SCORE mentors may not use SBA restricted grant funds to assist non-profits that do not devote a significant portion of their activities to helping entrepreneurs.
While SCORE cannot use federal funds or federal resources to serve most nonprofits, SCORE volunteers MAY:
- Mentor nonprofit clients as long as no SBA restricted grant funds are used. Mentoring in a location that is not paid for using these funds is allowable. Mentoring using federally funded technology (e.g. Zoom) is also allowable so long as there is no additional cost to the SBA.
- Host workshops that include nonprofit attendees where SBA restricted grant funds are not used. Hosting a workshop in a third-party location such as a library where these funds are not used is allowable. Similarly, hosting a virtual workshop using federally funded technology (e.g. Zoom) is also allowable so long as there is no additional cost to the SBA.
- Mentor nonprofit organizations that devote a significant portion of their activities to assisting entrepreneurs as if they are a typical client.
Non-Profit Client FAQ’s
Can I mentor or advise a non-profit organization?
Yes, SCORE allows and encourages its mentor and subject matter expert volunteers to support non-profit organizations in their community. However, SCORE cannot use federal award resources to reimburse or pay for services provided to non-profits (see exception below). Consult your chapter leaders to see if your costs can be reimbursed through other non-federal (unrestricted) funds.
Will I be reimbursed for costs related to mentoring a non-profit client (e.g., travel)?
SCORE cannot guarantee reimbursement for travel or other costs that you incur while providing mentoring/subject matter expert services to a non-profit client (see exception below). However, you may be reimbursed though your chapter’s own local non-federal (unrestricted) funds if they are available. Consult your chapter leaders to see if your costs can be reimbursed through other non-federal-award funds prior to providing services to a non-profit client.
Can I use other SCORE owned tools to provide mentoring services to a non-profit client?
Yes, you may use SCORE owned tools such as laptops, video conferencing tools, etc. to provide services to non-profit clients. This use of these tools is considered to be a nominal expense and is allowable for any client.
Are there any exceptions?
Yes, SCORE is allowed to use federal award funds to provide services to non-profit organizations that support other small businesses. If you are requesting reimbursement for services provided to a non-profit organization that supports other small businesses, please make a note of that on your Form 14.
Do I need to record a non-profit client mentoring session differently than a typical small business client?
No, you do not need to follow any different procedure. If you are onboarding the client and entering the client information into the SCORE Engage database, please be sure to indicate that the client is a non-profit organization in the appropriate field.
Are non-profit organizations allowed to attend SCORE hosted workshops?
Yes, non-profits are allowed and encouraged to attend client workshops. Their participation does not incur more than a nominal cost to SCORE and is therefore allowable regardless of how the workshop is funded.
Can we host a workshop/event specifically for non-profit organizations?
Yes, BUT the workshop must only be organized using a nominal use of SCORE owned resources or the workshop must be funded by non-federal (unrestricted) funds. Examples of acceptable non-profit workshops are below:
- A virtual workshop hosted over Zoom.
- An in-person workshop held a local library where the funds used to pay for the space came from the chapters local non-federal (unrestricted) funds.