Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Awards and event for organizations making a social impact in Wisconsin

Force for Positive Change logo

ANNOUNCING THE FOURTH ANNUAL FORCE FOR POSITIVE CHANGE AWARD COMPETITION

Is your organization making a social impact in Wisconsin? The Force for Positive Change will provide financial awards to organizations addressing social challenges locally.

The Force for Positive Change competition began in 2016 with the goal of celebrating both for-profit and nonprofit organizations focused on creating lasting beneficial impact in, by and for Wisconsin. In its fourth year, the competition expands to embrace those organizations working to make a difference in the areas identified by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals while also pursuing a path to financial sustainability and lasting benefits.

Applications are now being accepted for the fourth annual Force for Positive Change award competition. Phase I applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, January 19. Applicants will be notified about advancing to Phase II no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, February 19.

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Prizes

At least six (6) $10,000 cash prizes will be awarded to eligible organizations. At least three (3) cash prizes of $10,000 will be awarded to organizations working towards progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In addition, this year, we are creating up to three (3) special consideration cash prizes of $10,000. These special consideration prizes respond to three important areas impacting Wisconsin organizations: COVID-19, the fight for racial equity for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), and the economic recession impacting our rural communities most harshly. Three (3) different eligible organizations for demonstrating work in the space of equity/inclusion, pivoting during COVID-19, rural resiliency will be awarded; special selection criteria have been developed to identify the winners.


Eligibility

All entrants must meet the following eligibility criteria.

  • Be a functioning enterprise (either a nonprofit entity or for-profit company) with a viable revenue-generating product or service already on the market or in use.
  • Address an important social and/or environmental challenge that exists in Wisconsin (that may also exist elsewhere) either through their products or services or through their operations.
  • Have a base of operations in Wisconsin.

Selection criteria

The selection criteria below will be used to judge all entrants during phases 1 and 2 of the competition. The three optional selection criteria allow the entrant to be considered for the three new prize categories for the 2020 competition.

Phase 1 criteria

  • The extent to which the organization has strong connections to Wisconsin through its staff, investors, directors, clients/customers
  • The degree to which their organization values and measures beneficial societal impact in Wisconsin
  • The extent to which the organization is able to demonstrate financial sustainability
  • The degree to which their organization pursues an innovative approach to a societal challenge in Wisconsin

Phase II criteria

  • The probability of continued success and ability to be a force for positive change in Wisconsin
  • The organization’s plans for future implementation and growth
  • The scalability and replicability of the organization’s approach to creating a lasting positive impact in Wisconsin.

Optional selection criteria – to be considered for one of the three special prizes, entrants need to incorporate one of the following criteria into their responses for Phase 1 and Phase II.

  • The enterprise demonstrates a commitment to addressing systemic racism through all aspects of its operations.
  • The enterprise demonstrates an executed, highly effective pivot allowing it to continue or exceed its previous impact in the face of the COVID-19 crisis
  • The enterprise demonstrates its primary dedication to addressing the particular challenges confronting Wisconsin’s rural population

FORCE FOR POSITIVE CHANGE COMPETITION RULES

All competition participants must agree to the competition rules before submitting their application. View the full rules here. By submitting your application, you agree to abide by the competition rules.

For more information, check our Frequently Asked Questions.

Summary of Force for Positive Change Competition rules

  1. You must submit an application to be entered into the Force for Positive Change competition. The competition will proceed through two phases. The deadline for submitting an application for Phase I is 11:59 p.m. on January 19, 2021.
  2. A subset of applicants will be selected to advance to Phase II of the Force for Positive Change competition. Applicants invited to advance to Phase II will be selected by a panel of judges. Phase I applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
    a. Extent to which the organization has strong connections to Wisconsin through its staff, investors, directors, clients/customers.
    b. Degree to which their organization values and measures beneficial societal impact in Wisconsin.
    c. Ability to demonstrate financial sustainability.
  3. Phase II applicants will be invited to submit additional information in written form and in an interview with a team of judges. Phase II applicants will be notified no later than February 19, 2021, and Phase II applications will be due on March 15, 2021. Phase II applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
    a. Degree to which their organization pursues an innovative approach to a societal challenge in Wisconsin.
    b. Probability of continued success and ability to be a force for positive change in Wisconsin.
    c. The organization’s plans for future implementation and growth.
    d. The scalability and replicability of the organization’s approach to creating lasting positive impact in Wisconsin.
  4. At least 12 finalists will be announced no later than April 20, 2021. Finalists will be required to attend in person or to designate a representative of their organization to attend the virtual Force for Positive Change event in spring 2021 (date TBD) to be considered for a prize.

If you have any questions about these rules, please email [email protected] or call 608-316-4392 or email [email protected] or call 414-288-4990.

The Force for Positive Change award competition is sponsored by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and Marquette University. The odds of winning depend on the number and quality of entries received. No purchase necessary to enter. Void where prohibited. For full official rules click here.


Save the Date

The Force for Positive Change event will be held virtually in spring 2021.


Sponsors

WARF logo Marquette University logo American Family Insurance logo WEDC logo Promega logo

Previous winners

7 Rivers Recycling LLC

ACTS Housing

Apricity

Artisan Dental LLC

The Community Warehouse

Fix Development

Harambee Village

Little Free Library

Maydm Inc.

Nelson and Pade Inc.

The Open Door Coffeehouse

Purple Cow Organics

Rebel Green LLC

Riverview Gardens

SOAR Fox Cities

Soaring Independent Cooperative

STEMhero LLC

WasteCap Resource Solutions

Whole Trees

Williamson St. Coop

Wonderstate Coffee (formerly Kickapoo Coffee Roasters)

WARF