The Early-Stage Operations and Planning Fund provides multi-year investments and technical support for new and emerging 501(c)(3) nonprofits that are vision and mission aligned to the Foundation and are focused on driving social change through placed-based programming and services. Through a competitive application process, applicants are invited to request grants of up to $150,000 over three years to support strategic and operational planning and to build the infrastructure of their organization. Organizations commit to providing the programmatic deliverables by the end of the three year grant. 

Black Book Exchange Box

Code on Wheels

The Delta Project

Mosaic Film Experience

Ebony Road Players

Girls Growing 2 Women

Math Medic Foundation

Young Money Finances

Since 2022, the Steelcase Foundation has supported two early-stage cohorts support eight nonprofits. Each cohort meets quarterly and engages in shared learning and technical assistance on a given topic to help complete deliverable tasks at the end of each work session. Technical assistance is facilitated by Katie Daniels of SIDE-Strategies, in partnership with nonprofit subject -matter experts when appropriate, who can share their individual experiences related to the given work session. Cohort members then convene in their organizational teams to ask questions and complete tasks, completing a deliver by the end of each work session.

Participants have shared appreciation for the opportunity to learn from other nonprofit leaders at similar stages in their organizational development, and share resources and tips with their peers. They also enjoy the dedicated work time to complete organizational items such as solidifying their budgets or refining their missions, that they might not otherwise devote time to during their day-to-day work. Hear more about the Early-Stage Operations below.

Want to learn more about Early-Stage Operations and Planning Fund grants?
For grant-related questions:

Trudy Ngo-Brown​

Program Officer​

Technical Assistance Parter – SIDE Strategies

Katie Daniels

Founder and Principal Consultant, SIDE-Strategies