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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHEN AND WHERE DOES THE PROGRAM RUN?

WHEN DO THE NEXT PROGRAMS START?


The next program will run from June 27 to August 19, 2022. In 2023, we will run another program from early February to late March.




DO I NEED TO PREPARE FOR THE PROGRAM?


About 6 weeks before the program starts, we will invite you to start reading some theory and discuss what you’ve learned at weekly 1-hour virtual meetups. This will ease you into the material, and it presents a fun way to meet your fellow participants in a relaxed and interesting setting.




WHERE DOES THE PROGRAM TAKE PLACE?


Our upcoming programs will take place entirely or largely online. We intend to host one week in person, which will involve traveling to London (2022) or another location (2023) for a retreat to connect face to face with your instructors and fellow participants. Transportation costs will be covered, and if you cannot travel, that’s ok. You can always join remotely.




WHAT ABOUT VISAS?


People from most countries should be able to come to London or the USA for a short trip on a holiday visa. We’ll help successful candidates in thinking through their visa options.





WHEN AND HOW TO APPLY

Sign up to get notified when the applications open in March 2022!

WHEN WILL I KNOW IF I GOT ACCEPTED TO THE PROGRAM?


If you are moving on to the next application round, you will receive a message from CE staff within 4 weeks of the application deadline.. ​As a small team, we are only able to contact applicants who are moving forward to the second stage of the recruitment process. If we have not contacted you within 4 weeks of the application deadline, unfortunately you have not been accepted to the program.




CAN I REAPPLY TO THE INCUBATION PROGRAM?


If you have applied in the first or second round of this year’s application program (2022), kindly do not reapply. Your application is already being processed, and if we have an available spot for 2022-23, we will contact you. If you have applied in previous years (i.e., 2021 and before), you are welcome to reapply this year.





CAN I ATTEND THE PROGRAM?

WHEN WILL I KNOW IF I GOT ACCEPTED TO THE PROGRAM?


If you are moving on to the next application round, you will receive a message from CE staff within 4 weeks of the application deadline.. ​As a small team, we are only able to contact applicants who are moving forward to the second stage of the recruitment process. If we have not contacted you within 4 weeks of the application deadline, unfortunately you have not been accepted to the program.




CAN I REAPPLY TO THE INCUBATION PROGRAM?


If you have applied in the first or second round of this year’s application program (2022), kindly do not reapply. Your application is already being processed, and if we have an available spot for 2022-23, we will contact you. If you have applied in previous years (i.e., 2021 and before), you are welcome to reapply this year.





WHAT BACKGROUND DO I NEED?

HOW MUCH DOES THE PROGRAM COST?


All costs are covered. This includes travel, accommodation (when in person), tuition, materials, and a modest living stipend (i.e., cash to cover living costs) if you need it. We provide stipends for those who need financial assistance because the program requires a full-time commitment for two months.
If you have higher expenses due to special circumstances, you may qualify for additional financial assistance. Please apply as usual, and if you are accepted into the next round, we will discuss any special arrangements that might be necessary.




I HAVE CHILDREN OR OTHER DEPENDENTS. CAN I ATTEND THE PROGRAM?


Absolutely! If you have dependents you need to care for, you can definitely still attend the program and start an effective charity. We’ve had participants in the past who are new parents or who have had other family commitments. CE will provide financial assistance in the form of stipends for the duration of the program where required. We are all about supporting you to make it work.




I’D LIKE TO ATTEND THE PROGRAM, BUT WON’T BE ABLE TO START A CHARITY FOR A FEW YEARS. CAN I STILL APPLY?


We are significantly more likely to accept people who, if they decide to start a charity, anticipate doing so soon after the program. With this in mind, we recommend you apply in the year you would like to found an organization. In the meantime, sign up to our newsletter to get notified when applications open each year.





HOW TO PREPARE

HOW MUCH TIME WILL I NEED TO PREPARE FOR THE PROGRAM?


We believe that a few hours a week in the month prior to the program should be enough to familiarize yourself with our handbook’s content and prepare for our pre-program test. The weekly 1-hour virtual meetups will also help you to get familiar with the most important concepts and get to know other participants. So, about 6-8 hours a week in the month before the program’s start date should be enough.




IF I AM ACCEPTED INTO THE PROGRAM, DO I HAVE TO PASS THE PREPARATION TEST?


The short answer is yes. We created the test as a part of the Incubation Program preparation to help you assess your knowledge. You will be able to take it multiple times. It’s not about a grade – it’s about you being able to work on your charity more effectively.




HOW CAN I PREPARE FOR THE INTERVIEW?


We highly recommend going through Charity Entrepreneurship's past content, including blog posts and videos, as well as the recommended content on our resources page.





HOW MUCH TIME WILL I NEED TO PREPARE FOR THE PROGRAM?


We believe that a few hours a week in the month prior to the program should be enough to familiarize yourself with our handbook’s content and prepare for our pre-program test. The weekly 1-hour virtual meetups will also help you to get familiar with the most important concepts and get to know other participants. So, about 6-8 hours a week in the month before the program’s start date should be enough.




IF I AM ACCEPTED INTO THE PROGRAM, DO I HAVE TO PASS THE PREPARATION TEST?


The short answer is yes. We created the test as a part of the Incubation Program preparation to help you assess your knowledge. You will be able to take it multiple times. It’s not about a grade – it’s about you being able to work on your charity more effectively.




HOW CAN I PREPARE FOR THE INTERVIEW?


We highly recommend going through Charity Entrepreneurship's past content, including blog posts and videos, as well as the recommended content on our resources page.





CHARITY IDEAS

AREN’T THERE ENOUGH CHARITIES ALREADY?


It may seem that way, but in reality, charities founded on the principles of cost-effectiveness and rigorous evidence are few and far between – and that makes all the difference. Small charities based around these fundamental principles are in the unique position to do a lot of good. In particular, there are many cause areas with the potential for incredibly high-impact interventions. This can be due to overall neglectedness, a lack of awareness and funding, or a lack of the right people willing to take on the job.




WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE A GREAT IDEA FOR A CHARITY?


That’s completely fine. In fact, we encourage you to start one of the new charity ideas that we recommend from our research. Our team has conducted hundreds of hours of research to identify the most promising interventions and cause areas. We believe that the skills required to start and operate an effective charity are very different from the skills required to do excellent research. If you are open to multiple ideas, you will have an even better chance of being accepted into the program.




I HAVE MY OWN IDEA FOR A CHARITY. CAN I GET INTO THE PROGRAM?


Yes, but it is rare. We are happy to take a look at your charity idea. Just as we will accept you on your merits, we will also look at your idea on the merits of its reasoning and evidence. If the idea appears to be as cost-effective, evidence based, and potentially impactful as those on our recommended charities list, then we can proceed. If we feel it’s not as impactful, we may still offer you a place but suggest you work with one of our most promising ideas instead.




DO I NEED TO CHOOSE ONE OF YOUR RECOMMENDED IDEAS BEFORE ATTENDING THE PROGRAM?


In brief, no. In the application form, we ask you which charity ideas from our list you would prefer. However, during the program, you will learn a lot more about the options and where you might be best suited given your background and predispositions. Usually, applicants choose the intervention they think would have the highest impact and where they would have a comparative advantage. Finding a suitable co-founder during the program might also influence your final decision on the idea you pursue. It’s great to have a sense of what you’re interested in, but an open mind never hurts.





THE PROGRAM

HOW DO I KNOW IF I WOULD BE A GOOD FIT FOR THE PROGRAM?


The best way to know for sure if you would be a good fit is to apply. We generally search out people who are open-minded, excited to learn, driven, and passionate. If this sounds like you, check out our article on traits that make a great nonprofit entrepreneur and take our quiz. Our application process is, essentially, an impartial third-party assessment. If founding a charity feels like an exciting opportunity to you, we encourage you to apply! Even if you aren’t a perfect fit for our program, you’ll be one step closer to finding your true career path.




WHAT IS THE PREPARATION STAGE?


Self-study (with our provided CE handbook and videos) and weekly virtual meetups in the leadup to the program will help you hit the ground running. You will be better able to assess what skills to build on as well as complementary skills to look for in a co-founder. The preparation stage will also ensure a level playing field for all participants, some of whom may be less familiar with the concepts and terms you’ll encounter during the program. And, most importantly, you will be able to start working on your funding proposal sooner and therefore have a greater chance of receiving seed funding.




I DON’T HAVE A CO-FOUNDER YET. IS THIS A PROBLEM?


No. Most participants enter the program without a co-founder. The program is designed specifically to help you find a suitable match from the cohort. You will spend much of your time working in different pairs, trying out your fit and rapport. As the program progresses, you will narrow down who you most want to partner with, or you can choose to proceed alone. If you have a co-founder already, you can apply together, but most of our participants have applied without one.




HOW WILL I CHOOSE MY CO-FOUNDER?


During the first 6 weeks of the program, you will work with other participants on partner projects that will be evaluated and scored by CE team members. Those projects will be an opportunity to get to know your potential co-founders better and choose the person you want to work with. At the end of this period you will be submitting your preferences about who you want to work with and on which ideas. You will be able to submit a few options, e.g., I want to work on Shrimp Welfare or Family Planning with person A, B or C. CE’s team will assess these preferences and try to come up with a pairing that, in our view, will be most successful for specific ideas after consulting each participant about their preferences and chosen interventions.




ISN’T IT HARD TO GET FUNDING?


Our program prepares you as best as possible to put together a winning proposal. Usually, at least half of our participants receive seed funding from CE. Here’s how it works: we plan to accept between 10 and 20 applicants to both of our 2022-23 Incubation Program rounds and found 4-5 new charities through each one. During the program, we will help you find a compatible co-founder. The final pairing takes place around week 6, and after that, your team will begin working on funding proposals for review by CE’s Board of Directors and network of funders. The board will consult external experts and decide which funding proposals will be awarded a seed grant (between $20,000 and $100,000). Founding a charity and getting that first big grant isn’t easy. It never will be. But we’ll give you a unique advantage and everything you need to have a great shot.




WHAT IF MY FUNDING PROPOSAL DOESN’T GET ACCEPTED?


If CE does not award you a grant, you have several options, including: 1) If you still want to start your charity, you are welcome to approach other donors inside or outside our network. 2) If you decide not to start a charity this year, CE will provide you with career guidance and connect you to relevant opportunities in its network. 3) Join a team at another CE-incubated charity (when roles are available). In past years, participants who did not start their own charity went on to receive job offers at CE or charities we helped found, were awarded external funding for their proposal, or continued with other high-impact career options.




DO I NEED TO QUIT MY JOB? IS THIS PROGRAM FULL-TIME?


It depends. If your job is incredibly flexible, allows you to take time off, or go on a hiatus, maybe not. However, the Incubation Program requires a full-time commitment in terms of hours you will need to spend on assessments, partner projects, and learning. That’s two months, five days a week, 8 hours a day. CE provides modest stipends for those in need of financial support (i.e., to cover rent) in this period. In the past, very few participants were able to combine ongoing work projects with the Incubation Program, but it’s not impossible. Kindly be transparent about any other engagements so that we can find a tailored solution. In general, we highly recommend not underestimating the time you will need to work on a new charity idea.




ISN’T THERE SOMEONE ELSE WHO COULD DO A BETTER JOB THAN ME?


If you make it through our application process, probably not. Many people who go on to be great founders doubted themselves in the beginning. 50% of them were unsure whether they should even apply. No one comes onto the program knowing how to start a charity – that’s what it’s for. And, the fact is, one of the most difficult parts of founding new charities is finding the right people to start them. Many people are afraid of the uncertainty, or let a lack of confidence keep them from even applying.
We’ve done this a lot, and have gotten pretty good at vetting. We look at potential, not track record, and train people with all kinds of experience or lack thereof. And if you make it through our application process, you’ve got what it takes.




WHAT IF I FAIL?


There is no “fail.” The goal of our Incubation Program is to start new effective charities with driven, dedicated people. If you get onto the program, then you are one of them. But that doesn’t mean that charity entrepreneurship is right for you. Our goal is also to help you have an impact in the way that suits you best. Maybe you don’t like entrepreneurship, but you’d be a great operations manager for another charity, and just need your foot in the door or that first introduction. Or, you want out of the nonprofit world entirely, and would rather pursue a high-paid career and earn to give. If you learned something about what you want to do, and how you can do it, you didn’t fail. And, at the end of the day, charities can shut down for many more reasons than personal founder failure. It’s a uniquely difficult and uniquely rewarding career path. We know that, and our goal is to support you in doing the best that you can.