Purpose:
The Community Innovation Fund is designed to act as a catalyst for creative projects and community development efforts within Alamance County. The goal of the fund is to identify, develop and support community-led initiatives which further our vision of a thriving, dynamic community that values and invests in its people and places by supporting creativity, innovation and access to opportunity. 

Objective: 
The following key objectives will guide funding decisions. 

As Co|Operative, we seek to support initiatives that...

  • are focused on downtown and community revitalization. 
  • create place-based projects that inspire and motivate community members to interact differently with their built environment. 
  • provide seed funding for proof of concept or “first-step” projects with the potential to scale and attract further outside investment. 
  • allow an iterative, action-based process that maximizes the value of the funds provided. 
  • create collaborative partnerships to leverage existing skills and human capital in new ways. 

Criteria:
All approved projects must meet all of the following criteria. 

  • Co|Operative will serve as an involved partner in all projects that are funded; 
  • A passionate project leader is crucial for this request. The project must clearly define how, what, and why the effort will have community benefits; 
  • Benefits must be concrete and tangible to people within Alamance County; 
  • The impact of the project must be seen within the community at large; projects that benefit a single organization will not receive support. 
  • Projects must be designed to allow for replicability or expansion if successful. 

Application Process:

  • Application process will be simple and quick. Submit a proposal of up to three (3) pages explaining the idea/project with amount requested and any matching cash and/or in-kind; 
  • Grant applications will be received on a rolling basis from September 2017 to May 2018 
  • Grant requests may be made by email or submission using the online submission link; 
  • Projects must relate broadly to one or more of our focus areas which can be found on our website. Special consideration is given to projects which seek to provide a multi-faceted approach that touches on two or more of our focus areas. 
  • Projects must be results oriented with clear, tangible impact in our community (i.e. no feasibility plans, strategic support, overhead funding, etc.) 
  • Successful grants will receive anywhere from $5,000 up to $20,000; 
  • Projects/grant decisions will be made on a rolling basis through October 2017 – June 2018

Community Innovation Fund Does Not Fund:

  • For profit projects to benefit or develop a startup or existing business. 
  • Projects or costs for assessments, feasibility plans or any other similar technical assistance related projects. 
  • Projects that do not serve the general public within Alamance County. 
  • Religiously or politically affiliated organizations. 

Grant Expectations:

  • • A mid-project report must be submitted to Co|Operative that indicates progress, success, and challenges 
  • • At the end of all projects, a final, a written grant report must be submitted to Co|Operative within 30 days of completion 
  • • The grant report should address the following:
    • What are the results of the project?
    • What were the challenges faced and how were they overcome?
    • How did the community work together?
    • What was learned?
    • What next steps (if any) are planned as a result of the initial funding to further expand the effort funded?

For other questions, please contact Chelsea Dickey, Director of Community Development.