Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Accepting Applications: InCommons Collaboration Challenge!

Today is the launch of the InCommons Collaboration Challenge! In the spirit of surfacing courageous leadership, from October 5-29, 2010, the Bush Foundation and its InCommons partner organizations invite you to share about an effective collaboration to innovatively solve problems or advance solutions in Minnesota . Entrants may self-nominate or can offer nominations of collaborations to be reviewed by a panel of judges, with the top three finalists being put to a public online vote from November 30 - December 10, 2010. The collaboration with the most votes will receive $25,000 to continue, expand or replicate the effort described in the entry!

Have you seen or been a part of any particularly remarkable collaborative efforts or innovative partnerships to advance the common good in Minnesota? Read on for more Challenge details and how you can help highlight the amazing work being done in our communities across this great state!

The first InCommons Collaboration Challenge recognizes and supports innovative local collaborations to solve community problems.

Communities across Minnesota are facing tough problems—economic and otherwise. Many people are working alone, disconnected from others addressing similar issues. Some are struggling to achieve scale and gain critical mass. Others are stymied because of the status quo–“that’s just how we do it here.”

In spite of this reality, organizations, leaders and community members are working together to advance solutions to a variety of challenges. They are tapping into the assets within their communities, capitalizing on their strengths and collaborating in innovative ways to solve problems at the local level. The first-ever InCommons Collaboration Challenge celebrates these efforts.

Eligibility and Guidelines

Entry to the InCommons Collaboration Challenge is open to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and individuals who are affiliated with a nonprofit organization.* Entrants can propose the continuation, expansion or replication of the collaboration described in their entries.

We will consider entries that meet the following guidelines:
  • The entry reflects the theme of the Challenge: Collaboration to Solve Community Problems. The scope of the InCommons Collaboration Challenge is to identify innovative local collaborations between nonprofit organizations, leaders (broadly-defined) and community members aimed at solving problems and advancing solutions.
  • The collaboration described in the entry is underway or has taken place within the past two years.
  • The collaboration described in the entry has demonstrated growth beyond the conceptual stage and has demonstrated progress and impact.
  • The collaboration described in the entry is located in Minnesota.
  • The entry is submitted in English.
The InCommons Collaboration Challenge is interested in collaborations that reflect a variety of disciplines, issues, and outcomes. Examples could include anything ranging from skills/capacity building, to deliberative democracy, to arts and education. The InCommons Challenge especially encourages submissions that reflect interdisciplinary approaches.

InCommons encourages submissions from young people, communities of color, ethnic communities and from Greater Minnesota.

While the InCommons Collaboration Challenge strongly encourages online entry to the Challenge, paper entries will be allowed upon request. For more information please contact Challenge staff at info@InCommons.org or 612.520.1756.

Please complete the entire entry form and submit responses by Friday, October 29, 2010 at 11:59 PM. All decisions of the judges will be final.

*The InCommons Collaboration Challenge is open to all 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that are listed in the IRS Business Master File (excluding private, non-operating foundations) and individuals affiliated with a qualifying organization. If your organization is a religious or faith-based organization not required to file with the IRS, you may be asked to provide the following: (i) your EIN issuance letter, (ii) year of establishment and (iii) denominational listing (i.e., state letter for churches or listing on a national church directory). Finalists may be subject to criminal background checks and background checks with Guidestar and the Charities Review Council to ensure compliance with state standards.

Projects or programs directly managed or led by the Bush Foundation or the nine InCommons partner organizations (Ashoka’s Changemakers, Minnesota Community Foundation, Minnesota Council of Churches, Minnesota Public Radio, The Saint Paul Foundation, Twin Cities Public Television, University of Minnesota Center for Integrative Leadership, Walker Art Center and Wilder Foundation) are not eligible for participation in the InCommons Collaboration Challenge.

Entries will be reviewed by a panel of independent judges, and three finalists will be put to a public online vote.

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