Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Awards and event for organizations making a social impact in Wisconsin

Force for Positive Change logo

ANNOUNCING THE FIFTH FORCE FOR POSITIVE CHANGE AWARD COMPETITION

Is your organization making a social impact in Wisconsin? The Force for Positive Change will provide financial prizes 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 fifth 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 fifth Force for Positive Change award competition. Phase I applications are due by 11:59 pm on Thursday, September 15. Applicants will be notified about advancing to Phase II no later than 5 pm on Monday October 3, 2022.

Apply now! (nonprofit)       Apply now! (for-profit)

Preview questions (nonprofit)       Preview questions (for-profit)

Want to know more? We held an informational webinar with past winners and the competition organizers on Tuesday, August 9.
Watch the webinar


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 and up to three (3) special consideration cash prizes of $10,000 may be awarded. The special consideration prizes will be awarded to organizations responding to three important areas impacting Wisconsin organizations: the fight for racial equity for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), rural prosperity, and organizational resilience. No organization may win more than one (1) prize. In the event that the quality or quantity of the applications received for the special consideration prizes are insufficient, we reserve the right to convert one or more of the special consideration prizes to a general prize.


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 I 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 I and Phase II.

  • The enterprise demonstrates a commitment to addressing systemic racism through all aspects of its operations.
  • The enterprise demonstrates its primary dedication to addressing the particular challenges confronting Wisconsin’s rural population.
  • The enterprise demonstrates an integrated plan for addressing organizational resiliency in the face of numerous contemporary economic and societal challenges.

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 September 15, 2022.
  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.
    d. Degree to which their organization pursues an innovative approach to a societal challenge in Wisconsin
  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 October 3, 2022, and Phase II applications will be due on October 31, 2022. Phase II applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
    a. Probability of continued success and ability to be a force for positive change in Wisconsin.
    b. The organization’s plans for future implementation and growth.
    c. 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 November 7, 2022. 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 on November 16, 2022 to be considered for a prize.

If you have any questions about these rules, please email [email protected] or call 608-770-4134 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.


Force for Positive Change event

Save the date: November 16, 2022


Sponsors

WARF logo Marquette University logo American Family Insurance logo

Partners

Cardinal Stritch logo gener8tor logo UW Eau Claire Foundation logo UW INSITE logo Wisconsin Microfinance logo

Previous winners

7 Rivers Recycling LLC

ACTS Housing

Apricity

Artisan Dental LLC

Bloom360 Learning Community

Build-A-Bow

CEOs of Tomorrow

Common Wealth Development

The Community Warehouse

Earthbound Environmental Solutions

Fifth Season Cooperative

Fix Development

Giant Jones Brewing

Harambee Village

Islands of Brilliance

Madison-area Urban Ministry dba Just Dane

Little Free Library

Little John’s Kitchens

Maydm Inc.

Midwest Organic Sustainable and Educational Service (MOSES Organic)

Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA)

Nelson and Pade Inc.

Neu-Life Community Development

New Leaf Foods

The Open Door Coffeehouse

Operation Fresh Start

Public Allies

Purple Cow Organics

Rebel Green LLC

Riveredge Nature Center

Riverview Gardens

Rosenholm Dairy

SOAR Fox Cities

Soaring Independent Cooperative

STEMhero LLC

WasteCap Resource Solutions

Whole Trees

Williamson St. Coop

Wonderstate Coffee (formerly Kickapoo Coffee Roasters)

WARF