Resources for Nonprofits

Explore the sections below to learn about details relevant to nonprofit organizations applying for or participating in the Azavea Summer of Maps program.

2019 Summer of Maps webinar

Learn about the program

An overview of the Summer of Maps program and how you can create a great application followed by a Q&A period if you have questions specific to your application.

Checkout past submissions

Applying for the program

We distribute Geospatial Data Analysis Services Grants to several nonprofit organizations each year. Nonprofits submit a geospatial project proposal as part of their grant application.

The application period for nonprofits typically begins in December and lasts approximately eight weeks. Nonprofits may submit up to two projects, but they should do so as separate applications rather than trying to combine them into a single application.

The Azavea Data Analytics Team will review all nonprofit applications and select a shortlist of proposed projects. This project shortlist is made public on the Azavea Summer of Maps website and students will select the projects they would like to work on as part of the fellow application process.


  • Text from the project proposal included in Nonprofit Applications will be made public (with contact information removed). Please do not include proprietary or confidential information in the project description.
  • Students will select the projects they are interested in working on from the Project Shortlist, so it’s important to consider how students will engage with the submitted project.

Defining your proposed project

Successful Nonprofit Applications include the following aspects in their project proposals:

  • A primary focus on geographic data analysis rather than on developing software or webmapping applications
  • A connection between the proposed analysis project and your organization’s mission
  • An idea of types of analyses to be performed
  • A list of deliverables that a fellow can use to measure their progress
  • Data provided in usable formats (fellows do not perform large scale data collection or digitization as part of this program).
  • A project that necessitates outside resources - in other words, if the organization already has a lot of GIS analysis capacity and are looking to supplement their own work, the proposal is much less likely to be successful

In general, more sophisticated projects are more attractive to fellows, so if the nonprofit just needs to put some dots on a map, this may not be the right program. We’re looking for analysis or visualization projects that pose tough, challenging, or intriguing questions and will require innovative ideas and problem solving.

Example project proposals

Some examples of potential projects include:

  • Arts & Culture – analyze geographic location of ticket sales and donations to both identify existing clusters and untapped markets
  • Community & Economic Development – analyze housing needs to determine the best site for a new low income housing development
  • Elections & Civil Rights – identify the sources of campaign contributions and measure the influence they have on the national political landscape
  • Environment, Sustainability and Ecosystems - analyze the urban tree canopy and existing development to make a recommendation for future preservation
  • Public Safety - analyze the impact of neighborhood indicators or other environmental factors on crime risk
  • Public Health & Food - develop three potential sites for a new soup kitchen and perform a market analysis to determine how each will affect existing sites
  • Transportation - identify the next 10 streets for the addition of bike lanes by scoring all street segments based on a variety of geographic criteria

View previous Project Shortlists or Completed Projects on the Projects page to learn more about the types of projects that are accepted as part of the Azavea Summer of Maps program.

Program eligibility

The Azavea Summer of Maps program is limited to registered nonprofit organizations with 501(c)3 designation in the United States. We invite international organizations to apply if they have a registered U.S. affiliate that will be the primary contact for the work.

Nonprofit organizations are limited to two project submissions and only one Geospatial Data Analysis Services Grant is awarded per organization.

Grant recipient commitments

General requirements

Azavea strives to make the Summer of Maps program a rewarding experience for the fellows and Nonprofits. Nonprofit organizations that are awarded an Azavea Summer of Maps Geospatial Data Analysis Services Grant are required to commit to the following agreements in order to participate in the program:

  • Provide a primary and secondary point of contact for the full project term. This point of contact will make themselves available for status calls, presentations, questions, and clarifications about the project and data.
  • Deliver all necessary project data by May 15th.
  • Participate in a kick-off meeting the first week of the program and at least bi-weekly status calls with the fellow.
  • Agree upon a scope of work, timeline, and defined set of deliverables with the fellow and mentor.
  • Provide timely feedback for deliverables when requested by the fellow.
  • Attend a final presentation where the fellow presents the work they have accomplished over the summer.

We invite nonprofit project contacts to visit our office in Philadelphia, PA for any meeting, but this is not expected or required. Fellows are provided with resources to participate in remote video or conference calls. If a nonprofit project contact outside the Philadelphia region would like to visit the Azavea office, the kick-off meeting in June or the final presentations/reception in August may be preferred times. On a case-by-case basis, fellows may be permitted to travel to visit a nonprofit office to present the final deliverables in person.


Selected nonprofits must name one main point of contact and a secondary point of contact. We expect that this main point of contact will be well-versed in the details of the project and be able to answer emails and phone calls from the fellow should any questions arise. Communication will mainly take place via email with at least bi-weekly status calls with the fellow, though weekly status calls are recommended at the beginning of the project.

Data delivery

All appropriate data sets that are required to complete the project must be delivered to Azavea by May 15th. Azavea will notify the nonprofits they have been selected and provide an FTP server or Dropbox for data delivery.

Data delivered should, at the very least, include all the pertinent nonprofit organizational data specified in the grant application. Fellows have access to open data repositories and may collect some data at the start of the project, but the grant recipient should outline the location of necessary data sets to the best of their ability.

Until next time

Summer 2020 is out of session

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