Ignite Community Innovation Challenge Accepting Submissions

May. 8, 2016 null

Ignite Community Innovation Challenge Announced


The Greater Des Moines community is brimming with innovative minds and the nonprofit community is no exception. The Ignite Community Innovation Challenge, now in its third year, is a grant award designed to encourage nonprofit organizations to re-think, re-frame and re-imagine how they carry out their missions.  The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines is proud to implement the Ignite Community Innovation Challenge along with several Innovation Investors. The Innovation Investors have been working to innovate the program and this year have expanded the submission phase and have planned for additional resources to support finalists in the refinement and ultimate launch of the winning, innovative ideas.  

This is not a typical grant program; after all, we are not seeking typical ideas.  Ignite is being issued as a challenge with an anticipated top of prize of up to $30,000 and a runner-up prize of up to $15,000. All prizes awarded will be used to ignite the innovative idea and propel it forward in Central Iowa. According to Angie Dethlefs-Trettin, the Community Foundation’s chief community impact officer, “Ignite is a unique opportunity for our nonprofit sector to access funding resources to think outside the box in order to fulfill their missions.  This year’s Challenge includes opportunities for each finalist to engage with community volunteers, entrepreneurs, Innovation Investors and others to refine their concept and prepare a pitch that best positions their organization to launch the innovative idea.” 

Submissions for the Ignite Community Innovation Challenge are being accepted now through July 15, 2016 at www.desmoinesfoundation.org/ignite.  Finalists will then be selected to engage in additional coaching and ultimately make a pitch selling their idea to a community panel on December 1. Ideas impacting Central Iowa should be clear and innovative, create enhancements in practices, create a stronger focus on mission for the organization, have a viable chance of success and provide approaches that could be applicable to other organizations resulting in industry best practices. 

The Community Foundation is also pleased to offer a training session on innovation, facilitated by Dr. Stacy Van Gorp, on May 26 to assist organizations as they think of how to develop an innovative idea and turn it into reality. Visit www.desmoinesfoundation.org/events to learn more.