The Aviv Foundation is casting a wide net to find some outside-the-box ideas for improving child welfare and family support services.
Aviv will provide $200,000 unrestricted awards for four innovation plans in the child welfare space through its new Springboard Prize, a competition that got underway in mid-January. The Bethesda, Maryland-based foundation will receive first-round applications through March 12, and will likely announce several dozen proposals that make it to a second application round. A panel of eight judges will determine the winners.
The idea is to seed interesting proposals that would have a tough time competing with traditional ones for philanthropic or government support, or strategies that have shown promise on a very small scale and need a bigger stage. Eligibility for the award is wide-open, including applications from nonprofits, government agencies, individuals and corporations.
Aviv will set up a separate fund to help winners evaluate their impact, according to deputy director Jill Nagle, and might seek to continue the award in future years depending on how the first iteration goes.
Aviv President Chani Katzen Laufer said the idea for the prize was among the first ideas that the grantmaker considered when she and her husband Steve founded it in 2015. They decided to hold off a few years, but time has made clear that such a competition is needed in child welfare, she said.
“You need ways to sort of shake things up, and create new ideas and excitement around something that isn’t necessarily obvious,” Laufer said, in an interview with The Imprint.
For more information on the prize, visit www.springboardprize.org. The foundation is hosting a webinar today at 12 p.m. EST to answer questions about the contest, and that will be posted as a recording on its website.
To hear more about the backstory on the Springboard Prize, check out next week’s episode of The Imprint Weekly Podcast (releasing Monday, February 8) for our interview with Laufer and Nagle.
Correction: This article was updated to reflect that while the foundation may consider continuing the competition in future years, it was not considering that in tandem with other funders.