Frequently Asked Questions
My organization is not / I am not located in one of the eight communities. Can we/I still apply?
You are only eligible if the program or project will take place in or benefit one of the eight communities.
Can only nonprofit organizations or companies apply?
Everyone is encouraged to apply – nonprofits, for-profit companies and/or individuals or any partnerships between these are all eligible.
How many applications may I submit?
There is no limit to the number of applications each entity can submit. Each application should be for a different project.
What is an “Idea to Action” plan?
It’s one thing to have an idea. It’s another to implement and then sustain the idea. We believe that the process of working through all the details of a smart idea (and ultimately the written document) is a critical part of using funds wisely to create sustainable community impact.
As such, the first step of our Challenge is to provide you with resources so you can spend the time to work through the details of your project and how to implement it. Maybe you decide to engage smart advisors to poke, probe, and prod your concept in order to help prevent avoidable mistakes. Maybe you initiate a crowd sourcing campaign to survey your potential audience.
We are certain that the ‘Idea to Action’ plan will look different for each challenge winner. We are also certain that you won’t know if you’ve arrived if you haven’t selected the destination and planned how to get there.
What kinds of projects are you looking for? Can you provide some examples?
We’re looking for new models – new combinations of innovative technology and technique, new partnerships between former competitors – projects with a strong possibility of being self-sustaining. The best ideas have good content, yes, but they go far beyond that to envision how technology helps bring news to people where and when they want it, how communities will form around the project and what they will do, and how reliable flows of funds will come in over time.
Maybe, for example, a public radio station and a newspaper have always wanted to partner to increase arts coverage. Between the two of them, a good percentage of the community would be reached. The radio station would raise the money to keep the coverage going. But they need seed money to get it all started. Or maybe, using software like Spot. Us, a local arts nonprofit hires freelancers to cover stories, people vote on what they want and provide the funds to report.
These are just two examples. The best ideas might be those that create new models that have never been imagined before.
How can I gain an edge in my application?
We are looking for innovation. Someone already invented the wheel. Someone already created the suitcase. Be the first to say the wheels should be put on the suitcase.
This means do your homework. Know if any of the elements of your idea are being tried somewhere else. Get the facts and figures on the community you want to engage. Explain the know-how required to get the project done. That said, ultimately, the best ‘edge’ is to have a really great idea.
What is the deadline for submitting an application?
The contest is closed. All applications were received by midnight (EST), Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011.
Will I get funding directly from the Knight Foundation or from the National Endowment for the Arts?
No. If you are selected as a first-round finalist, your award funds will come from your local arts agency.
When will winners be announced?
First-round winners will be privately notified September 2011. First-round winners will be publically announced October 2011 at the Grantmakers in the Arts conference in San Francisco.
Who do I contact if I have further questions?
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any additional questions.
Will you fund an existing project?
Yes, if the request is for a new component or feature of an existing project or, to expand a project’s current scale.
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