NBA Incubate Initiative

The NBA incubates new ministries, empowering Disciples-led health and social service projects to focus on their growth, strengthen their impact, and work toward sustainability.

The NBA Incubate Initiative strives to encourage and support the development of new and innovative health and social service ministries and organizations by Disciples. These ministries, in turn, inform and inspire fellow Disciples throughout our communities and across the life of the church. Together, we expand the church's understanding of and capacity for health and social service ministry as part of Christ's work in the world.

The goal of this initiative is to support and empower new Disciple-related health and social service organizations, projects, and ministries—what we’re also calling social enterprises—to focus on their growth, strengthen their impact, and work toward sustainability. “Incubate” represents an environment of support with a menu of resources that the initiative has available to new social enterprises in the early years of their development. Those resources vary depending on whether a project is involved in the initiative as a participant or a partner.

Ways To Be Involved

You can engage with the NBA Incubate Initiative as a Participant, Partner, or Consultant

Incubate Participants

Those who have attended SENT Seminar/Leadership Academy’s Social Enterprise Track or with whom we are in active conversation about Incubate will be referred to as “participants” for the 12-months following their initial involvement in Incubate. During this time, participants will be able to access certain resources from NBA, while also contributing to the spread and development of the Incubate Initiative. Resources include:

  • Project featured one or more times through shared NBA materials
  • Access to short-term consultations with NBA-related professionals/consultants
  • Incubate Retreat, for spiritual and physical renewal
  • Opportunity to apply for assistance with site visits to similar projects/organizations
  • Ongoing communications and learning/networking opportunities through NBA

2017 SENT Seminar Participants with NBA Staff2017 SENT Seminar Participants with NBA Staff

Incubate Partners

Participants who are interested in a longer-term Incubate relationship with
NBA are invited to apply to become an Incubate Partner/Affiliate. (We will use
“partner” more often, but “affiliate” is the legal relationship to NBA.) Partnerships are
established through Memoranda of Understanding, or MOUs, and last for 2-6 years. For participants interested in becoming partners, the application is now open. Please contact Ayanna Johnson WatkinsNBA Incubate Initiative Director, for more information.

To be eligible to become an Incubate Partner, projects should be:

  • Disciples-affiliated (this means: having a set percentage of Disciples board members; being founded in partnership with a Disciples congregation or the NBA; and/or having a Disciples executive director/CEO is a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).)
  • Health and/or social service-related
  • Aligned with the mission of the NBA
  • Tax-exempt nonprofit
  • Incorporated for 10 years or less
  • Innovative
  • Diverse

UrbanMission Community Partners in Pomona, CA, one of nine current NBA Incubate PartnersUrbanMission Community Partners in Pomona, CA, one of nine current NBA Incubate Partners

Incubate Consultants

Professionals in the fields of marketing, development, leadership/visioning, and more can support and work with Incubate partners and participants in a variety of ways - presenting workshops and webinars, writing blogs, providing resources,  offering short-term consultations, etc. For more information, contact Larry Morris, NBA Incubate Program Associate.

Geetha Rao Sant presenting at the 2017 SENT SeminarGeetha Rao Sant presenting at the 2017 SENT Seminar

Meet the Incubate Partners

Click the links below to learn more about these innovative and impactful organizations!

Read Incubate Stories

Attend Incubate Events

2018 In-Person Gatherings

  • Incubate Retreat, for spiritual and physical renewal: March 22-24, 2018 - Scottsdale, AZ (For current Incubate Partners and Participants only)
  • SENT Seminar, equipping social entrepreneurs for leadership and change: September 12-15, 2018 - St. Louis, MO (Application will open in Summer 2018)

2018 Webinars

  • January 17: Planning Your Fundraising Year
  • March 28: Mission, Vision, and Values 
  • June 28: Grant Writing 
  • September 7: Board Development 

2018 Virtual Wisdom Tables*

  • February 21: Anti-Racism
  • April 25: Technology and Tools
  • July 25: Theology of Fundraising
  • October 17: How to Become Paid Staff

*Limited registration available; designed for current Incubate Partners and Participants only.

Fill out the form below to find out more information about the NBA Incubate Initiative and how you can get involved!

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VIDEO: NBA Incubate Initiative

Community Building: Ministry-in-Place

November 9, 2017

North Carolina Disciples: Please join NBA staff, trustees, and ministry partners in Charlotte on Thursday, November 9, for dinner and a panel discussion about Disciples health and social service ministries.

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Social Enterprise Resource Bank

A place for nonprofit staff and social entrepreneurs to find resources to help them build innovative and sustainable health and social services ministries.

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NBA Incubate SENT Seminar Participant Rev. Lisa Sherman

Tracing Footprints

February 20, 2018

Through its SENT Seminars, the NBA assists new ministries. After participating in September's Seminar, Rev. Lisa Sherman wrote this blog post.

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VIDEO: NBA: Called Together, Called to Care

Ayanna Johnson Watkins

Director of the NBA Incubate Initiative

Larry J. Morris III

Incubate Program Associate

NBA Impact Report

This NBA Ministry Impact Report shares the significant work of Disciples health and social service ministries in all of their complexity, vitality, and diversity.

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