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Open Roads Alliance: COVID-19 Related Charitable Grants & Loans

In this time of uncertainty, nonprofits and social enterprises are being hit hard. Many of you have reached out to Open Road directly to share how COVID-19 is already impacting your organization and work.

The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the impact sector has reached natural disaster proportions in its scope and scale, which means that the global need for our ‘emergency’ capital vastly outstrips our available resources. Given this reality, we have decided to use our limited resources to best serve the sector under the following circumstances:

Charitable Grants

As of June 2020, we updated our grantmaking process to reflect our original criteria with our broader focus on keeping impact on track, beyond just flattening the curve. Details provided below.

Loans Open Road offers four loan products to organizations affected by COVID-19:

  • Lost Event Revenue

  • Accelerating Incoming Emergency Funds

  • Co-investment to Support Social Enterprises

  • Deep Impact Loans

As always, all of our grant and loan products will be subject to Open Road’s traditional criteria. We only make a loan or grant to an organization that is:

  1. Otherwise fully funded, then

  2. Hit an unexpected, external roadblock (i.e., COVID-19), where

  3. Open Road’s loan can fully solve the problem at hand and

  4. Demonstrate the potential to create catalytic impact. In this time of exceptional need, we will be prioritizing impact.

Charitable Grants: The World is Unpredictable.  Our strength doesn’t just come from how we endure through our uncertain times, but more importantly how we adapt and evolve to our ever changing world with intelligence and resilience.

As we continue to see our grantees rise to the challenge of COVID-19, we understand that nearly 5 months into this pandemic, the reality and effects of COVID-19 are our new normals.

We invite any and all eligible organizations that meet this criteria to apply.

Open Road makes one-time grants for discrete solutions that help projects overcome unexpected roadblocks. We have no sector or geographic focus, but rather all situations must meet the following four criteria to be eligible for an investment:

  • Mid-Implementation: If not for this roadblock your organization wouldn’t need funding – all of the necessary operating funds for the year/period/grant were secured, and then something unexpected occurred necessitating additional funding.

  • Unexpected: The roadblock experienced must be unexpected – it cannot be the result of an internal error or pivot but rather something external to the organization.

  • Discrete: The solution to your roadblock must be discrete, requiring a one-time infusion of funds that is not recurring, and does not “kick the can down the road.” We want to fully solve the problem at hand.

  • Catalytic: The organization’s impact model must have the potential to be system-changing, either in design or scale, creating an amplifier or multiplier effect.

For more about our charitable grants click here.

Loans Open Road offers four loan products to organizations affected by COVID-19: Lost Event Revenue, Accelerating Incoming Emergency Funds, Co-investment to Support Social Enterprises, Deep Impact Loans.

Lost Event Revenue Organizations with Annual Revenue UNDER $1 Million

Open Road will offer a one-time, fixed, low-interest, $50,000 loan to organizations that are rescheduling/postponing their fundraising events until later this year. Loan criteria and terms include:

  • $50,000 loan to organizations with annual revenues of $1 million or less

  • 1-2% simple interest

  • Final principal repayment due by December 31, 2020

To be eligible, the event in question must:

  • Be postponed – not cancelled.

  • Have a new, confirmed date with appropriate confirmations from venue, host committee, etc.

  • Have a track record of successful fundraising performance in the past two years.

Organizations with Annual Revenues OVER $1 Million

Organizations with annual revenues over $1 million that are facing a similar cash crunch from rescheduled/postponed events may apply for a larger loan up to $250,000 and will follow our existing underwriting process. Apply Here.


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