Apply to Start a Program

Thank you again for your interest in being a part of team Dream! Starting an "I Have A Dream" program in your community is a challenging but rewarding process, and you will have our support every step of the way.  

As the first step in your journey, we would like to hear more from you about how you and your community may be a good match for starting an "I Have A Dream" Foundation affiliate. Once you have submitted your form, we will follow up with you to schedule a conversation with our Chief Growth Officer. 

Apply Now

The Steps to Start a Program

Step 1: Complete Affiliate Interest Questionnaire

Complete an online inquiry questionnaire indicating your interest in starting an “I Have A Dream” affiliate to set up a free, no-obligation conversation with our Chief Growth Officer.  Through our 40 years of experience, we have found that certain elements are essential to a successful affiliate launch:

  • Champions and advocates from the community who will support the exploratory and expansion process.
  • A School District (School), Housing Authority, Community Based Organization, College, or University with facilities, resources, and desire to support a program for the long-term.
  • A philanthropic community interested in closing the opportunity and resource gaps.

Apply Now

Step 2: Orientation call

After receiving your Affiliate Interest Questionnaire, our Chief Growth Officer will set up a call or meeting to give you an overview of the process, answer any questions you may have and learn more about your interest in starting a new “I Have A Dream” affiliate in your community. After this call/meeting, we'll send you an information packet about “I Have A Dream”, and we'll set up a second call to dive deeper into the process of finding the best fit for an “I Have A Dream” program in your community.

Step 3: Assess the best fit for “I Have A Dream” in your community

We’ll walk you through the general requirements and commitments of starting a new affiliate, including aligning with the greatest need, forging partnerships, and identifying funders. Upon the completion of this process, you’ll be ready to dive into the next steps of standing up your “I Have A Dream” affiliate.

Step 4:  Review & Complete Affiliate Requirements

Once we’ve determined the best fit for an “I Have A Dream” program in your community, our Chief Growth officer will review the Affiliate Requirements with you and will help you plan for the next steps, which include:

  • Forming an Affiliate Expansion Committee to oversee and implement the planning process for a new affiliate in your city.  
  • Scheduling a site visit or call with another “I Have A Dream” affiliate and if timing is right, attending the National Staff Conference (held every summer).
  • Scheduling a site visit for national “I Have A Dream” staff to meet your Committee and Program Site Administration.

You will have the close support of the National “I Have A Dream” Staff, along the way as you complete the formation requirements, which include forming an expansion committee, identifying funding, and developing a program site plan. 

Step 5: Apply for licensing approval from board of directors

Once you have completed the Affiliate Formation Requirements, you can apply for affiliate licensing approval from our board of directors.

Step 6 and Beyond: Implement the “I Have A Dream” program

Once approved as a licensed affiliate, the National “I Have A Dream” staff will work with you to implement the “I Have A Dream” program every step of the way, covering every aspect of programming and operations:

  • Program design and implementation
  • Development of the student/family application process & dedication ceremony
  • Board governance, strategic planning and consulting
  • Development of school and housing site MOU’s
  • Identification and cultivation of programming partnerships

You will also be invited to attend quarterly Affiliate Leadership Council meetings; an annual “I Have A Dream” Network-wide Conference and have access to ongoing coaching and consultation with national staff.