Applications are due by Monday, July 1st at midnight.
In order to apply to SIFP, please make sure to read this entire page for eligibility and program tracks, and check out the program overview for a schedule of events. You may also find it helpful to read over the Application Guide before beginning your application. Once you are ready to begin, you can start your application by following this link:
Please make sure that you Like SIFP on Facebook and signup for the SIFP newsletter (in the sidebar) to stay up-to-date on program events.
For those applicants that are selected into the 2013 cohort, you will be asked for additional information before the quarterfinals. This includes a logo, slidedeck, financial statements and projections, and, for nonprofits, a copy of your 501(c)3 designation. More information about the deadlines and process for submitting this information will be shared with all quarterfinalists upon selection.
From very early ideas to established organizations, SIFP is here to help. Over a five-month incubation period (Mid-May through mid-November), our workshops, mentors and volunteer consultants will coach Puget Sound area nonprofits and for-profit social enterprises to assess strengths and weaknesses, refine their business models, support their team, and articulate their innovation.
SIFP programs are relevant for nonprofit, hybrid and for-profit business models that address critical social issues with business rigor and the promise of sustainability. The business models should provide donors and investors with attractive social and/or financial returns. For-profit entities which apply for SIFP should ensure that the social mission is deeply embedded in, and a central component of, the business model.
For existing organizations, 501c(3) or for-profit entities, we are looking for new innovations that are clearly differentiated from mainstream programs which have the ability to find funding in many other ways. Specifically, an organization must have been formed (or restarted) within the past three years, or a program in an established organization must have been created in the same timeframe. For programs within established organizations, the program must have largely dedicated leadership and an independent budget (as shown on internal budgeting reports, audit statements or another convincing manner).
Non-profits that have not yet received their 501c3 designation from the IRS may still apply. However, before you compete in the semifinal competition and/or receive a grant, you will need to either have secured the designation, or secured a fiscal sponsor who has an appropriate IRS designation. Youth teams participating via Ashoka are exempt from this requirement.
Grants cannot be provided to organizations which conduct any kind of lobbying as defined by a 501c(4) status.
Any applicant must be operating in -- and have substantial impact in -- the Puget Sound area.
The 2013 SIFP program will have tracks and prizes for five different organization types:
- For-Profit - All for-profit and hybrid companies must be seed-stage startups, founded in the last three years and actively looking to scale.
- Early-Stage Nonprofits - This category is designed for startup nonprofit organizations (founded in the last three years) with an annual operating budget of less than $100,000.
- Established Nonprofits - Larger and more established organizations (older than three years and/or budget greater than $100,000) can also submit new programs and initiatives. These programs must have a dedicated leadership or staff person.
- Youth-Led Venture (College & High School) - There are guaranteed spaces in the program and finals for the best, for-profit and nonprofit, youth-led social ventures. To qualify for this track, the lead entrepreneur must be an active high school or undergraduate college student in the Puget Sound region.
- Where can I find a list of application questions, so that I can prepare? A link to both Word and PDF versions of the application are available in the Application Guide. Both of these documents also include the word limits for each question. Note: This is for reference only, and all applications must be completed using the online form.
- Can I save and return to my application at a later date? Yes! At the bottom of every page on the application, there is a button to "save and return". By clicking that button you will generate a unique URL to your application, and can also have the system send you an email reminder.