Stronger Nonprofits Initiative

The Stronger Nonprofits Initiative (SNI) is an intensive, 14-month-long cohort program designed to help nonprofit leaders of color build their capacity through a series of financial management workshops, access to subsidized technical assistance, and more. It is open to nonprofits led by people of color and/or deeply serving low-income communities of color. 

About the Program

Participants will work to improve aspects of their organizational performance alongside a select group of peers whose nonprofits are providing vital programs and services.

SNI is made possible through the generous support of JPMorgan Chase & Co as part of Chase’s longstanding commitment to increasing economic opportunity in Chicago, Detroit, and across the Midwest. IFF is administering the program and partnering with Fiscal Management Associates (FMA), a nationally-known consulting firm that specializes in helping nonprofits build their fiscal management capacity, to deliver workshops and technical assistance.

The program is ideal for organizations poised and ready for change, and willing to devote meaningful senior staff time to the program. Participating  leaders will:

  • Build their core financial management skills through a series of workshops and peer learning opportunities
  • Work on customized leadership development goals through one-on-one coaching
  • Access targeted professional services in real estate planning and financial management to implement improvements
  • Get connected to flexible financing for facility-related projects that meet their organization’s needs
  • Engage in a community of learning and practice, where they will share, collaborate, and learn from other organizations’ best practices


To be eligible for this program your organization must:

  • Be a 501(c)(3) tax exempt public charity in good standing with executive operations based in the cohort city (currently, there are cohorts in Chicago and Detroit)
  • Be led by leaders of color and/or serving low-income communities of color
  • Have a paid, full-time permanent CEO/Executive Director
  • Have at least two paid staff on the leadership team who are people of color
  • Have at least two members of the leadership team ready and willing to actively participate in a program spanning 14 months. The Detroit cohort will begin in October 2019, with additional meetings and events spaced out across the period, including:
    • A series of all-day financial management workshops
    • Individual coaching
    • Peer learning and networking
    • Development of an action plan for implementation
    • Participation in the evaluation of the cohort, including feedback on workshops
    • Individualized real estate consultation services 

There is no minimum or maximum operating budget size, but priority will be given to organizations for which this program reflects a critical investment in capacity building.

Application Process

Applications are currently closed, but may be accepted for future cohorts in Chicago, Detroit, and/or other Midwestern cities. Watch this webpage for updates on how to apply via email. The process typically involves completing an application in Word and emailing it along with the following attachments:

  • Your completed application
  • A current organizational chart
  • A list of board members, including occupations and relevant experience
  • Your organization’s most recently completed audit or financial review
  • Your current year budget, including the most recent actual results (against your budget) and projections through the end of the year, if available

We hope to hear from you about participating in future SNI cohorts! If you have questions or concerns in the meantime, please email IFF at or