Press Release
March 8, 2007
3 minute read


TRENTON, N.J. (March 8, 2007) Special programs to help nonprofit organizations reduce their reliance on grant funding and become more self-sufficient will be offered by the Entrepreneurial Training Institute (ETI) in Newark and Union beginning in March.

The ETI for Nonprofits is provided by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) through three programs that are designed to sequence the nonprofit’s journey to define and grow a successful earned-income venture. This includes identifying a sustainable business idea, completing a market analysis, creating a marketing plan, understanding financials, developing resources and boards, and receiving ongoing technical assistance.

In Brainstorming and Idea Screening, nonprofit organizations will focus on small-business feasibility by examining their business ideas and evaluating skills, risks, financial readiness, dedication of staff, board commitment and sales and expense assumptions. Following a half-day group training class, ETI consultants will go to the nonprofit site to facilitate a half-day brainstorming and screening retreat with the staff and/or board.

The cost of $500 will cover the two half-day sessions, plus professional feedback and resources. The half-day group training class will be held in Newark on March 13 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The on-site facilitation and mentoring schedule will be based on mutual availability.

Business Case Development is a program designed to assess the feasibility of moving forward with the organization’s business plan. It includes examining and building organizational commitment and a feasibility assessment of the business idea, competition, financial readiness, and documenting sales and expense assumptions.

A fee of $500 will cover a half-day of instruction in a group setting, followed by a half-day retreat at the nonprofit site, and an additional half-day of mentoring from EDA consultants. The half-day of instruction will be held on May 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Newark. The on-site facilitation and mentoring schedule will be based on mutual availability.

Business Planning will assist nonprofit organizations in developing a quality business plan in a methodical process with feedback to prepare for grantmakers or lenders. The instruction session will be 12 hours in a group setting with additional feedback time allocated, including 8 hours of on-site facilitation.

The instruction team will assist nonprofit organizations in preparing a compelling “pitch” to present to a panel of accountants, lawyers, marketing professionals, lenders and grantmakers. This panel provides an opportunity for feedback and networking with lenders who finance nonprofits including the EDA. The $1,500 class fee will also cover mentoring to start and expand this initiative following the presentation.

The four instruction sessions will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Union on March 14 and 28 and April 11 and 25. The on-site facilitation and mentoring schedule will be based on mutual availability.

Nonprofit organizations are required to secure an IRS 501(c)(3) designation to confirm their nonprofit status and undergo an assessment of their readiness to register for the ETI program. The needs assessment, which must be completed prior to enrollment, can be arranged by calling ETI at (609) 292-9279 or by e-mailing

The EDA provides technical assistance through Aperio, one of the nation’s leading consulting firms for nonprofits engaged in social enterprise. Aperio staff members are content experts in earned-income ventures and provide valuable depth of knowledge, experience and network within New Jersey, nationally and internationally.

For registration materials and more information, visit, call the ETI at (609) 292-9279, or send an e-mail to Payment must be received for an applicant to be fully registered and eligible to attend classes. Primary sponsors of the ETI Program are Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, PNC Bank and the Wachovia Foundation.

The EDA provides financing and technical support to encourage business and job growth in New Jersey.

To learn more about opportunities for business growth throughout New Jersey, visit the state’s business portal at