Global Accelerator for Founders of Idea Stage Nonprofits

BBS is pleased to serve as an advisor to The Athari Group and support their global accelerator for future nonprofit leaders.

At its’ core, this 10-week program is designed to help early stage nonprofits by giving them a solid foundation to grow from and serve their communities in new and innovative ways.

What is it? The program provides future nonprofit founders with world-class mentorship and networking opportunities with nonprofit founders, a curriculum of workshops on topics such as root cause analysis, board development, and advanced fundraising, and an opportunity to gain $5,000 in seed funding.

Motivation behind the accelerator? The marketplace of ideas has a support gap: a great business or social enterprise can get funded at the idea stage, but nonprofits are typically not funded before they get off the ground. Individuals with great ideas often lack the requisite knowledge, fundraising capacity, support, and network to start a successful organization.

The Imapct? The 2021 cohort reported follow-on funding growth in the first 9 months was $465,000 compared to $17,500 in the previous 12 months.

Each year the program begins in mid-June and the application deadline is June 1 annually.

Founding Principles of The Athari Group

Humility: Very rarely is starting a nonprofit the most effective way to contribute towards a cause. It is with this in mind that Athari Group selects and nurtures its cohorts. Our mission is to connect good ideas with resources, not to help proliferate organizations needlessly. We respect that those closest to issues are usually best-suited to understand and tackle them, and it is important to us that the projects we support do not cause unintentional harm or waste, including duplicating efforts or taking jobs away from locals.

Collaboration: Collaboration is at the heart of everything we do. If a nonprofit founder is an outsider in the community where she wants to work, she must partner with locals and secure buy-in from the community and the local government in order to participate in our program. We also strive to dismantle the competitive mindset between nonprofits, and promote collaboration between the budding leaders we work with. Diversity of thought, culture, and perspective is scientifically proven to promote creativity and therefore new solutions.

Sustainability: Applicants must demonstrate that they are attending to their target area in a novel, unique way. We require founders to conduct ethical community research, engage in human-centered design, and understand the historical, economic, and social contexts of the culture or area they aim to assist. We will caution against the mindset of ‘solving’ complex problems with solutions that ‘should’ work. We will also convey the importance of what we call ‘economy of impact’, that is, the greatest positive influence via the most conservative amount of resources.