Application Process

We understand that emergencies can’t wait. We accept applications on a rolling basis. Our full process from inquiry to decision typically takes two to six weeks.

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1. Inquiry Submission
The process begins when you submit an inquiry through our Salesforce platform.
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2. Initial Review
A member of our social investments team will review the submitted inquiry and determine eligibility.
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3. Initial Call
We will schedule an initial conversation to learn more about your situation and will continue our internal review.
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Submission
Potential partners will be invited to complete a short online application.
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5. Review & Revise
A member of our team will work with you to refine your application and prepare for investment committee review.
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Final Call & Decision
Potential partners will join the investment committee for a final interview and a decision will be made within one week.

Loans: Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for a loan? What are your terms?

Open Road is sector (issue area) and geographically agnostic and serves both nonprofits and for-profit impact companies of any size. Our funds are only used to support mid-implementation projects facing unexpected obstacles or sudden catalytic opportunities that can expand their impact. 

 

Terms:

 

  • Average loan size: $250,000, max $1M

 

  • Interest rates: 8–10% for non-profits, 10–14% for impact companies. 

 

  • Average term: 9 months, ranging from 30 days to 18 months

 

Details:

 

  • Open Road is not solving for the greater working capital issue in the sector, but providing a, “bridge to somewhere.”

 

  • Our three types of loans are: (1) a bridge to committed funding, (2) help with delays in accounts receivable and (3) an unexpected opportunity for impact such as an unexpectedly large purchase order.
Why loans?

In 2017, after five years of funding nonprofits and social enterprises facing roadblocks, we learned a lot about “what goes wrong” during project implementation and what organizations need to overcome those barriers.

 

From observation, empirical data, and many, many conversations with our social impact partners, we realized that oftentimes the problem is not a lack of money in general, but a lack of money NOW. In other words, whatever the cause of the problem, the result in financial terms is simply a cash-flow issue. In these cases, additional funding is comingwhether through a committed grant, equity raise, confirmed sales, or other sourcebut it is not coming quickly enough to address the problem at hand. As such, these organizations need a financial bridgea loanto keep impact on track while waiting for the additional, committed funds. Once those pre identified funds come in, Open Road is paid back.

 

Open Road is able to generate greater impact through loans because the funds are recycled over and over to multiple organizations pursuing their social missions. Serving more organizations ultimately means more impact across the sector.

Do you charge interest? Why?

Loans range from 8-14%, depending on the relative risk of repayment. The average loan term is 9 months, with a range of 30 days to 18 months. By charging interest, Open Road is able to preserve the value of its capital in the face of inflation, as well as cover expected losses. Open Road Ventures is not designed to generate profits, and Open Road Impact Fund distributes below-market returns to investors.

Who are the investors?

Open Road Alliance and Open Road Ventures are solely and privately funded by its Founder, Dr. Laurie Michaels. The Open Road Impact Fund is funded by a variety of investors.