- The Bush Prize for Community Innovation
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The Bush Prize for Community Innovation honors and supports innovative organizations with a track record of making great ideas happen. The following eligibility requirements and selection criteria provide a framework to help you determine whether or not your work is a good fit for the Bush Prize and should help you craft your application. For more detailed information about the program, take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions page.
Our team is also here to help. If you have specific questions about eligibility or selection criteria, contact the Bush Foundation Community Innovation Team at 651-379-2266 or CommunityInnovation@bushfoundation.org.
Bush Prize Eligibility
There are a few minimum requirements that organizations must meet in order to be eligible for the Bush Prize:
1. Bush Prize grants must be used for a charitable purpose.
2. Only organizations, not individuals, are eligible for the Bush Prize. These organizations must be 501(c)3 public charities or government entities (including schools). Groups of organizations (such as coalitions or collaboratives) are eligible to apply, but only one organization may receive the grant.
3. We accept Bush Prize applications from fiscal sponsors. The fiscal sponsor organization must submit the application and upon approval would become the grantee and receive the funds.
4. Prize winners must be located in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota or one of the 23 Native nations that share the same geography. Winners’ specific community innovation projects or programs must also be located in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota or one of the 23 Native nations that share the same geography.
5. Bush Prize winners must have accomplished both a specific community innovation project or program and demonstrate a track record of creating innovative solutions built on community-powered problem-solving.
6. The community innovation project or program under consideration must currently be underway or have happened in the last five years.
Bush Prize Selection Criteria
There are countless examples of stand-out community innovations throughout the Bush Foundation region. The following questions will help us prioritize which applicants best fit our strategy:
1. Specific Community Innovation Project or Program
Did/does the project or program address an important community need or opportunity?
Is the project or program currently underway or has it happened in the last five years?
Was the project or program built on community-powered problem-solving?
Community-powered problem-solving is:
Inclusive, meaningfully engaging the key stakeholders affected by the problem
Collaborative, with partners demonstrating willingness to change to be more effective together
Resourceful, making the most of existing community strengths and resources
Is the project or program innovative? The Bush Foundation defines community innovation as a breakthrough in addressing a community need or opportunity that is more effective, equitable or sustainable than existing approaches.
Did the project or program make a significant, sustainable difference?
Did the project or program inspire or inform others?
2. Culture of Innovation
Does the organization have a pattern of or commitment to community-powered problem-solving?
Does the organization have a pattern of innovative solutions?
3. Organizational Strength
Is the organization strong, as demonstrated by:
sustainable funding and fiscal responsibility
effective leadership and governance
sound business practices
or, has met the standards of the Charities Review Council or another reputable organizational accountability assessment program?
4. Additional Considerations
We will seek a portfolio of Bush Prize winners with balance across:
Size of community
Size of applicant organization
Demographics of communities served
Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography
Type of community need or opportunity
The Bush Foundation is committed to addressing racial and economic disparities. At least 50% of Bush Prize winners will be projects or programs that address these disparities.