Frequently Asked Questions

What is the mission statement of the progressive multiplier fund?

The PMF finances revenue generation projects for the progressive movement.

What does the PMF do?

We provide a resource center for progressive non-profits on earned revenue techniques and offer grants for experimentation in revenue generation, as well as recoverable grants and loans for non-profits for scaling up projects.

What types of organizations do you fund?

The Progressive Multiplier Fund provides funding to U.S. based, U.S. focused non-profits and their subsidiaries. The PMF funds 501(c)(3)s, 501(c)(4)s, projects housed in these entities, or LLCs in which a 501(c)(3) or (c)(4) are the only members. 

To qualify, these organizations must do some policy or legal advocacy work, civic engagement, or be a media organization. In addition, the organization must work on at least one of the PMF’s issue areas.

The PMF would consider funding coalitions, but not for the purpose of those organizations acting as regranting organizations. We fund our grantees directly.

The PMF does not fund PACs, political parties, or organizations that do not meet the criteria above.

What issues do you fund?

Issue focus: The Progressive Multiplier Fund provides funding to organizations working on Clean Energy, Climate Change, Corporate Accountability, Criminal Justice Reform, Democracy/Voting, Disability Rights, Economic Justice, Education Justice, Environmental Justice, Gun Control, Health Care, HIV/AIDS, Housing, Human Rights, Immigrant Rights, LGBTQ Rights, Mass Incarceration, Minimum Wage, Neighborhood Issues, Protecting Medicare, Protecting Social Security, Puerto Rico Justice, Racial Justice, Refugee Crisis, Reproductive Rights, Gender Equity, Social Justice, Wilderness Protection, Women’s Rights, Workers Rights, and other progressive issues.

We understand that it is not for a small group of people to define progressive; if the issue you’re working on is not here, please write us at info@progressivemultiplier.fund to see if your mission fits.

Please note: as long as your organization works on these issues, you fit our mission. Your particular revenue generation program does not need to be focused on any particular issue above.

If your organization does not consider itself progressive, but works on multiple issues above in a way that would be considered progressive while reaching out “across the aisle,” you may qualify for PMF funding.

What are your grant criteria?

• Your project should focus on engaging individuals who can be members, consumers, or donors (under $1,000).
• You have the right team and capacity (in-house or in-house with partners or vendors) to execute the program.
• A strong case that your program, if scaled, could raise your organization over $1m per year OR could be replicated by other organizations to generate millions for the movement.
• The PMF has the right to share lessons learned, techniques, overall results, and materials you used with ALL other progressive organizations
• Will only fund technology with grants if it is a small part of the project.

What is the Application Process?

Please follow these steps to apply:

  1. Sign Up – Sign up for the PMF mailing list here.
  2. Screening – All PMF mailing list subscribers are screened for their organization type and issue focus.
  3. Webinar – Once we determine that your organization is a fit, you will receive an invitation to an informational webinar, where we will discuss our funding priorities and the types of grants we offer. Please have the staff who would manage this program attend the webinar.  Once you attend the webinar, we’ll send you an invitation to the Center of Excellence, where you can share and learn best practices and apply for grants.
  4. Optional Call – One you have attended a webinar, we will send you an email offering times for a phone call where you can ask follow-up questions or share proposal ideas.
  5. Application – After you attend the webinar, you will be able to create one or more applications through the Center of Excellence portal.

Can New Organizations Apply?

Yes. If you do not have a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4), your project can be funded through a different non-profit. Either way, the review process will heavily focus on the person running the project in your organization and the stability of the new project.

I don’t have a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) yet. Can I qualify for funding?

The Progressive Multiplier Fund will fund projects housed in existing organizations that are 501(c)(3)s, 501(c)(4)s, projects housed in these entities, or LLCs in which a 501(c)(3) or (c)(4) are the only members.

What Sized Organizations Can Apply?

Generally, we fund organizations with an annual budget of $500,000 or more. If your organization does not have an annual budget of $500,000, and you would like to apply for funding, please email us at info@progressivemultiplier.fund to schedule a call with a PMF staff member to see if your project would qualify.

What infrastructure or capacity is required in each organization to receive funding?

The PMF will evaluate the proposal you submit, and ask if you have the capacity to do that type of project.  For example, if you are generating interest on Facebook and calling interested people to ask them to join your organization, we would review your team’s background in Facebook marketing and telemarketing.

What types of funding does the PMF offer?

The PMF gives grants from two funds, the Test & Innovation Fund and the Growth Fund, which have different funding criteria and priorities.

The Test & Innovation Fund provides grants to nonprofits interested in testing new revenue generation models, as well as testing the replication of revenue generation programs that have worked in other organizations. Grants range from $1,000 to $25,000, with an average grant size of $10,000. Successful revenue generating projects can be scaled up with funding through the PMF Growth Fund.

The Growth Fund is a valuable resource for organizations that wish to scale up existing revenue projects. The Growth Fund provides recoverable grants and market rate loans to support organizations seeking to expand their revenue streams and have a greater impact.  Recoverable grants and loans from the Growth Fund can be as large as $120,000.

When do Recoverable Grants Need to be Repaid?

We aim to have recoverable grants repaid in full within 18 months or less. Recoverable grants are repaid monthly with all income from the project that the PMF funds until the grant is fully repaid. Your organization retains the remainder of the earnings.

Are all grants made by PMF recoverable grants?

No. The only recoverable grants we award are through the Growth Fund. Any funding awarded through the Test & Innovation Fund is given in the form of a traditional grant without any repayment obligation.

Do You Need to Apply for a Test and Innovation Grant to Apply for a Bigger Recoverable Grant?

No. If your organization has a proven track record of running a revenue generation program that generates a 2:1 return, you can apply for a recoverable grant to expand that project. But, if you apply for a test grant, and it works, we would welcome an application for a Recoverable Grant to expand the project.

How do you track what revenue comes from the project you’re funding?

For grants, we will ask you to create a separate budget in your financial software, and to track your expenses and income. For recoverable grants, we may ask you to open a separate bank account in addition to creating a separate budget and tracking your expenses and income, and have all funds from the project flow into that account.

If an organization has more than one idea to test, will you consider more than one proposal from the same organization?

Yes, but the total budget requested for the different tests should not exceed the maximum grant amount (i.e. $25,000).

Do you Fund Earned Income or Fee for Service Strategies?

Yes

Can We Use Grants as a Matching Grant?

No, the PMF does not fund matching grants.

Can We Hire Staff with these Funds?

You can cover staff costs with PMF funds, but we evaluate your grant proposal based on the leadership and team that you have in place, including your consultants, and your vendors. If your proposal does not identify the staff person who will run this program who has a proven track record of success, we are unlikely to fund your project. If you need to use funds to add additional, junior staff, this may be acceptable.

Can Grants be Used to Test Successful Techniques Used by Other Organizations?

Yes.  About two thirds or all Test and Innovation grants are used to test techniques that have worked for other organizations but haven’t been tried yet by the applying organization. One third of our Test and Innovation grants are used to fund wild new ideas that haven’t been tested yet.

Do you fund CDFI loan funds for business readiness?

We do not.

What can Grant Funds Pay for?

Grant funds should pay for the entire cost of your fundraising effort, so that you can determine if this effort can truly return a 2:1 return over three to five years. This includes consultants, vendors, tools, staff time, and other direct or indirect expenses of the project (running ads, purchasing lists, renting lists, etc).

What is the Turn Around Time for Grant Decisions and Funding?

We decide on grants within two months, and distribute funds within one month after the decision.

How Does the Budget Document Work?

Costs – Please outline the costs of the project, broken down into the different budget categories, by month of the year. The income your organization receives from the PMF should not appear in the project budget as income.  Your costs should be greater than or equal to the grant provided by the PMF.

Income – Please outline the income from the expenditures in this project monthly for 60 months following the expenditures (i.e. if you recruited monthly donors, how much money will they give in future years based on what you spent during the grant period).

How do I access the Center of Excellence?

Please follow these steps to sign up for the Center of Excellence:

  1. Sign Up – Sign up for the PMF mailing list here.
  2. Screening – All PMF mailing list subscribers are screened to ensure that they have the same progressive focus as that of the PMF and the Center of Excellence.
  3. You’re In – Once we determine that your organization is a fit, you will receive (1) an invitation to the Center of Excellence (resource center on revenue generation) and (2) an invitation to a webinar to learn more about applying for grants, if you have not attended the webinar in the past.

Who will Center of Excellence resources be available to?

The Center of Excellence is open to 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations and their consultants that work on the following issues: Clean Energy, Climate Change, Corporate Accountability, Criminal Justice Reform, Democracy/Voting, Disability Rights, Economic Justice, Education Justice, Environmental Justice, Gun Control, Health Care, HIV/AIDS, Housing, Human Rights, Immigrant Rights, LBGTQ Rights, Mass Incarceration, Minimum Wage, Neighborhood Issues, Protecting Medicare, Protecting Social Security, Puerto Rico Justice, Racial Justice, Refugee Crisis, Reproductive Rights, Gender Equity, Social Justice, Wilderness Protection, Women’s Rights, Workers Rights, and other progressive issues.

You do not need to be a grantee of the PMF to have access to these resources.

What vendors, Consultants, or technology would you suggest we work with?

The Progressive Multiplier Fund does not suggest any specific vendors or technology.  However, the vendors that organizations have worked with on different projects are available in the write-ups of fundraising tests and projects in the Center of Excellence.

Can we reapply for grants?

Yes, with some caveats.

No one organization can receive more than 10% of the funds available from the Progressive Multiplier Fund’s different pools of money at any one point in time.

If you apply for a test grant, and the project works, we would welcome an application for a Recoverable Grant to expand the project.

Organizations that have had a proposal rejected can reapply with new or modified proposals (based on the feedback from the PMF).

Organizations that have not fully repaid recoverable grants are unlikely to receive additional funds from the PMF.

The PMF would give additional recoverable grants for the same project in future years if the project is succeeding.

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