“What new and innovative idea would you bring to life to make the Greater Denver community a better place to live?”
This was the question that framed a new venture for Rose Community Foundation, called Innovate for Good.
At our 20th Anniversary celebration on June 18, Jennifer Atler Fischer, former chair of the Board of Trustees and champion for Innovate for Good announced the project’s nine winners. Innovate for Good is a new project to find and fund new, innovative projects to make the greater Denver community a better place to live.
A multi-tiered review process that engaged 130 community members resulted in nine winning projects from nearly 400 entries. Altogether, those projects were awarded $230,000. You can see the full list of winners here.
The winning projects shared three primary characteristics, as explained by Atler Fischer as she announced the winners:
1. They are innovative. These are new ventures. They represent creative approaches to addressing community issues and they are all early-stage – currently in the planning or
2. They stand to make a real difference over the next year. Each one has a plan to address a need in the community and to deliver a measurable and positive outcome.
3. They are positioned for success. The leadership who will carry out these projects have the skills, networks, resources and partners to deliver results.
At the 20th Anniversary event, three of these winners made a live pitch about how they could expand the impact of their project with an additional $20,000. Those in attendance voted by text message, and awarded the additional money to Be the Gift’s Workshop on Wheels project, which helps single mothers with home improvement projects. It will use the additional money to expand its fleet of workshops on wheels to be able to serve more families.
“There was wonderful energy during the Innovate for Good awards, pitches and the text vote,” said Foundation president and CEO Sheila Bugdanowitz. “Many of the friends who joined us that evening were impressed and moved by the winning projects.”
While the initial proposals came from individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations, all of the finalist proposals came from nonprofits. The submitting organizations are of all shapes and sizes, from the well-established and well-known community organizations to grassroots, neighborhood-based organizations. The projects also all fall in areas that are outside of Rose Community Foundation’s traditional grantmaking focus areas of Aging, Child and Family Development, Education, Health and Jewish Life.
- Learn more, and see videos of winning projects: https://rcfdenver.org/what-we-do/programs-and-initiatives/innovate-for-good/