Wells Fargo Foundation: Open for Business Fund – Technical Assistance Program

Through the Open for Business (OFB) Fund, Wells Fargo will donate gross processing fees generated from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to support nonprofits with strategies focused on supporting small businesses, especially those led and owned by Black, African American, Latino, Asian American, American Indian, and Alaska Native people, acknowledging that these businesses have been most adversely impacted by structural inequities and the current COVID-19 crisis. Applications from nonprofits serving all segments of diversity, including women-owned, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ, veterans, and small business owners of other diverse backgrounds, will also be considered.

The Technical Assistance Program of the Open for Business Fund (OFB) Fund will awards grants to nonprofits that provide small business technical assistance programs and services. Technical assistance is defined as programs and services that ensure small business viability through growth, expansion, innovation, increased productivity, and management improvement, especially as it relates to making informed business decisions to navigate the economic effects of COVID-19. There is a goal to scale impact and reach of the awarded programs. Nonprofits should be able to deploy an award quickly, the majority within the first 12 months, however Wells Fargo expects to monitor outcomes and impact for three years.

Possible uses of grant funds by eligible nonprofit organizations include:

  • Customized coaching and counseling such as: business planning, implementing state and/or local public health requirements, crisis management, contingency planning, financial planning or management, business model adjustment, marketing/advertising, succession planning, exit strategy planning, and navigating local, state, and/or federal resources, forms, and applications, etc.
  • Program support to make referrals to services if not available in-house: legal assistance, leasing/licensing/permitting assistance, construction/renovation needs, inventory/equipment/supplies, technology needs, accessing cash grants, capital or other small business funding programs, etc.
  • Modernizing technology to optimize virtual and accessible support to small businesses
  • General operating support, inclusive of costs related to administering subgrants, will be capped at 20% of total grant request.
    Marketing, communications, and business outreach strategies to reach diverse small businesses, especially those led and owned by Black, African American, Latino, Asian American, American Indian, and Alaska Native people
  • Developing or expanding networks with other technical assistance providers to share best practices and collaborate to scale effective services and programs for small businesses

Amount: $50,000,000 is available to award grants that generally range from $250,000-$1,500,000.

Note: To determine the grant request amount use the following guidance:

  • The minimum operating budget of the applicant must be $500,000 (for FY2019).
  • Larger grant sizes will generally be awarded to larger or national nonprofits with compelling sub-granting strategies to support smaller nonprofits or local affiliates that would benefit from smaller grant amounts.
  • Small and mid-sized nonprofits that are not part of a national or regional network may form their own collaborative with one of the nonprofits serving as the main applicant. The combined operating budgets of the organizations in the collaborative will be used as the operating budget for the request.

Eligibility: Organizations must:

  • Have a tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3) public charity as defined under the Internal Revenue Code
  • Be located in and serving the U.S., including the territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Nonprofits that applied to the Community Development Financial Institutions Program of the OFB Fund may apply to the Technical Assistance Program regardless of whether the nonprofit received a grant

Deadline: October 23, 2020

Resource Information
Funder Wells Fargo Foundation
Eligibility Nonprofit Organization
Resource URL: https://www.wellsfargo.com/about/corporate-responsibility/community-giving
Sector COVID-19 Emergency Response, Economic Development/Job Training
Grant Amount $250,000-$1,500,000
Deadline Closed