Business Resources / Maryland Small Business / Maryland Startups
Nonprofit Accelerator Program to launch in Maryland
By Heather Iliff /
June 08, 2022
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Guest feature: Heather Iliff is the president & CEO of Maryland Nonprofits. Follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

Through the Fiscal Year 2023 budget, $5 million has been committed to help launch the Maryland Nonprofit Accelerator Program that will be operated by Maryland Nonprofits.

The Nonprofit Accelerator Program will help nonprofit organizations across the state develop their capacity to operate more efficiently and leverage additional resources. The program will include cohort-based training and technical assistance, as well as back-office support services including financial management; human resources and legal assistance; executive assistant services; fund development; and marketing and communications.

The success of major companies like Airbnb, Dropbox, ClassPass, and Reddit were all catapulted by for-profit accelerator programs. Using a cohort-based model, accelerators provide organizations aiming to scale with access to managerial assistance, partnership, and mentorship.

Maryland's more than 37,000 nonprofit organizations are well positioned to promote transformative improvements in Maryland’s communities, and make a difference in communities across the state. However, most nonprofits are small and lack the scale required to have a full administrative infrastructure to support their missions.

By providing affordable, scalable shared administrative services, the Nonprofit Accelerator Program will increase organizations’ ability to receive funding from federal, state and philanthropic sources with strict compliance regulations. The program will have a Community Advisory Board to oversee equity and quality of implementation, and will have targeted outreach to small, Black, Latino, and other people of color-led, and rural nonprofits, ensuring they have access and opportunity to participate. This program aims to level the playing field by providing small organizations with the expertise and bandwidth needed to compete for larger funding opportunities.

Some services are available now, and others will come online in 2023. Small nonprofits (less than $750,000 and less than 10 years old) can already access free training and technical assistance services through the Maryland Nonprofit Development Center with an easy online application.

Financial management services are available immediately through a partnership with Goldin Group and Topline CPAs LLC that are both Minority Business Enterprises in Maryland. Nonprofits interested in CFO and financial management services may contact help@mdnonprofit.org for more information. Additional training, cohort and technical assistance opportunities will be offered in early 2023, and the other back-office services will begin rolling out later that year.

We are grateful to Governor Larry Hogan and the Maryland General Assembly for taking a bold step towards building a more equitable and sustainable nonprofit infrastructure. The Nonprofit Accelerator Program will help rebuild organizations that were financially hurt by the pandemic; strengthen organizations providing critical community services, arts and culture, environmental stewardship, economic development; and help hard-hit communities bounce back after the pandemic.

To learn more, visit marylandnonprofits.org/nonprofit-accelerator.

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