The Unexpected Fund

A matching fund for donors, to help them help their grantees overcome unexpected roadblocks.
Application Criteria
Midimplementation
Unexpected
Discrete
Catalytic
Midimplementation

A mid-implementation project is one that is otherwise fully funded, staffed, designed. If not for this unexpected roadblock or opportunity, there would be no outstanding need

  • MEETS CRITERIA:

    A clinical trial is underway in South Africa. The trail is fully funded, and all personnel have been hired and trained. The trial is 6-months into the 18-month cycle. At this moment, something unexpected happens which threatens the success of the trial.

  • DOES NOT MEET CRITERIA:

    A health NGO is planning a clinical trial in South Africa. They have wanted to conduct this trial for years and now have a gift of $500K to make it happen- but they need another $50k to fully design and implement the trial as originally envisioned.

Unexpected

Open Road is interested in projects that encounter unforeseeable roadblocks or opportunities. Including changes in government regulations, laws, or tariffs, a crop-destroying virus, unusual weather conditions, or other events exogenous to program design.

  • MEETS CRITERIA:

    An NGO budgeted $200K to build an M&E database to improve access to programs & services. 3 months into the project the host country government asks to license the software. The required software redesign will cost $75K and 2 months to complete.

  • DOES NOT MEET CRITERIA:

    An NGO budgeted $200K to build an M&E database to improve access to programs & services. The project was supposed to take 4 months to complete. 4 months later the developer and NGO realize that due to the complexity of the work, they need another $75K and 2 months to complete the project.

Discrete

Open Road gifts are made to one project, one-time. This one-time gift addresses a specific solvable problem that has arisen mid-implementation. After a gift from Open Road, no additional funds should be necessary from Open Road or any other funder to see the project through completion.

  • MEETS CRITERIA:

    The development of a new mobile-health application for rural Americans is almost complete when the Affordable Healthcare Act is passed. The developer must hire a short-term consultant to adjust the software to remain compliant with the new law.

  • DOES NOT MEET CRITERIA:

    The development of a new mobile-health application for rural Americans is almost complete when unexpected budget cuts place staff salaries at risk. The NGO needs to find permanent replacement funds for on-going personnel costs.

Catalytic

A catalytic project expands impact significantly beyond a one to one relationship, resulting in a multiplier effect. Catalytic implies exponential or leveraged returns.

  • MEETS CRITERIA:

    An education-focused NGO is expanding its entrepreneurial curriculum to 200 schools in the coming year, serving an additional 2,000 students and training 500 new teachers. More importantly, through existing public-private partnerships, the Ministry of Education has agreed to adopt the program nationwide- if they can prove success at scale of 200 schools. Halfway through the school year, an unexpected roadblock occurs.

  • DOES NOT MEET CRITERIA:

    An education-focused NGO is expanding its entrepreneurial curriculum to 200 schools in the coming year. The expansion will serve 2,000 new students and train 500 teachers in their methods. Halfway through the school year, an unexpected roadblock occurs.

Not sure which portfolio is right for you?

Take this quick quiz to find out if you're a fit for Open Road
Open Road Alliance
Case Studies from Charitable and Recoverable Portfolios
  • 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
  • Charitable Grants

    Charitable grants are one-time infusions of cash to help a mid-implementation project overcome an unexpected roadblock.

    Learn More
  • Recoverable Grants

    Recoverable Grants function like a loan that is repaid to Open Road Alliance. Recoverable grants help organizations with working capital, capital expenditure, or bridge loans in the face of an unexpected obstacle.

    Learn More

Through our portfolio of investments and independent research, we identify, seek to understand, and increase visibility for the unanticipated challenges that NGOs face.

 

New in

The Foundation Review

Foundations Don’t Know What They’re Risking

(free and available to the public)

Read Here