Open Road Alliance

Location: 111 18th Street Se, Washington, 20003 DC

EIN: NA00001

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Important Information

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Top descriptors for this funder

34Responsive27Risk taker25"Gets" nonprofits and issues24Openminded24Positive leader in the field21Friendly21Insightful12Builds relationships8Gives more than money6Culturally sensitive1Reasonable character restrictions1Gives general operating grants

Advice from a Friend

Open Road Alliance

Jan 22, 2019

Grant Applicant - applied in 2018

Open Road Alliance strives to be grantee-centric, and they absolutely live up to that goal. It was really quite remarkable and illustrates just how far most other grantmakers have to go to similarly support their non-profit partners. Our Investment Officer spent an hour with us on the phone, helping to refine our case. After we submitted our LOI (no full proposal required) we received additional feedback - and had the opportunity to make edits! The Investment Committee probed thoughtfully and gave the impression that they understand the non-profit perspective and experience. Finally, we received a response within a couple of weeks of the meeting. Even had we not received funding, I was still very impressed with the experience.

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Risk taker, Friendly, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Responsive

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Jan 15, 2019

Grant Applicant - applied in 2018

It is worthwhile to speak with an existing grantee to understand the specificities of ORA's "implementation gap" definition. ORA does not fund operations, which can be a challenge for NGOs as many implementation gaps exist around operational challenges.

Pros

Positive leader in the field, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Openminded, Responsive

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Jan 07, 2019

Grant Applicant - applied in 2018

Do your research first. They have very specific ways they get involved and these standards are not flexible.

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Risk taker, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Openminded, Responsive

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Dec 14, 2018

Grant Applicant - applied in 2018

They will dig into the minute details of your application to ensure that you did indeed try every option before coming to them for emergency funding, so be prepared to give when, how, what dates, how many times you tried to "save" funding for a project before asking them, for example.

Pros

Risk taker, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Openminded, Responsive

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Dec 14, 2018

Reviewer 2371 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2018

ORA team is Very approachable, responsive and have the most effective and quick decision making process for Social enterprises that meet a roadblock mid implementation and needs quick funding to overcome the roadblock to be back on track.

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Risk taker, Friendly, Builds relationships, Openminded, Responsive

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Nov 30, 2018

Reviewer 8258 - Professional in the field

Open Road has been an amazing resource for many nonprofits in my network. They fill a need many foundations are unwilling to address. Generally you can only get funding once from them as the requirements are very specific and limited to removing unforeseen roadblocks.

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Risk taker, Insightful, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Openminded

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Nov 26, 2018

Grant Applicant - applied in 2018

They have four distinct criteria that you must align with to be considered. It's helpful to review these (on their website) as you think about applying to make sure your "roadblock / opportunity" aligns with their criteria. Once you do connect, they are extremely helpful in talking trough your challenge and how it aligns (or doesn't).

They did reach out to one of our partners for an interview to help better understand our specific challenge. We felt this was really helpful for Open Road to more deeply understand our roadblock and future project potential!

Pros

Builds relationships, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Openminded, Responsive

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Nov 16, 2018

Grant Applicant - applied in 2018

It's good to just be honest and lay out the problem you are facing in the most simple and logical way possible. The ORA team is in a better position to help in this case.

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Risk taker, Insightful, Builds relationships, "Gets" nonprofits and issues

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Nov 02, 2018

Reviewer 5393 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2018

ORA is extremely candid and up-front about what is and isn't a fit and there is tremendous organizational alignment around the fit. This is unusual and very helpful since its unlikely program officers will send you on a wild goose chase -- thanks goodness! So, have the conversation. It's usually very predictive of whether it's worth moving forward. While ORA has quite strict criteria, they are open-minded. Don't shy away from making the case. They'll tell you if it's not a good fit :).

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Gives more than money, Risk taker, Culturally sensitive, Insightful, Friendly, Builds relationships, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Openminded, Responsive

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Oct 30, 2018

Reviewer 6557 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2018

Open Road fills a specific and needed niche - bridge funding and they excel at it. A call with them to describe your situation is needed up front and the personnel are extremely helpful and easy to work with.

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Risk taker, Insightful, Friendly, Builds relationships, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Openminded, Responsive

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Open Road Alliance