Nonprofit Accelerator


SUPPORTING FOUNDERS IN THE GROWTH STAGE OF THEIR VENTURES

A mentorship-driven program, the Praxis Nonprofit Accelerator equips top ventures as they seek the redemptive edge in their industries. We accept just 12 startups, with up to two leaders per organization. 

We believe that Christian entrepreneurs who are spiritually serious, culturally astute, and in community have a unique ability to build a better society and demonstrate the beauty and goodness of the gospel across all of life. Christian founders and philanthropists typically have a hunch that they are called to a more comprehensively faithful approach to their work of venture and impact creation. However, the aims and practices of such an approach are unclear and seem more like fleeting feelings or reactions than a determined pursuit of a narrow way. The Praxis community seeks to help entrepreneurs operate more fully through a redemptive lens.

The program is built upon a deep examination of redemptive strategy (the venture’s expression and impact in the world); redemptive operations (its functions, processes, culture, and partnerships); and redemptive leadership (the founders’ character, motives, imagination, and practices).

 

Scale Fellowship

As a part of the Nonprofit Accelerator, we invite a small number of founders who are leading organizations at scale ($5M+ in annual donations) to go through the program as Scale Fellows, in order to gain an understanding of redemptive entrepreneurship through the lens of their growing venture. With an emphasis on implementing at scale, Fellows will learn from the Praxis team and mentors (many of whom are experienced entrepreneurs that have taken their own ventures to scale) on how to build and lead a redemptive venture into the next phase of its lifecycle.

 

During and beyond their participation in our programs, Praxis supports the growth, health, and impact of new ventures by equipping entrepreneurs in five critical areas:

  • Funder Network: Enabled by program mentoring, Showcase events, the Redemptive Imagination Summit, informal gatherings, and other introductions, $55M in investment and philanthropic capital has been placed within our community
  • Mentor Network: We surround entrepreneurs in all our programs with seasoned mentors; these encounters often blossom into long-term, mutually valuable relationships
  • Story Support: Our team works with Fellows, Venture Lab Entrepreneurs-In-Residence, and others in our community to create pitches, write essays, and capture conversations about redemptive work
  • Talent Network: Academy graduates, Praxis Course participants, Rule of Life affirmers, and others can create profiles that put them on the radar of portfolio ventures looking to hire great people with aligned values
  • Spiritual Formation: We connect our community to providers of trusted resources (for marriage health, counseling, Rule of Life, etc.), spiritual direction, retreats, and more

 

"Praxis has become the single most important community in my world as an entrepreneur and organizational leader. The team has the acumen and programming I expect from the most prestigious business accelerators, but this is only half of their equation. The Praxis experience calls Fellows to something higher—to see entrepreneurship as a starting point and not a finish line, and to think about how they can be as exceptional in maximizing the welfare of their people as they are in maximizing the returns on their capital."
Mallory Dwinal, Founder, Oxford Day Academy

The type of community that surrounds founders and ventures is the primary factor in shaping their health, vision, impact, culture, and success.


Community

Anchored by four gatherings over twelve months, during the program, Fellows personally interact with 35+ mentors through round table discussions and 15+ one-on-one dialogues. Mentors are seasoned entrepreneurs and executives in various fields. Fellows benefit enormously from the experiences of their peers. They encourage and challenge one another, engage in problem-solving sessions on key issues, and introduce one another to their own networks.

Throughout the program and beyond, our extended team serves the Fellows and growing community in a range of ways, including counsel on organizational development, introductions to potential board members, financial partners, and key hires, and prayer during difficult decisions.

 


Program Topics

Each Accelerator program is customized to the needs of the Fellows and the areas of expertise of the mentors. We leverage over 150 topics to create talks, workshops, and breakouts during our retreats. Every component of the program — whether it’s about leadership, strategy, or execution — is designed to explore the redemptive edge of the topic. Sample topics include:

The Sabbath Leader

Patterns of restoration & liberation

Innovation, Imagination, & Tradition

Leaning on the past to create the future

Building Your Team

Lessons in hiring & firing

Trends in Philanthropy

How the sector is thinking & changing

Difficult Conversations

Building a culture of feedback & decision-making

Mission Drift

Staying faithful to your organization’s roots

Replication and Transfer

Repeating your model in new environments

Nonprofit Financials

Stewardship, risk, & knowing your numbers

Founders & Board Chairs

A relationship that builds or breaks the organization

Being the CEO

The psychology of leadership

The Growing Organization

Operations through the nonprofit life cycle

 


WHAT FELLOWS GAIN

  • Personal access to successful social entrepreneurs, foundation leaders, and executives
  • Advanced level mentoring on the most critical organizational development topics (including but not limited to board development, program impact, fundraising plans/approaches, staffing, organizational pitches/storytelling, marketing, and personal/spiritual sustainability)
  • A lifetime network of incredible peers
  • Our Nonprofit core team to help with a strategic fundraising model, venture storytelling, and foundation readiness
  • An opportunity to present at the Showcase to over 150+ philanthropists, convened within The Gathering's annual conference for Christian givers
  • An opportunity to interact with 200+ values-aligned philanthropists at the Summit and the wider community of practice
  • The Praxis team: an ongoing group of advocates and connectors ready to help you thrive beyond the program
     

WE SELECT VENTURES THAT ARE

  • Led by serious Christians aiming to embody the gospel through a redemptive venture
  • Innovating their industry or social sector
  • Demonstrating high-growth momentum or impact
  • Aiming at a scalable vision and model
  • Still in early-stage (usually less than five years old)
  •  

As we seek to build a diverse & inclusive community of entrepreneurs, we encourage applications from

  • Women
  • Racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S., including Black, Latino, and Native/Indigenous people
  • Currently underrepresented regions globally, including sub-Saharan Africa, Latin & Central America and east Asia

 


 Gatherings

The Fellow experience is designed toward venture and founder-specific needs and opportunities, while also providing as many meaningful interactions with peers, mentors, and core team members within our limited time together. The in-person core Accelerator gatherings in New York and Los Angeles are fast-paced and fully-scheduled. Fellows leave the in-person gatherings with fresh ideas, practical templates and tools, new relationships, and actionable feedback.

 

The Praxis Redemptive Imagination Summit

Location: Tarrytown, NY

The Praxis Redemptive Imagination Summit brings together founders, mentors, philanthropists, and investors for vibrant conversation at the intersection of theology, culture, and entrepreneurship. At this first Summit, Nonprofit Fellows will engage with the framework and content of redemptive entrepreneurship, meet their cohort, and interact with the wider Praxis accelerator alumni community.

 

 

Gathering One

New York, NY

Just north of Manhattan during the summer of the beautiful Hudson Valley, our kickoff event gathers fellows, mentors, and Praxis core team together at a private lodge to examine organizational growth and personal leadership and sustainability. Fellows will share with and get to know their class and core team members, present their venture, and participate in informal meals, hikes, and shared spiritual practices together.

 

 

Gathering Two

Los Angeles, CA

Held at a private venue near the beaches of Los Angeles, Fellows and a new group of mentors will again convene to share progress and gain insights into the process of building high-impact organizations. Fellows reconvene to build on key learnings from the field and take the conversation to the next level of depth, alongside participating in informal meals, beach fun, and shared spiritual practices together.

 

 

Philanthropist Showcase

Nashville, TN

The program continues with an event held within The Gathering's annual conference for active Christian philanthropists. Fellows will share their vision for shaping culture through their venture with over 150 donors, fostering new relationships that oftentimes bear fruit in the months and years that follow.

 

 

The Praxis Redemptive Imagination Summit

Napa, CA

Fellows will participate in the annual Summit as a part of the wider community of practice and in welcoming the incoming cohort of Nonprofit Fellows. Following this event, we encourage fellows to consider the Summit as the annual gathering place for practitioners of redemptive entrepreneurship that they return to year over year.