Fund: Charitable Grants
  • Atlas Corps
    Geographic Region: Global- Applications Received from more than 130 countries
    Fund: Charitable Grants, Recoverable Grants
  • The Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM)
    Geographic Region: United States
    Fund: Charitable Grants
  • Voto Mobile
    Geographic Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
    Fund: Charitable Grants
  • Grameen Foundation
    Geographic Region: Kenya
    Fund: Charitable Grants

View All Case Studies

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