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 Loans.
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 a member of our Social Investments team, to walk through the current unexpected situation.

3-Page Application

After the initial phone call, potential partners 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 partners 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 potential partners 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. loan, instead of charitable).

Investment Options
Charitable Grants
Loans
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.

 

Learn More

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.

Loans

Under Open Road’s Core Portfolio, Loans help organizations manage through unexpected obstacles with working capital, capital expenditure, or bridge loans 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 loan 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 loan can function like growth capital, allowing the organization to scale their impact when commercial financing is unavailable or not affordable to them.

Learn More


Our Customer Service Credo

(Loan FAQ 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.

Funding & Criteria

Open Road makes one-time investments in the form of charitable grants or loans to provide discrete solutions to projects encountering unexpected roadblocks during implementation. We have no sector or geographic focus, but rather all situations must meet the following four criteria to be approved for an investment.

 

Mid-Implementation:

If not for this roadblock your organization wouldn’t need funding – all of the necessary operating funds for the year were secured, and then something unexpected occurred necessitating additional funding.

 

Unexpected:

The additional funding need must be unexpected – it cannot be an internal error but something external to the organization that has created the need.

 

Discrete:

The problem must have a discrete, one-time funding solution that is not recurring, and does not “kick the can down the road.” We want to fully solve the problem at hand.

 

Catalytic:

The organization’s model must have the potential to be system-changing, either in design or scale, creating an amplifier or multiplier effect.

Not sure which portfolio is right for you?

Take this quick quiz to find out if you're a fit for Open Road

How to get in touch with Open Road

If you think you may be eligible for funding from Open Road, please reach out to us at [email protected] and provide the following information:

  • Are you in need of a grant or a loan?
  • A summary of the roadblock or opportunity your organization is facing, including:
    • The timeline and events that led to the roadblock or opportunity.
    • The what the full cost would be to solve the roadblock completely.
    • What has the impact of your programming or business been to date (metrics)?

Once we receive your summary we will contact you with further questions and next steps.

Select Case Studies
  • Hello Tractor
    Geographic Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
    Fund: Loan
  • TILT Forward Initiative and DreamFund (Association for Enterprise Opportunity)
    Geographic Region: USA
    Fund: Loan
  • Carbon Roots International
    Geographic Region: Caribbean | Haiti
    Fund: Loan
  • 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

View All Case Studies