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FAQ

The 2017 Collaboration Prize: Frequently Asked Questions

We recommend that you carefully review the eligibility criteria for the 2017 Prize and the answers to these frequently asked questions prior to applying. If you don’t see an answer to your question in the below FAQs you can seek more information via email at info@thecollaborationprize.org.

About the Prize

Q: What is the Collaboration Prize?

A: The Collaboration Prize is a national award presented to outstanding nonprofits that collaborate effectively on a permanent basis to create greater impact.

Q: What type of award will be made?

A: A grand prize of $150,000 will be awarded to the collaboration that best exemplifies the impact that can result from working together on a permanent basis. In addition, each of the eight finalists will receive $10,000.

Q: Are there any requirements regarding the use of the Prize awards?

Although the Collaboration Prize money must be used for charitable purposes, there are no specific requirements on its use. The Prize planners hope that the funds will be used to enhance the winning collaborations’ continued contributions to the social good.

Q: How is the monetary award divided up among organizations participating in a winning collaboration?

A: There are no restrictions on how the money is to be divided among organizations participating in the winning collaboration. It is the responsibility of participating organizations to divide winnings in a fair and equitable manner.

Q Who funds the Collaboration Prize?

A: The Collaboration Prize is a project of The Lodestar Foundation, a Phoenix-based philanthropic organization.

Q: Why was the Collaboration Prize developed?

A: The Collaboration Prize was designed to celebrate nonprofit organizations that have chosen to permanently collaborate, reward those that have achieved outstanding results, and offer models to inspire others. The Prize also is intended to raise awareness of collaboration as an effective strategy to improve outcomes, achieve scale, increase efficiency, and maximize impact.

The Prize is evidence of The Lodestar Foundation’s commitment to its mission to leverage philanthropy for maximum impact. Lodestar chose to support permanent nonprofit collaboration as a key strategy to achieve its mission because the leverage factor is exponential – support of permanent collaborations can greatly increase nonprofit effectiveness, efficiency and impact. The legacy of the Prize is the extensive and comprehensive information base of effective collaboration models, the Nonprofit Collaboration Database, that can be studied and used by academics, nonprofit leaders and grantmakers to inspire and advance their work.

Q: What is the Nonprofit Collaboration Database?

A: The Nonprofit Collaboration Database exemplifies the Collaboration Prize’s mission to provide models and best practices for the field. It is a resource for everyone seeking real-life examples of how nonprofit organizations can work together. The database currently contains detailed information on over 650 collaborations and will be further expanded to include new collaboration models resulting from the 2017 Prize process. The collaborations in the database can be accessed through a variety of searchable categories, including types of collaboration, location of collaboration and subject matter of collaboration.

The database is part of a set of resources in the Collaboration Hub of Grantspace, a service of the Foundation Center, a national nonprofit service organization that connects nonprofits and grantmakers to tools, resources and information.

Eligibility

Q: What types of collaborations may apply?

A: Collaborations between two or more nonprofit organizations are eligible, as are collaborations that involve two or more nonprofits and a community foundation, government entity or public agency. Collaborations involving for profit corporations are not eligible.

Models of collaboration may include:

  • Administrative consolidations designed to share, exchange or provide back office services such as accounting, IT, human resources, etc.
  • Joint programming to launch and manage one or more programs
  • Mergers by which governance, programs, and administrative functions have been combined but which may or may not have included integration into a single corporate entity
  • Confederation as a league or alliance of separate corporate entities in which the members retain considerable independence but are permanently committed through a federated structure to the achievement of specific goals or purposes

Q: Do we need to have a written formal agreement to be eligible?

A: Yes, a formal written agreement that memorializes the permanent collaboration is required.

Q: Our collaboration was nominated for the 2009 Prize and/or the 2011 Prize. Can we apply for the 2017 Prize?

A: The finalists in the prior competitions are not eligible to apply for the 2017 Collaboration Prize, but all other collaborations that participated in the prior competitions are welcome to apply.

Q: Does eligibility limit the number of organizations that can work together in a collaborative?

A: There is no upper limitation on the number of organizations participating in a collaboration (two is the minimum). Focus is placed on the quality and impact of the collaboration, not on the quantity of those participating.

Q: Are community foundations eligible for the Prize?

A: Yes. A collaboration that involves two or more community foundations or a community foundation and other nonprofits is welcomed.

Application and selection process

Q: When does the application process open and close for the 2017 Prize?

A: Applications will be accepted from October 3, 2016 through November 16, 2016. Applications received after the deadline will not be eligible for the 2017 Collaboration Prize.

Q: Who can submit an application?

A: Applications may be submitted by any individual who is involved in the collaboration, including employees or board members of organizations involved in the collaboration.

Q: How do I submit an application?

A: The Collaboration Prize will accept only online applications. To apply, use the online application process located at www.thecollaborationprize.org and click on the “Apply Today” button. Be sure to review the application process thoroughly to ensure your application will be accepted.

Q: Can a person submit an application for more than one collaboration?

A: Yes. However, a collaboration may not be submitted more than once.

Q: Must applications be in English?

A: Yes.

Q: Who is involved in the selection process?

A: Oversight of the Collaboration Prize process is provided by La Piana Consulting, a national management and consulting firm that offers strategic solutions for nonprofits and foundations. La Piana consultants are experienced in helping nonprofits and foundations become stronger and more effective through collaboration. La Piana will be involved throughout the entire process, from planning and development to reviewing and scoring applications and conducting site visits to the eight finalists.

A Selection Panel, comprised of major supporters of nonprofit collaboration, will be convened to select the finalists and the winner.

Q: What will be required of semi-finalists and finalists?

A: Up to 20 semi-finalists will be asked to submit additional information to support the evaluation and selection process. These organizations may also be contacted by phone to assist in clarifying answers and activities. From this list, up to eight finalists will be selected. Site visits will be conducted to help the Selection Panel gain a clear picture of the impact and effectiveness of the collaboration.

Q: Is it possible to check the status of an application?

A: No. Prize planners will communicate with applicants during each phase of the selection process to update on status. You can also refer back to this website to see updates on the status of the prize.