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Nonprofit Accelerator Program FAQ


The DANA Nonprofit Accelerator Program is a three-year cohort program to help existing small nonprofits serving historically excluded communities to sustain and expand their impact by strengthening their internal capacity. The program provides technical assistance, coaching, consulting, and networking opportunities as needed and continuously for three years.


Our hope is that participating nonprofits experience strengthened board and executive leadership, enhanced systems and processes, and increased capability for long-term sustainability and expanded community impact.

Nonprofits that meet the following criteria are eligible to apply:

  • Serve populations in Delaware that experience discrimination or exclusion.
  • It has been operating for at least three years.
  • Have a paid full-time Executive Director.
  • Have an operating budget below $3 million.
  • Have a board committed to the program.
  • Can pay 10% of the program’s cost.


By participating in the Accelerator Program, nonprofits can expect the following benefits:

  • Development of a sustainable culture of impact.
  • Opportunities to become larger employers with diverse financial streams.
  • May be ready to partner with government and philanthropy to expand community impact.
  • Demonstrable improvement in organizational capacity.
  • May choose to pursue a basic level of Standards for Excellence ®Accreditation.

We recognize that resources are tight, that is why this is a three-year program, so learning and improvements happen on the nonprofit’s schedule, and we sought to have most of the cost underwritten before launching the program.


The fee for participation will range based upon which pathway the nonprofit pursues.  Participating nonprofits will pay 10% of the fee. It is an annual cost, and a payment schedule can be created to help with cash flow.  The last year of the program will be lower, as it assumes fewer hours of time as the organization transitions out of the program.  Nonprofits that complete their annual goals, will receive a portion of their fee returned at the end of each year.


Executive Directors can anticipate 8 to 10 hours a month.  However, this may be higher in months where they are working on a specific initiative that has a time schedule or may be less on months where there are not cohort programs scheduled.

Similar programs across the country have tended to run 12 to 18 months, often providing support for only one area (such as financial health).   DANA’s Accelerator is multi-faceted, not just focused on one area of the organization’s need.   Given small nonprofits are already time constrained, DANA’s program is designed to walk alongside your organization’s leadership – providing the support as they need it, when they need it, rather than constraining the support into a limited schedule.

Yes, nonprofits that are not selected for the program are welcome to reapply during future application cycles if they still meet the eligibility criteria.

Save the Dates:


Application and Assessment Phase: 


August 15, 2023 – October 1, 2023




Interviews will be scheduled applicants on a rolling basis: August 28, 2023-October 13, 2023


Panel Ranking and Final Selection: 


Week of October 23rd 


Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by October 27, 2023 


Commitment & Development Plan: 


November 1, 2023 – December 31, 2023 


Orientation Kickoff: 


Scheduled for  January 2024

Participating nonprofits should be prepared to dedicate on average 8-10 hours per month to the program. This includes attending workshops, coaching sessions, and implementing the strategies discussed.


The program is designed to balance required learning opportunities to keep to a three-year timeframe and to meet the immediate needs of each participating nonprofit.  For example, those nonprofits that seek to develop a strategic plan may need to commit more time during a period than others.  Nonprofits that are seeking to build up their internal accounting processes may need to commit a different amount of time. Prior to signing an MOU to participate in the program, the nonprofit will be provided estimates of their time commitment for each part of the program.

The DANA Nonprofit Accelerator Program is available to any nonprofit serving DelawareIt is our desire to see participating nonprofits from across the state and representing diverse missions. However, please note that the program may have limited availability, and acceptance is based on a competitive selection process.  

Yes, nonprofits that are not selected for the program are welcome to reapply during future application cycles if they still meet the eligibility criteria.

Contact Person

Dan Davis

Program Director

[email protected]

Funded in part through a grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration.