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Funding,  July 10, 2007

Make it Your Own Awards for Community Change

"We recognize that improving our communities takes ongoing commitment and persistent action. That's why we're funding people who join together to create innovative ideas and solutions that can lay the groundwork for long-term social change. We want to lift up these efforts to show that they're not happening in isolation -- they're part of a growing movement that is transforming our communities.

Still, great ideas need resources behind them. So, we're giving grants, tools, and recognition to everyday people who come together to create a vision and work toward the common good.

The Make It Your Own AwardsTM are a direct response to research showing that many people feel disconnected from public leaders and institutions and don't believe they have the power to make a lasting difference in their community. These findings were the spark for a paper we released last fall, Citizens at the Center: A New Approach to Civic Engagement, which suggests that if people are actually going to get engaged and stay engaged in their communities, one thing has to happen first -- they must be given more chances to connect with one another (including those they might disagree with) and figure out how they can work together for the common good.

Who Can Apply
We're looking for passionate individuals, or individuals working with small, local organizations or groups, who reside in one of the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, or Puerto Rico, to submit an idea for one of these same locations (no international projects). Applicants must be 14 years of age or older.

What You Get
Twenty finalists will receive a $10,000 grant to help make their idea a reality. The final four (chosen by the votes of our online community) will get an additional $25,000 grant -- for a total of $35,000. Everyone who applies will receive GOOD Magazine and online tools to help them share their idea with others and raise funds online. The top 100 finalists will get $100 from the Case Foundation to jump-start their idea.

How It Works
YOU HAVE A VOICE: This new grant program is part of an exciting trend--a 'citizen-centered' approach to making the world a better place that is more open and more inclusive. That's why, from developing the grant guidelines to voting on the final grant recipients, we have been and will continue to involve the public in nearly every aspect of the program.
APPLY: Brief applications will be accepted online June 26-August 8. A group of people from diverse backgrounds and communities will review all the applications and select the top 100 semifinalists. These 100 semifinalists will then be invited to pitch their ideas as a full proposal starting in early September.
FINALISTS: A smaller group of reviewers will then choose the Top 20 finalists in early November with each finalist receiving a grant of $10,000.
YOU VOTE: In November, the online community will select four $25,000 grant recipients from the top 20 finalists."

Posted by wrivenburgh on July 10, 2007 | Funding