- Local Impact
Social Innovation Grants
NEW Social INNOVATION GRANT PROGRAM BREAKS THE OLD RULES
|Sometimes you have to break the old rules to find what works. That’s the philosophy behind the new Social Innovation Grant Program at the Tulsa Area United Way.
The United Way recently announced its new Social Innovation Grant program that will award up to $300,000 in 2017 to individuals and non-profit organizations that develop creative ways to address community issues.
“We are looking for fresh perspectives and innovative strategies to confront and reverse stubborn social challenges,” said Mark R. Graham, president and CEO of the Tulsa Area United Way. “We’re looking for ideas that may seem unorthodox at first, but upon further consideration, not to mention a little bit of funding, just might work.”
Up to $50,000 will be awarded to individuals and $250,000 to non-profit organizations that develop new, innovative ideas in the United Way’s three areas of focus: education, health and safety, and financial stability.
Grants for Individuals will be awarded to “early stage ideas” in the range of $1,000 to $5,000 each to individuals selected by a panel of volunteer judges. During “pitch nights,” individuals will have five minutes to present their ideas, followed by a five-minute question-and-answer period.
Prospective recipients must bring forward a brand new idea that is ready for concept testing within six months. They also must be affiliated with a 501c3 organization as a staff member, intern or contract employee.
“These are smaller projects that may have a sizeable, short-term impact, or have potential to spur larger, sustainable change over a longer period of time,” said Sharon Gallagher, director of collaborative initiatives at the Tulsa Area United Way.
Grants for nonprofit agencies will be awarded in various amounts between $30,000 and $100,000 for one year to non-profit agencies with “later stage ideas” that address significant community issues, Gallagher said. Agencies will have 10 minutes to present their ideas, and 10 minutes for a question-and-answer period during the pitch night.
The agency must maintain 501c3 status and be headquartered in the United Way’s six-county service area. However, the organization does not have to be a United Way partner agency.
“Maybe there are initiatives an organization has wanted to try but didn’t have the funding,” said Gallagher. “Or perhaps there are new strategies that have worked elsewhere that have the potential of making an impact locally.”
The Tulsa Area United Way is seeking your next big idea. The Agency Innovation Grant Information form must be submitted by September 22nd, and is available at www.tauw.org/InnovationGrant. The Individual Innovation Grant Information form must be submitted by November 17th, and is available at www.tauw.org/InnovationGrantIndividual .