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Frequently Asked Questions
Who can work with Cultivate?

You can be from anywhere in the world and work with us. And you can lead or wish to lead any kind of charitable program for your community, or simply want to learn more about community-led development and how to run a nonprofit.

We work with people who care deeply about their community and have a vision for their community to be stronger and healthier. We support people who are passionate, driven and dedicated to making their vision a reality. We work with people who are willing and ready to make their work more powerful and successful by working together with Cultivate and others.

What is the process for joining the program?

We have four programs you can join. Enrollment is easy. Learn more here.
What can I get from the program?

We help you to grow as a leader and have a healthy, successful community program, or nonprofit organization. This is done through three program components:

Training
As a trainee, you will learn about leadership, community development, program design, communications, fundraising, financial management, technology, impact measurement, and organizational management. We help you build a strong foundation for your program so you can achieve greater success. The training is done through online lessons, video and audio lectures, homework, and hands-on activities.

Coaching
We connect our trainees with other community leaders and community allies, so they can learn from one another. We also offer personalized and group coaching sessions so all our trainees can get even more support and resources for their community work and charitable organizations.

Fundraising
Though we do not fund a trainee's program, or do the fundraising for them, we do support our trainees with fundraising help. Our curriculum and coaching sessions include fundraising, and we also offer trainees resources to help with fundraising, such as recommendations to fiscal sponsors, grant announcements, and access to grants research tools (currently access to research tools is offered for our cohort members only).

Will Cultivate fund my program or project?

Cultivate does not give financial support to trainees or their programs. Though we help you with fundraising, we do not do the work for you. We do not help you find donors.

Is there a cost to join the program?

Yes. There is a fee for our training programs. This fee helps us cover our costs to offer you the program.

There are four levels which anyone can choose to join. To learn more about the levels, read here.

If you are unable to pay for this fee, you will need to do two things.

1. Find others who can sponsor you. You can ask people in your community, your faith group, your school, your workplace, and even your family. People can make contributions to Cultivate to help you cover the program fees. You can learn more about this option here.

2. For the remaining amount that you are unable to raise through sponsorships, you can apply for a scholarship through Cultivate. Scholarship funds are limited and are not guaranteed, but we will do everything we can to help you get the funds that you need.

Who will be my coaches and how will they help me?

Your primary coach is Elaine Tymchak, Cultivate's Executive Director. Elaine has over 17 years of experience in nonprofit management, fundraising, and international development. Elaine has worked with leaders and organizations domestically and internationally, long before starting Cultivate.

You will also occasionally engage with our other staff members, volunteers, and board members when coaching is necessary on a topic of their expertise.

During your coaching calls, you will identify the challenges you are facing in our work and we will help you create a plan for overcoming those challenges. We also answer your questions about the training and help you achieve your personal and professional goals connected to your role as a community leader.

Can I try out the training program first before applying?

You can see samples of our training here, this will give you a good idea of how it works and what is in it.

If you are interested in the Independent Learners program or the Engaged Learners program, you must first pay for the program before you can begin. However, we offer refunds. You can learn more about our refund policy here.

If you apply for a scholarship to the program at any level and are accepted, you will have full access to the program right away. You will be expected to complete the training to honor your scholarship.

If you apply for the Cohort or Organizational Learners programs, there is no refund available. We do not offer refunds once you have been accepted, as we have a limited number of spots available in the cohort or for organizational teams each year. We need you to start the application process first, which helps us get to know you and ensure that you understand what the program is and what it is not. You simply start by filling out the interest form and then setting up a phone call or online call with our staff. During this call we will explain to you what our program offers. If you are still interested in the program, there is a short application form we will need to receive from you. You can also see a sample of our training on our website.

Can I still do the training if I don't have a computer or reliable internet?

We understand that many community leaders across the developing world, and even within the United States, struggle to have the technology that is nowadays a necessity for any kind of community work. So we try to make our program as accessible as possible for those who are under-resourced with the following:


  • All courses can be completed using a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
  • All trainees have the option to request to download the course readings for offline access. We provide documents that can be read on both computers and smartphones. However, some course lessons include videos and audio lectures that need an internet connection to be completed. Whenever possible, we provide transcripts as well.
  • Whenever possible, we try to ensure that our courses require the lowest amount of data possible to either download or access online.
  • Occasionally, when a trainee does not have a computer, we work with our donors and organizational partners to get a refurbished computer for the trainee. At this time, this program is only available for our Cohort Learners program and has limited availability.
  • We also occasionally offer financial hardship grants to our trainees, to be used to purchase internet data and technology such as routers or mobile hot spots. At this time, these grants are only available for our Cohort Learners program and have limited availability.

Have another question?

Contact us and we'd be happy to chat with you about your questions and options.
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