The Purpose Project

What is the Purpose Project?

Since its founding in 2002, Manoverboard has provided pro bono services to nonprofit organizations on an ad hoc and first-come-first serve basis. We have developed communications strategies, created new visual identities, designed collateral, built websites and platforms, and provided various forms of strategic consulting. Typically, these engagements emerged after we approached an organization to see if they could use our services or after an organization requested our help. That work was always rewarding, challenging and inspiring.

We became a Certified B Corporation in June 2013 and continued down this path for a few years. But in speaking with numerous colleagues and partners inside and outside the B Corp community, we began to realize that there could be a better way of creating impact in our community. We wanted to develop stronger relationships change makers and social innovators.

In 2017, we did things a bit differently and created a service grant called The Purpose Project. We chose two organizations and designed materials and digital products for those organizations. And we learned a lot.

In 2018, we are revamping The Purpose Project by creating a more streamlined application process, developing a tighter rubric for selection, and offering a more limited palette of services. We hope that this will mean a larger impact in the community and a tighter partnership with our client.

Seeking Change Partners

Many organizations in the city of Winnipeg and the province of Manitoba are actively addressing important social, economic, and environmental challenges. Many organizations are having a difficult time getting the word out. Others feel stuck with their current website or communications platform. There are far too many pioneering organizations and social enterprises practicing in the shadows and too many who don’t have the funds to enlist a marketing and communications partner.

For 2018, we will be issuing up to $15,000 in service grants to one selected nonprofit organization or social enterprise in the province. Our goal is to find and support one change agent that needs a helping hand in getting to the next stage of their communications initiatives.

How It Works

Each Purpose Project applicant will be reviewed using six criteria:

  • Demonstrated need
  • Project complexity and size
  • Values alignment
  • Outreach and impact
  • Achievability
  • Long-term sustainability

These six criteria will be scored on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest in potential. Every team member at Manoverboard will have an equal vote. Ultimately, we are looking for a good fit: a pro bono client to whom we can lend a hand or two and who, in turn, will fully leverage our collaboration.

We will provide all applicants with their score so that they might understand our decision-making and gain feedback.

The chosen applicant will be publicly announced in a joint statement between Manoverboard and client. We will create a contract for both parties just as we would with any client engagement. And we will help our Purpose Project Client just as we would any client — with care, intentionality, thoughtfulness, and attention to detail.

(Please note that Manoverboard reserves the unconditional right to issue smaller, larger, or no service grants as well as the right to modify any terms and conditions indicated here prior to issuing a service grant.)

Who should apply?

Any registered nonprofit organization or  social enterprise with a demonstrated commitment to positive impact in the community or environment should apply. The applicant must be a resident of Manitoba. Individuals and early startups are discouraged to apply. We are looking to partner with formative stage and established nonprofits and social enterprises that are doing good in the world.

What services would be part of the grant?

Last year, we offered a range of services. In 2018, we will only offer a digital strategy and custom website design and development. The website will be powered by an advanced customization of WordPress and built for your organization’s content and administrative requirements. If you are in need of a beautiful, customized and sustainable website that is built for the long-term, we hope you’ll consider applying.

What services are not part of the grant?

Marketing and communications strategies, visual identity or logo design, brand standards guidelines, e-commerce websites, copywriting, media buying, photography, video editing or production, software or application development, IT consulting and support, and outdoor signage are not potential projects.

What else should applicants know?

There are a few important details for applicants.

  • Please, no phone calls. If you have questions, please email us at Thank you.
  • All applications will be read and reviewed.
  • Applications will be weighed against our internal rubric that measures need, project complexity, values alignment, overall impact, achievability and long-term sustainability.
  • Three finalists will be selected. We will conduct short interviews with those finalists prior to selecting our partner.
  • Applicants should expect to contribute up to 20%  (or $3,000) toward the cost of the project. We believe that this will ensure stronger commitment and accountability for both parties.
  • Applicants should have either a board of directors or a board of advisors in place at the time of application. Even a small board provides an important level of oversight which, in turn, means more assurance that the project will succeed.
  • We are not accepting applications from current or previous Manoverboard clients.

What is the schedule?

Applications should be received by October 5, 2018, by 5 PM. All applications will be reviewed by Manoverboard by October 19, 2018. Three finalists will be selected for meetings during the last two weeks of October. A selected partner will be announced at the beginning of November.

How to Apply

We know how valuable time is for people who run nonprofit organizations and anyone trying to create positive change. We put together a form and worked hard to reduce the amount of information required. Please, no phone calls, faxes, or email submissions.

Please complete the application form in its entirety. We promise to review every application. Thank you for considering an application to The Purpose Project. If you have any questions, please email us at

The deadline for submission of applications is Friday, October 5, 2018, at 5:00 PM.

As a member organization of 1% for the Planet, Manoverboard gives the equivalent of one percent of all revenues to select nonprofit partners that are benefiting the environment.

Manoverboard is a Certified B Corporation, which means that we meet ongoing, rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.