J Leaders Innovation Fund
Mini Grant Program
J Leaders Innovation Fund transforms the J Leaders vision and mission into action by empowering J Leaders Academy alumni through the Mini Grant Program to grow their leadership acumen for initiatives that make a difference in the Jewish community and the world.
Who is eligible to apply for a J Leaders Innovation Fund Mini Grant?
All J Leaders Academy alumni are eligible to apply for a Mini Grant. Non-alumni are encouraged to collaborate with J Leaders alumni on projects, but are not eligible to apply for a Mini Grant. (We’d encourage non-alumni to consider applying to be an Academy fellow in a future cohort.) The J Leaders Innovation Fund allocations committee — under the auspices of the J Leaders Board of Directors — has full discretion in approving grants. Receipt of grant funding is subject to confirmation of eligibility, eligibility criteria, and submission of expense receipts.
How much money can I apply for under the J Leaders Innovation Fund in a given year?
Individual J Leaders Academy Alumni can receive up to a maximum of $250 per program year. As well, any given project or initiative is each eligible for up to a maximum of $250 -whether over one or multiple years. J Leaders’ program year goes from July 1 to June 30.
Can I apply for a Mini Grant in this program year – before June 30, 2023?
Yes, we are pleased to be able to start funding Mini Grants in our current program year. We encourage you to apply.
Why is J Leaders offering Innovation Fund Micro Grants?
To continue the great work of your small projects
To encourage Academy alumni to continue their leadership development after the academy
To partner with J Leaders from across cohorts and expand alumni’s personal networks
To provide an extra bump to make a larger impact more achievable or possible, either in your local Jewish community, the world at large, or something in between
To pull together a team and do something amazing!
- The project supports J Leaders’ vision and mission to ensure a vibrant Jewish community and make the world a better place.
- The applicants has defined success using clearly measurable metrics .
- J leaders alumni are encouraged to collaborate with other alumni in applying for and implementing a Mini Grant. While collaboration with other alumni is not a requirement, it is highly encouraged.
- J Leaders encourages alumni to apply for additional grants from funding sources for projects. Additional funders is considered a positive factor in being funded.
- You are welcome to apply for grant opportunities during the current program year that you’re planning to execute in the following program year.
Grant Selection Criteria:
- What Jewish leadership values are most closely aligned with your project? (There is no one definitive source of “Jewish values”. Some possible sources are: Attitudes, Beliefs and Values Shaping Jewish Practice, Core Values for Strong 21st-Century Jewish Leadership, and Seven Jewish Values.
- How do you plan to grow and strengthen the trust between your project collaborators?
- Are you involving other alumni? (Not a requirement, but considered a positive)
- What’s your shared vision for the project?
- Why do you want to do this project?
- How is your shared vision in alignment with J Leaders’ vision and mission?
- Are you partnering with any other Jewish or other organizations on your project? Please describe.
- What’s the impact you want to achieve from the project?
- How is this impact in alignment with J Leaders’ vision and mission?
- How will you measure your impact?
Grant Process and Requirements:
- Apply and get approved in advance of starting the project. You must apply at least 10 business days before your project’s start date.
- Grant award payments will be made after the event is completed and the required documentation is sent in and approved by the J Leaders allocations committee.
- Include recognition of J Leaders’ support in their marketing
- Complete the project impact survey within 1 month of the completion of the project, providing:
- 2-3 photos and an optional video
- An assessment that compares expected to actual impact
- The right for J Leaders to recognize the grant recipients and their projects publicly
- Receipts for reimbursement
How can Grant Funds be Used?
- Seed funds to start a new initiative, a new collaboration, or a new community partnership consistent with J Leaders’ vision and mission.
- Attend or facilitate a workshop that grows your leadership skills and that positively reflects on J Leaders and/or the J Leaders alumni community.
- Plan or host a Jewish mission-driven and leadership-related event that’s hosted by one or more J Leaders alumni.
- Increase organizational capacity building related to a project consistent with J Leaders vision and mission e.g., gain professional assistance or services, engage in a process of strategic planning, and conduct market research.
What will J Leaders Impact Grants NOT cover?
- Ongoing exclusively networking events that are not aligned to innovation or leadership (e.g. happy hours, social events, going to the movies, ice skating, hikes, etc.)
- Travel to self-organized meetings, even if related to your project/venture
- General tuition costs (for example, to subsidize an MBA or PhD program)
- Transportation and/or accommodations
- Purchase of hardware, software or other equipment
- Ongoing business-related expenses (e.g., renting office space, long-term equipment rental, ongoing subscription fees for software, web hosting, association/membership fees, etc.)
- Another individual’s (e.g., a colleague’s) expenses
- Services that you are rendering to yourself, your organization or others (for example, grants cannot be paid for your time spent preparing for a presentation)
- Services provided by a spouse or close family member
- Legal work (for example, legal advice, litigation, etc.)
- No aspect of the opportunity may involve an attempt to influence legislation, the outcome of any specific public election, or support of any voter registration drive.
- Activities that could be antisemitic or anti-Israel.
- Fundraising events (i.e., no donations may be solicited at the event)
- Reimbursing for alcohol purchases
- Any event with full-contact sports
Modifications to the J Leaders Innovation Fund
We expect that the fund process, criteria, and amount of the Mini grants will be modified based on feedback from alumni and increased available funding over time.
The J Leaders Innovation Fund Mini Grant Program has been possible through the financial support of Tom & Mitzi Hoffman (in memory of Harold Greenfield), Marilyn Goldsmith, Ruth Fletcher, and other J leaders contributors. Additional contributions to the Innovation Fund will enable J Leaders to provide more and larger grants in the future.
Questions about the Innovation Fund?
Please reach out to Peter Hoffman at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or Peter Weltman at email@example.com.