Partner Expansion Process

Slingshot Memphis will be positioned to partner with additional nonprofit organizations in 2020. To facilitate this expansion, our Board of Directors led by our Partner Expansion Committee, has created the following process.

Because we too seek out partnerships (financial and otherwise), our team understands the challenges involved when deciding which opportunities merit our limited time and energy. Thus, before moving forward, we strongly encourage all organizations to become familiar with the information on this website. Doing so will help to ensure that our objectives are complementary.

A few of the requirements for partnership are as follows:

  • An organization must have 501(c)(3) registered non-profit status or have fiscal sponsorship.

  • An organization must have the evidence or potential to facilitate high-impact, data-driven solutions that improve the quality of life for our under-resourced neighbors by increasing income or improving health.

  • The organization's work must be primarily focused in Memphis or Shelby County.

If your organization meets the above requirements, we invite you to explore partnership opportunities. The timeline and directions for doing so are as follows. Please note significant dates and deadlines.

 

Partner Expansion Process - Outline and Dates

Phase I: Matching
This phase begins on Tuesday, September 3, 2019, and is when we will begin exploring new partnerships.

There are two ways to explore partnership opportunities.

  1. If your organization has a published profile on WHEREtoGIVEmidsouth, please send a link to your profile to disrupt@slingshotmemphis.org. (For more information and assistance on how to complete your profile, please contact the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, at (901) 728-4600.) You will also need to complete the first section of the Phase I survey. Click here to complete the Phase I survey.

  2. If your organization does not have a published profile on WHEREtoGIVEmidsouth, you will need to complete the entire Phase I survey. Links to the survey will be shared with interested applicants at the beginning of Phase I. Click here to complete the Phase I survey. To request a link to the actual survey in order to apply for partnership, please contact disrupt@slingshotmemphis.org.

All Phase I profiles or surveys must be received by Friday, October 4, 2019. Slingshot team members will review all materials on a rolling basis during Phase I.

A Slingshot team member will acknowledge your interest within two business days. If you do not receive acknowledgment within two business days, please contact us to confirm that we have received your materials. Organizations who do not advance to Phase II will be contacted by Slingshot staff.

Phase II: Meet and Greet
On Monday, October 14, 2019, Slingshot's Board of Directors, led by our Partner Expansion Committee, will invite select organizations from Phase I to continue exploring partnership opportunities in Phase II of the partner expansion process.

This phase begins with each candidate completing a survey about its programs, interventions, participants, outcomes, and so on. Links to the survey will be shared on Monday, October 14, 2019. The survey must be completed by Monday, October 28, 2019. Click here to view the Phase II survey questions. Please note that the survey questions are subject to change.

Based on the surveys completed at the beginning of Phase II, Slingshot team members will schedule site visits with select organizations. The goal of these meetings is for Slingshot to share more information about its impact assessment process, and for each party to determine if there is an intersection of value. Slingshot will bring at least one team member and board director to each meeting.

Phase II will conclude on Friday, November 15, 2019.

Final Decisions
On Friday, December 6, 2019, Slingshot's Partner Expansion Committee will submit a recommendation report to its Board of Directors.

On Friday, December 13, 2019, Slingshot's Board of Directors will its select partnerships for 2020. 

By Friday, December 20, 2019, all agreements and contracts will be signed.

In January of 2020, Slingshot will publicize and initiate its 2020 partnerships.


Three Tiers of Partnership

Community Ally
In 2019, Slingshot collaborated with multiple nonprofits “outside” its formal portfolio. We refer to these partners as Community Allies. Through this less intensive level of partnership, Slingshot is able to provide varying levels of support to a growing number of poverty-fighting nonprofits.

Looking ahead to 2020, our team is currently re-imagining the best way for Slingshot to collaborate with Community Allies. We view this as a high priority and are committed to having a clear roadmap in place by year-end. At this time, we know the type and intensity of collaboration will most likely vary by Community Ally.

In order to be invited to be a Community Ally, an organization must follow the partner expansion process described above. Organizations can be invited to be Community Allies for a number of reasons:

  • The organization is new or has limited bandwidth and is not ready to be an Affiliate Partner.

  • The organization works in an area or sector that is new to Slingshot, such that we are reluctant to commit to Affiliate Partner status.

  • The organization isn't ready to participate in the full Slingshot Impact Assessment process, but would like some insight and guidance into its measurement infrastructure.

At the end of the year, Community Allies are welcome to apply for Affiliate Partner status.

Community Allies are not eligible for funding from Slingshot.
 

Affiliate Partner
An organization who is invited to be an Affiliate Partner will participate in the full Slingshot Impact Assessment process during its first year of partnership. This will involve assessing the partner's performance across four dimensions:

  • Benefit-cost ratio

  • Use of best practices

  • Measurement infrastructure

  • Systems-level change

This assessment process requires a high level of transparency and engagement for both the Affiliate Partner and Slingshot. The process will culminate in a report of our findings being shared with our partner. Following the assessment process, Slingshot team members will work with our partners to identify areas of improvement and strategies for increasing poverty-fighting impact.

Affiliate Partners are eligible for funding from Slingshot's IMPACT Fund, subject to our ability to fund current partner organizations in our portfolio, the assessed performance of any given partner organization, the emergence of promising new partner organizations who might compete for our limited funding, and the needs of any given partner organization.

If funding is provided to an Affiliate Partner, that organization is then renamed as an Investee Partner for the duration of the funding period.

There is no guarantee of funding from Slingshot, nor is there a guarantee that Affiliate Partner status will carry over into the following year if funding is denied.
 

Investee Partners
Only organizations that have spent one full year (twelve months) as Affiliate Partners will be considered as candidates for Investee Partner status. The decision of whether or not to promote an Affiliate Partner to Investee status will be made by our Board of Directors, based on the data and results generated over that year.

Investee Partners participate in the full Slingshot Impact Assessment, the same as Affiliate Partners. However, since an Investee Partner has already experienced the assessment and reporting process at least once, the goal of these ongoing assessments is to measure progress over time toward higher performance.

Funding provided to Investee Partners comes from Slingshot's IMPACT Fund and is unrestricted by Slingshot.

There is no guarantee that having received funding in the past will lead to funding in the future. The level of funding provided to each partner in Slingshot's portfolio, if any, is determined on an annual basis by its Board of Directors.