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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Community Foundation Announces Social Innovation Challenge (deadline: July 15)

The Social Innovation Challenge
Application for Nonprofit Organizations

Overview: The 2010 Social Innovation Challenge is designed to bring together promising Utah non-profits and business leaders to develop out-of-the-box entrepreneurial solutions to common issues faced by Utah’s non-profits. The challenge is generously supported by Clearlink, Mountain American Credit Union, BlueLine and the University Impact Fund.

The Opportunity: An independent set of judges will select 3 non-profit organizations facing problems common to many organizations from a finalist pool of 15 applicants. While all 15 will receive critical feedback on their issue, the 3 selected will have the unique opportunity to work alongside a panel of 3-5 entrepreneurial business leaders selected for unique expertise and insight into scalable and sustainable solutions. Additional expertise will be available from specialists and service professions. In addition, each panel will receive up to $5,000 to effectively implement their solution and document their results so that they can be replicated by the non-profit community. The implementation will be completed over a 3 month period and presented at the Social Innovation Forum. (A final date will be announced this summer).

Why should my agency participate? The Social Innovation Challenge stimulates a new way of approaching public issues built on innovation, accountability and impact. In short, smart philanthropy.
− It creates a new model of corporate philanthropy in Utah – one that is driven by results and based in meaningful engagement.
− It supports nonprofits seeking to develop sound business practices and revenue generating activities, reducing their dependence on donations.
− It encourages a new generation of leaders to engage with organizations and people that strengthen our community.
− It provides a challenging and valuable activity to increase the skills and networks of employees in both the private and public sectors.
− It matches the current economic crisis with the optimism, energy and strong strategic minds of our state.
− It is a truly collaborative platform to focus the capacity of our citizens on the issues we face, together.
Why are mentors interested? The Social Innovation Challenge is a high-impact, time-limited way to deploy the smarts and innovation of Utah’s private sector to the common and complex problems facing our social sector. Since the projects are crafted to be focused ‘surgical strikes’ with quick implementations and measurable impacts it uses entrepreneurs skills effectively and efficiently in service to the common good.

Applicants: Qualified applicants are Utah based non-profits facing a problem critical to their business and community impact. These problems require innovative solutions to the organization’s business model, marketing plan, revenue and financial strategies or others. Applicants must commit the time and staff needed to work with the mentor panel, implement the project and share the results with the public.

− A business plan to develop a new, ongoing source of revenue.
− An internal audit to maximize efficiencies and improve business practices.
− Marketing and branding to a new customer base.
Judging Criteria: We do not anticipate that all projects will be successful but we do want others to understand and learn from your experience.
− Scalability: The application should clearly articulate the severity of the problem to the organization and community. The magnitude of the need for a new approach to the issue should be clearly expressed.
− Impact: The potential impact on the community and similar agencies by the success of the potential solution should be clearly stated and potentially replicable.
− Transparency: Applicants should be willing to share their details, devote resources, adequately prioritize the project and take the associated risks involved with being selected as a finalist.
− Fiscal and Timing Feasibility: Problems submitted must be able to complete or implement their proposed solution within 3-6 months and require $5,000 or less.


Please complete and return this application in an MS Word format by JULY 15. We will schedule a more in-depth interview with up to 15 applicants. If you have any questions about this process, please call Fraser Nelson at (801) 559 3005. You may attach your financials.

About your organization

* Organization Name: ______________________________________________
* What is the social problem addressed by your organization? (one sentence)
* How are you organized to solve it? (one sentence)
* Mission (50 words or less)
* Founded in:
* Population Served (one sentence):
* Strategic Partners/Existing Mentors:
* What is your social impact? (one sentence)
* What metrics do you currently use to measure that impact? (50 words or less)
* Funding History:
o Annual Operating Budget:
o Funding Sources:
___ % government ___ % private foundation ___ % earned revenue
___ % individuals ___ % corporate gifts ___ % other (describe)

* Management Team (please attach names and affiliation or bios):
o Full Time Management:
o Board of Directors:

Issues facing your non-profit

Please answer each of the following in a few sentences.
* Monetizing
o What assets (tangible and intangible) does your organization have?
o Are they currently monetized? If so, how?

* Business Efficiency
o Do you employ a full or part time CFO?
o Please attach your most recent quarterly financial statement.
o What areas are your financial Strengths? Weaknesses?

* General Marketing
o What is your current marketing strategy?
o Are you attempting to target a new audience?


Describe the problem facing your non-profit and how being a part of this competition would have an impact on your organization and the greater community and nonprofit sector at large (in 500 words or less)

You may wish to review these comparable applications:
• http://www.innocentive.com/landing/global-giveback.php
• http://www.venturecapital.org/documents/Welcome_to_investorsChoice-2010.pdf

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