Non-Profit Philanthropy Capital Space - Taxonomy

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Non-Profit Philanthropy Capital Space - Taxonomy

Non-Profit Capital Space Taxonomy is composed of five levels. Level One is composed of entities that finance accelerators, while Level Two are the accelerators that give non-profit organizations the skills they need to be successful. Level Three are the non-profits themselves. Level Four identifies the two types of entities that support non-profits, while Level Five categorizes by expectations of the entity (granters and donors) and types of resource (human and financial).

Level One

  • FOUNDATION — a non-profit that will fund an accelerator to run programs to train non-profits in capacity building, evaluation, and fundraising. An example is the Hull Foundation in Richmond, VA.
  • GOVERNMENT — The US government Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funds non-profit accelerator programs.
  • FOR-PROFIT INVESTMENT — There are for-profit investment firms that invest part of their profits in non-profit accelerators or organizations. An example is Y Combinator in Silicon Valley.

Level Two

  • NON-PROFIT ACCELERATOR — A non-profit accelerator usually offers a time-based program from 4 to 16 months during which a new or struggling non-profit will locate themselves in a common area.
  • The accelerator will provide "expertise and support in fundraising, marketing, and design, enabling them to develop the materials and presentation skills to deliver a compelling pitch to funders and to develop a culture of fundraising within their organizations."
  • Examples of Accelerators include Latino Community Foundation in San Francisco CA, Green Lights in Austin TX, and NPO Launchpad in Richmond, VA.

Level Three

  • A NON PROFIT ORGANIZATION is an entity organized for purposes other than making a profit and in which none of the organization's revenue is distributed to its stakeholders.
  • Non-profits are traditionally formed to support a social justice cause or to advocate for a shared point of view.
  • Examples of non-profits include large global organizations like the United Way and Habitat for Humanity to small community groups promoting literacy and feeding the homeless.
  • A list of non-profits who transitioned from an accelerator to a stand-alone non-profit is available here.

Level Four

  • PHILANTHROPY — Non-profits traditionally receive funding from philanthropic entities, which expect nothing tangible in return for their contribution. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a well-known philanthropic organization.
  • PARTNERS — Non-profits can also partner/work with other organizations that provide resources to the non-profit. Profitable organizations that wish to invest in society may also "adopt" a non-profit organization, which they support with donations and volunteer employee time. Wells Fargo is an example of this type of arrangement.

Level Five

  • GRANTOR is a type of philanthropy where funds are usually applied for by the non-profit. Granting agencies include the same kinds of organizations outlined in Level One. They skip the accelerator process and give funds directly, usually to mature non-profits who have demonstrable success at achieving their mission. An example of this is the NIH.
  • DONOR is a type of philanthropy where individuals or foundations give money to a non-profit directly without any criteria or reporting requirements.
  • HUMAN RESOURCES are people who volunteer to help a non-profit, either through their employer or directly.
  • FINANCIAL RESOURCES are donations that come from private companies that have formed a partnership with a specific non-profit.