Innovation Fund: FAQ and Timeline

January – February:  Open application for grant submissions

Application Deadline: Friday March 1, 2024 at 11:59pm Eastern

March – April:  Application vetting

June: Notification of acceptance

June: Innovation Training application option for those not selected but still high potential applicants.

June: Previous year recipients report due.

July – August: Funding released.

September: Public announcement of recipients at the Mission Leaders Conference

October: Training event in Innovation

  • Primary Focus:
    • Innovation in Evangelism, Discipleship and Church Planting
  • Project Types:
    • Leadership Development
    • Word/Deed Holistic Ministry
    • National/Indigenous Projects
    • Mobilization
    • Global Sending
    • Bible Translation
    • Media
    • Technology
    • National Church Resources
    • Member Care
    • Diaspora
    • Training

The process involves five phases:

  • Empathize:
    • Understand the needs, wants, and motivations of the people for whom you are designing.
    • Methods include user interviews, observation, and participatory design.
  • Define:
    • Frame the problem in a human-centered and actionable way.
    • Utilize tools such as problem statements, personas, and empathy maps.
  • Ideate:
    • Generate a wide range of potential solutions to the defined problem.
    • Encourage creativity and suspend judgment through brainstorming techniques.
  • Prototype:
    • Create rough models of promising ideas for testing with users.
    • Prototypes can range from low-fidelity sketches to high-fidelity digital mockups.
  • Test:
    • Gather user feedback on prototypes and iterate until solutions are effective and desirable.
    • Testing methods include user interviews, usability testing, and A/B testing.

Design thinking is an iterative process, requiring multiple cycles through the phases to develop a solution meeting user needs. Following this approach increases the likelihood of creating innovative and effective solutions.

For additional informaton on innovation:  Innovation Explained

Micro Innovation Grant:

  1. Funding Range: $25,000 – $50,000
  2. Tailored for smaller, impactful projects with a keen emphasis on innovation.
  3. Prioritize meticulously planned initiatives demonstrating empathy for ministry impact.
  4. Awarded to approximately 5-7 Missio Nexus member ministries.
  5. Each ministry may only apply to one of the three grant options.

Macro Innovation Grant:

  1. Funding Range: $75,000 – $100,000
  2. Geared towards organizations with a well-established innovation process, showcasing iterative attempts at deploying practical solutions.
  3. Emphasis on illustrating and articulating the innovation process and quantifying end-user impact.
  4. Holds the potential to influence the broader missions landscape.
  5. Exclusive grants awarded to 1-2 Missio Nexus member ministries.
  6. Each ministry may only apply to one of the three grant options.

Collaborative Innovation Grant:

  1. Funding Range: $150,000 – $200,000
  2. Encourages joint applications from 2+ ministries.
  3. Requires a proven working model of collaboration rather than a conceptual alliance.
  4. Focus on demonstrating a collective approach to an innovative idea.
  5. A prestigious grant awarded to outstanding alliances displaying both unity and innovation.
  6. Each ministry must be a Missio Nexus member.
  7. Each ministry may only apply to one of the three grant options. For the ministries applying for a collaborative grant this is considered the one submission for each ministry.

March 1, 2024 at 11:59pm Eastern

Any United States or Canadian Missio Nexus member is welcome to apply.  You may only apply for one of the three grant options.  If you are not a member you can learn more about membership at Missio Nexus member benefits.

  • What is the timeframe over which the grant funds need to be expended.
    • Ideally 12 months, but we understand that projects can be fluid.
  • Do the projects need to cover evangelism, discipleship and church planting?
    • The projects need to focus on at least one of these elements.
  • What if funds are needed before June 2024?
    • We are unable to distribute funds prior to June 2024.
  • Where can I find information on those who recieved grants in 2023?
  • Where can I find information about the Innovation Discussion Group?
  • Can projects be in the United States?
    • Yes
  • Does age of the organization matter?
    • No
  • Can we be too far along in the process that it’s no longer considered innovative?
    • Since innovation is more determined on end user impact the length of time in the project should only enchance end user impact not detract.
  • If we are overseas, and our US based ministry is field based, would our US org be the organization to submit from or the field?
    • We are only able to distribute funds to US or Canadian registered non-profits.  So which ever organization is able to reciept funds would be the one to submit the application from.
  • Is there a text limit to the application boxes?
    • The open answer boxes do not have a text limit.  But you can upload additional documents if necessary.
  • Can an organization have more than one project type that their ministry project falls under (e.g. mobilization, training, and/or global sending)
    • Sure.  Just pick the primary when filling out the field on the application and then address the connectedness to the others in the application.
  • Is it possible to apply for the micro grant, and the evaluation team decides the project is actually a macro grant?
    • Yes, this could be possible.  In that case additional information could be requested from the applicant.
  • How far along in the innovation process should a successful applicant be?
    • For a micro grant a ministry could be at the beginning of the process.  For macro or collaborative you need to be further along.  For some ministries you may decide to wait till 2025 to apply so you can solidify your innovation process before application.
  • Where can I find the recording of the webinar?(This is a member only resource)

The term ‘end-user’ can encompass a broad spectrum, potentially referring to ‘the unreached.’ However, in the context your grant request, it specifically pertains to the individuals whom the project aims to affect. Depending on your project, this group could be expansive or highly specific. We encourage meaningful engagement with the target demographic to grasp their needs thoroughly. It’s vital to ensure that the solution proposed aligns with their desires or has substantial potential for impact. We acknowledge that achieving this may be challenging in some cases. In such instances, providing evidence of similar successful implementations in comparable settings would be beneficial.

Email us and we’ll do our best to get back to you as soon as possible –  innovationfund@missionexus.org

Yes, we prefer to have all Acrobat PDF’s if possible.  But can work with other files if necessary.

Upcoming Events