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FAQs

 

Joshua Venture Group appreciates your interest in our organization and our program.  Have a question about the Dual Investment Program or application process?  Consult the most common questions below for an immediate answer.  If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please contact us here.

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ELIGIBILITY

Q: I’m working on an early-stage project that impacts the North American Jewish community, but it does not fall within the areas of focus listed on your Apply page. Am I eligible to apply for the 2014-2016 Dual Investment Program?

A: At this time we are not offering fellowship opportunities on a national basis without an area of focus as we have in the past. This is due to our strategic decision to target specific areas of the Jewish community that could benefit from innovative initiatives, in partnership with other philanthropic entities.

Q: My project is based outside North America. May I apply for the Dual Investment Program?

A: No. At this time, Joshua Venture Group will only consider applicants who live in the United States or Canada and base their projects in one of these two countries. It is possible for significant activities of a United States- or Canada-based organization to take place elsewhere in the world.

Q: I am not a U.S. or Canadian citizen.  May I apply for the Dual Investment Program?

A: Yes. To be eligible, you must have U.S. or Canadian work authorization (i.e., citizenship, permanent residence status, or a work visa).

Q: I’m not sure if my proposal meets your criteria. May I schedule a personal interview to review my proposal before I decide whether I should complete an application?

A: Joshua Venture Group has a small staff.  Since we cannot offer personal interviews to all applicants, in fairness we cannot grant personal interviews to any applicants, either over the phone or in person.

Our leadership and venture criteria are generally straightforward. We suggest that you do some research before applying to determine if someone else is implementing your idea, either in your community or in a different community. If a similar model currently exists but your plan is to execute this model in a different way in order to make it more effective than existing programs, you may be eligible. If your idea is truly novel and untested with tremendous potential for creating lasting social change, we encourage you to apply.

Q: Your mission states that you support “young” entrepreneurs. Does this mean that you have an age restriction for your program?

A: No, there is no age restriction. We invite entrepreneurs of all ages to apply for the program, provided that they meet our leadership and venture criteria.

Q: I have an idea for or am currently working on a new educational project, but I work in a school. Am I eligible for the Program?

A: Depends! If you are the driver of the project, then yes – your venture can absolutely be embedded within a larger institution, such as a school. You would apply as the Fellow and participate in the Program. Development departments seeking to launch a new program, however, are not eligible.

Q: My project is structured as a for-profit organization. May I apply for the Dual Investment Program?

A: Yes, so long as you meet our leadership and venture criteria.

Q: Do I need to have 501(c)(3) status or equivalent before I can apply for the Dual Investment Program?

A: No, you do not need to establish 501(c)(3) status or equivalent before you apply.

Q: My venture is still in an idea phase. I don’t have a board, a budget, or a program in place yet. Is it too early for me to apply? If I can still apply, will it count against me to only have an idea and not a fully developed program?

A: No, on both accounts. We invest in early-stage ventures — from conceptual phase to growth phase, and everything in between. We define “early-stage” by a variety of characteristics. Eligible ventures must self-identify with at least four of these characteristics to apply to the Dual Investment Program. All ventures are considered equally, regardless of their position on the early-stage spectrum.

Q: I’m currently enrolled in a college or university. Am I still eligible to apply?

A: Fellows are required to commit full-time (35 hours per week) to their ventures and to the Program throughout the two years. Part-time undergraduate or graduate coursework is acceptable, as long as at least 35 hours per week can be dedicated to developing your venture. Applicants can be enrolled full-time during the application process, but cannot be pursuing a degree full-time during the actual program (September 2014 – August 2016).

Q: Your criteria state that Fellows must be working at least 35 hours per week on their ventures during the two years of the program. Is the time requirement negotiable?

A: No, the time requirement is not negotiable. We are making a substantial investment in our Fellows and in their ventures, and we expect a high level of commitment to the program (and to the venture!) in return. We know what it takes to get a project off the ground, and believe that entrepreneurs need to dedicate the time and energy to maximally benefit from the program over the two years. That being said, apart from the 35 hour per week minimum, we welcome our Fellows to dedicate their time to any number of professional and/or personal pursuits!

Q: What if there is more than one person heading up the project?

A: Only one individual per organization may be selected for the Dual Investment Program. Therefore, if you are working in a partnership or a team, one person may apply for the Program. Fellows are expected to share their knowledge and resources with their colleagues to benefit their project.

Q: I have more than one idea for an innovative new program. May I submit both ideas?

A: No. Joshua Venture Group only allows one submission per applicant per application cycle. If you submit both ideas, or submit the same idea twice, you will automatically be removed from further consideration for the Program.

Q: Are applicants who are participating in other fellowships, incubators, or social entrepreneurial programs eligible?

A: Yes. Participation in other programs does not preclude you from selection for the Dual Investment Program, nor does it give you an advantage over other applicants. As long as applicants meet our leadership, and venture criteria, they are eligible. Joshua Venture Group seeks to leverage our resources to ensure the greatest impact on the community. Therefore, we will take into account the stage and current funding of all applicants and evaluate where our funding and development support will be best leveraged.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Q: How do I apply for the 2014-2016 Dual Investment Program?

A: The general application process is now closed. We encourage you to join our email list to stay up-to-date on future opportunities provided by JVG. For Detroit-based entrepreneurs, we are now accepting applications through Monday, July 21st. Apply Now!

Q: Am I applying for support for me or for my project?

A: Both. For Joshua Venture Group, this is a dual investment – in you and in your venture.  You may propose to use the funds in the way that will best support your project, including salary, operating expenses, or program costs. However, Joshua Venture Group is interested in supporting and training you, as a Jewish social entrepreneur, not just your project. Therefore, Fellows will be selected on the basis of their personal characteristics and leadership potential, in addition to their project ideas.

Q: The Venture Concept Paper asks what my “theory of change” is.  How does Joshua Venture Group define “theory of change”?

A: To assist you in thinking about how to explain or describe your theory of change, we have compiled a list of resources here.  It is not mandatory that you follow any of these resources precisely, nor do we endorse them as the right or only way to define “theory of change”; they are simply suggestions to help guide your thinking as you formulate your vision for your venture.

Q: Who will be evaluating applications for the Program?

A: Joshua Venture Group’s staff evaluates all concept papers submitted in Stage 1. We involve a diverse group of outside readers reflecting a cross-section of issue areas that affect Jewish communities to review proposals submitted in Stage 2. The final stage consists of a series of in-person interviews with our selection committee, which is comprised of representatives from Joshua Venture Group’s board, staff, and alumni as well as the broader community.

Q: How will Fellows be selected?

A: Applications for the Dual Investment Program will be evaluated on the strength of the application to meet our leadership and venture criteria. Joshua Venture Group seeks to fund creative solutions to demonstrated needs that have the potential to greatly affect the Jewish people, and that are led by dynamic, visionary leaders.  We intend to bring on a cohort of Fellows who are representative of our community, as well as the change we envision in the Jewish world. Our program is unique in the peer group that we create among the Fellows. The Fellows will rely on each other in the years to come to support and learn from each other. Therefore, the makeup of this cohort will be a factor in our decision-making.

Q: How will I know that my online application has been received?

A: Upon submitting your application, you will receive an email confirmation that your application has been submitted.

Q: I have limited access to the Internet. Can you mail me an application or can I download a copy off your website? Instead of using your format, may I mail you my business plan?

A: No, you must submit your application using our online tools. If you have limited access to the Internet, we suggest printing out the application questions ahead of time. You can work on composing your answers offline. This will save you considerable time when you go online to enter your responses. We will not accept any other documents (e.g., letters of inquiry, business plans) in lieu of the online application.

Q: I am experiencing technical difficulties with the online application. Who do I contact about this?

A: If you have forgotten your password, you can reset it here. For all other technical questions, please email support[a]fluidreview.com, and a member of the support team will address your issue directly within 24 hours.

DUAL INVESTMENT PROGRAM

Q: What is the total amount awarded to Fellows as part of the Dual Investment Program?

A: Monetary awards are given to Fellows in the amount of $40,000 annually for two years, for a total of $80,000. In addition, there are stipends available for $7,000/year to allocate toward health insurance, as well as professional and organizational development.

Q: What is the exact timeframe of the 2014-2016 Dual Investment Program?

A: The 2014-2016 Dual Investment Program will begin in September 2014 and conclude in August 2016. Fellows are required to commit full-time to their ventures and to the program during this two-year period. If acceptance into the program will require leaving another job, Fellows will be given a grace period to transition to full-time work on their venture.

Q: Your grant amount of $40,000 per year is less than I am making in my current job. How am I supposed to support myself? Do you offer grants of different sizes based on the applicant’s experience or financial need?

A: Joshua Venture Group does not vary the amount of the grant based on experience or financial need and expects that in the first two years of Program, our Fellows will need to raise additional funds.