The Rules a.k.a. Frequently Asked Questions

Innovate for Good Logo

Q: What is Innovate for Good with Rose Community Foundation?

A: Innovate for Good (#IFGDenver) is a project at Rose Community Foundation, launched in 2015, to find and fund new ideas in the Greater Denver community. In 2016, Innovate for Good will award up to $250,000 to ideas for projects empowering youth as agents of change in their communities. Funds awarded must be used by idea submitters to make their idea a reality.

Q: How does Innovate for Good define “innovative?”

A: We define innovative as…

  • Creative or entrepreneurial,
  • Specific and focused enough to be easily explained and understood, and
  • Ambitious enough to be groundbreaking and to inspire a community

Q: How does Innovate for Good define “youth empowerment?”

A: We define youth empowerment as youth recognizing their strengths and abilities and acting on them to serve as community leaders in real and meaningful ways.

Q: Who is eligible to apply?

A: Almost anyone can submit an idea to be considered: artists, engineers, students, retirees, neighborhood associations, nonprofit organziations, businesses, government entities — you name it. Applicants must be Colorado residents or Colorado-based nonprofits, businesses or government entities and must fit into one of two categories:

  1. Youth: Youth, ages 13 to 18, working on their own or in a team, with an idea for a project they can implement that will make a difference in their community and inspire and empower their peers.
  2. Youth and Adult Partnerships: Youth, ages 13 to 18, working as equal partners with adult allies, as individuals or within an organization, to empower youth to make a difference in their community. While we recognize that youth and adults possess different skills and experience levels and may therefore play different role in a partnership, the partnership should be one of equals.

Note: Submitters in the Youth category may have an adult advise or help them to complete their idea submission. This does not constitute a Youth and Adult Partnership.

Q: Who is not eligible to apply?

A: Employees of Rose Community Foundation and their immediate families, and members of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Additionally, members of the Innovate for Good Committee may not be the primary applicant on an idea submission. They may, however, be affiliated with a nonprofit, company or group submitting an idea.

All individuals involved in reviewing ideas for Innovate for Good will abide by Rose Community Foundation’s Conflict of Interest Policy and disclose any conflicts of interest. In the event of a known conflict, reviewers will remove themselves from assessing, discussing or deciding on support for an idea.

Q: How are current Rose Community Foundation grant recipients affected by Innovate for Good?

A: Innovate for Good does not change the Foundation’s current grantmaking through its five program areas or through its donor-advised funds. This project is a new addition to our other work. Current grant recipients are eligible to submit ideas to Innovate for Good.

Q: How do I apply? What steps are involved?

A: The first step is to submit an idea between May 2 and 5:00 p.m. on May 31, 2016. All ideas must be submitted through our online form, but for your reference, here is the complete list of Idea Submission questions as a PDF. Idea Submitters can log back in to edit their Idea Submission up until the deadline of 5:00 p.m. on May 31. Please note: an up to 60 seconds long video is a required part of Idea Submission.

Q: Wait, I have to make a video?

A: Yes, but do not be nervous. The video should be very brief, just one minute long, with minimal or no editing. We are not looking for a polished film, in fact, we want the opposite: just you (or someone on your team) talking about your idea. Here is the specific prompt for the video: All Innovate for Good submissions will be reviewed by a team of 200+ community members. Provide a link to an up to 60 seconds long video of someone on your team introducing themselves and talking about why your idea should be selected. Only amateur videos with minimal or no editing and that stick to the time limit will be accepted. Please post your video on YouTube and paste the link in the appropriate space on the Idea Submission form.

Q: How will Idea Submissions be reviewed?

The Innovate for Good Community Review Team of 200+ community members will review and score all Idea Submissions and a Committee of community members will meet to select Semi-finalists. All Idea Submitters will be notified whether or not they have been selected as Semi-finalists by email by July 19, 2016.

Q: Who serves on the Community Review Team?

A: All Idea Submissions that meet the basic criteria will be reviewed by multiple members of our Community Review Team, consisting of more than 200 community members with a variety of professional and personal backgrounds and expertise. They include nonprofit and business leaders, educators, active community members, youth, alumni from youth and young adult programs, holders of donor-advised funds at Rose Community Foundation and members of the Rose Community Foundation Board of Trustees and Committees.

Q: What will the Community Review Team look for?

Each Idea Submission will be reviewed for the degree to which it is…

  1. Innovative. A creative or entrepreneurial project that is specific and focused enough to be easily explained and understood and ambitious enough to be groundbreaking and to inspire a community.
  2. Empowering. The projet empowers youth as community leaders in real and meaningful ways. They recognize their strengths and abilities and act on them to “do good” in the community.
  3. Poised for Impact. Ready to make a positive difference within one year. Projects should make a difference in the community, not just for the youth involved.
  4. Just Getting Started. Currently in idea, planning, or pilot stage. We applaud projects that are already up and running, but they should not apply to Innovate for Good.
  5. Denver-Based and Denver Serving. Designed, implemented and serving a community within Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas or Jefferson counties.
  6. Consistent with Rose Community Foundation’s Mission, Vision and Non-Discrimination Policy.

Q: What happens if my idea is selected as a Semi-finalist?

A: Semi-finalists will be invited to submit a short Round Two Application, which will ask for a project timeline and budget, plus a few additional questions. We will keep it brief, we promise. Semi-finalists will have two weeks, from July 19 to August 2, 2016, to complete the Round Two Application. Semi-finalists submitting a Round Two Application will be invited to the Innovate for Good Preview Night, an informal gathering to network, share submitted ideas and receive guidance on their Round Two application. The Innovate for Good Committee will review Round Two Applications and select Finalists. All submitters will be notified of whether or not they have been selected as Finalists by email by August 19, 2016.

Q: What do Finalists receive?

A: Finalists will receive a short video that will showcase their project idea and be featured at the Innovate for Good Community Awards Night in September. Finalists will have the opportunity to share their idea at that event, and attendees will vote to select the winning projects.

Q: What do winners receive?

A: Winning submissions will receive grant funds to make their idea happen between October 2016 and September 2017. All funds must be used to carry out the idea and ultimately, to empower youth to be agents of change in the Greater Denver community. Youth winners will receive $5,000 and training and coaching from youth empowerment experts to help get their project up and running. Youth and Adult Partnerships will receive an award between $10,000 and $25,000 and the opportunity to participate in the Innovate for Good launch workshop focused on youth empowerment and effective youth-adult partnerships.

Q. Can I submit more than one idea?

A: Yes!

Q: Will the Community Review Team receive my contact information?

A: No! The Community Review Team will review all information you share about your idea. They will not see your name or any of your contact information. If a nonprofit, business or government entity is involved in your submission, the Review Team will have access to that information.

Q: When will my name and my idea be shared?

A: We would like to share the names of Idea Submitters whose projects are selected as Semi-finalists and Finalists, along with the names and descriptions of their project ideas, however, if you would prefer your name not be publicized by Rose Community Foundation, please contact Sarah Indyk at sindyk@rcfdenver.org or 303.398.7416.

Q: What if my idea involves intellectual property?

A: If your idea is chosen for funding, you may continue to own your intellectual property. However, in most cases, you will be required to release the results as open source code (for software) or with a Creative Commons license (for content and documentation). If you do not want to do this, please do not submit an idea. If you have further questions, contact Sarah Indyk at sindyk@rcfdenver.org or 303.398.7416.

Q: When will the winning projects be announced?

A: Winning projects will be selected and announced at the Innovate for Good Community Awards Night in September 2016.

Q: What if I have a great idea, but have no idea where to start in terms of making it happen?

A: We hope you will submit your idea and start to think about how you can make it happen or who you can partner with to bring your idea to life. Implementation and feasibility will be important considerations in selecting Semi-finalists and Finalists.

Q: What if I know or work with someone who is on the Community Review Team? Can I still apply?

A: Yes, you can still apply! All individuals involved in reviewing ideas for Innovate for Good will abide by Rose Community Foundation’s Conflict of Interest Policy and disclose any conflicts of interest. In the event of a known conflict, reviewers will remove themselves from assessing, discussing or deciding on support for an idea.

Q: If my idea is not selected, will I know why?

A: Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide specific feedback to individual applicants due to the large volume of Idea Submissions we anticipate. You will be notified via email if your idea is not selected.

Q: Is there anything else I should know before I submit my idea?

A: Yes. By submitting your idea, you represent that it is your original idea and that, to your knowledge, no one else has any right to it. You understand that others may submit a similar idea and you agree that the Foundation will be the sole judge in determining which ideas to fund. You also agree that you will not have any rights because of the Foundation’s funding of a similar idea. By submitting your idea, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Foundation, its trustees, officers, employees and agents against any loss, claim, expense or liability arising from your submission of the idea.

Q: What’s the “fine print”?

A: All ideas submitted are subject to Rose Community Foundation’s Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Innovate for Good with Rose Community Foundation will NOT fund:

  • Fundraising projects
  • Enhancement or expansion of existing programs
  • Capital costs related to buying property
  • Lobbying expenses
  • Projects that would re-grant the funds
  • Debt reduction
  • Projects outside of the seven-county Denver metro area
  • Projects that will take longer than 12 months to have a measurable impact

If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact Sarah Indyk at sindyk@rcfdenver.org or 303.398.7416.