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Xero Beautiful Business Fund: Not-for-profit? You’re a small business too, so apply today!

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Tamara Somers

Sep 6, 2023

Applications are quickly coming in for the Xero Beautiful Business Fund – thank you to all those who’ve entered so far. If you’re an organisation that operates on a not-for-profit basis, you might be wondering whether you’re eligible to apply. The short answer in most cases is yes (just make sure to double check the rest of our eligibility criteria here) – because in our eyes, not-for-profit organisations are small businesses too.

Managing your organisation 

It’s easy to understand why many not-for-profits might not see themselves as a small business. Perhaps it’s because the core work being done doesn’t involve the sale of a product or service that can generate a financial return. Or it might be a community organisation like a club or association that operates on behalf of its members, like a sports team. There’s more often than not a social or environmental benefit instead.

But when you take a look at the operational needs of not-for-profits, there’s still resources to be managed, people to organise, expenses to be paid… the list goes on. And just because profit isn’t the focus, doesn’t make operating any less complex when compared to for-profit businesses. If your organisation is managing funds, paying bills and expenses and/or has members or funders to report to, then you’re operating in many ways like a small business. We’re committed to supporting small businesses and organisations of all types, and the Xero Beautiful Business Fund is there for you to apply for, too.

Applying is easy

If you’d like to apply, the next step is to check the remainder of the eligibility criteria, pick which categories you’d like to apply in (there is no limit), and begin your application process. If your organisation has goals to become more sustainable, integrate new emerging technologies, create greater community connection or support upskilling in your team, you can apply for whichever funding category best suits your needs.

Applying for the Xero Beautiful Business Fund is really easy, so you can focus on getting back to running your organisation. Follow these simple steps for each category you’d like to apply for:

  1. Shoot a maximum 90 second pitch video for your organisation 
  2. Upload the video to our dedicated website
  3. Fill out the short application form

And that’s it – it’s really that simple. If you’d like a bit more of a breakdown of the process, take a look at our tips and tricks blog here.

Funding

The Xero Beautiful Business Fund’s NZ$750,000 global prize pool is split into specific amounts per category per country. This means that you don’t need to apply for a specific amount.

The judging panel of each country will select four winners (one for each category) for a total of 28 regional winners. Each winner will receive NZ$20,000 in funding or a regional equivalent. 

The pool of regional winners (28 winners total) will then be evaluated by a global judging panel. Four global winners (one in each category) will be identified and receive an additional global prize of NZ$50,000 or regional equivalent in funding.

It’s important to note that applications should focus on how the funding would help a deliverable project or initiative for your organisation, aligned to one of the four categories. When it comes to putting your entry together, it’s important to be future focused, detailing how the fund would benefit your organisation. This means that general operational funding applications are unlikely to be successful.

You can find all the details about the prizes up for grabs on our website here. And, you can learn more here about how applicants will be scored and selected to receive the funding. 

Xero subscription discount for non-profits

If you’re not currently a Xero customer, are you thinking about taking it up to help manage the finances of your not-for-profit organisation? We’d love to help – Xero has a special discount of 25% available for not-for-profit customers. You can check it out here for more information.

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