Federal prize competitions are a means for federal agencies to crowdsource ideas and engage public innovators to develop innovative ideas and solutions to societal problems (referred to as competitions, prize competitions, challenge, or competition). According to Challenge.gov, the primary platform for managing competitions, “Longitude and ship navigation, Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight, even initial designs for the U.S. Capitol and White House—all resulted from open prize competitions. Even those self-driving vehicles got their start in federal prize competitions too!” Other notable concepts derived from challenges include the “lunar loo” (space toilet), digital wallet interface, protections for fish from water infrastructure, opioid detection in the mail, and “getting out the count” for the most recent census. These competitions, organized by Federal agencies, encourage participation from individuals, businesses, and organizations, driving them to create groundbreaking solutions to complex problems. This blog post delves into the world of federal competitions, exploring their significance, impact, and considerations for interested organizations.

United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development, Rural Utilities Services Attention organizations and communities interested in providing distance learning or telemedicine services to rural areas! The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development, Rural Utilities Services’ Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant program is accepting applications for equipment, software, and other technological needs to provide education and medical services to remote areas with populations of 20,000 and under. Awards range from $50,000 to $1million and there is a three-year period of performance beginning the date the funds are released. A minimum 15% match is required and cannot be from another federal source. This program was created to assist rural communities in acquiring distance learning and telemedical technologies so local teachers and medical services providers who serve rural residents can link to other teachers, medical professionals, and experts located at distances too far to access otherwise.

Prospect research is the term commonly used for the process of identifying potential sources of funding for an organization or program. If your organization is a small or start-up nonprofit with limited staff or development support, the task of prospect research can feel both urgent and overwhelming. Fear not. Here are a few tips for beginning your prospect research process that will help start you on a path to success.

    Department of Veterans Affairs Session 12 of the Federal Agency Series Register Now       In this session, we will educate the participants in the core mission, principles, and strategic priorities the VA works by, their budget, and what that budget aims to address in national priorities. We'll then discuss...

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Attention nonprofit organizations and government entities addressing homelessness! The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is now accepting proposals for its Youth and Homelessness Systems Improvement (YHSI) Grant. The goal of the YHSI Grant Program is “to increase state and local capacity to better serve youth and create projects that are responsive to the needs of youth at-risk of or experiencing homelessness in the community.” Applications for this program are due February 15, 2024.

      ACF - Administration for Children & Families Session 11 of the Federal Agency Series Register Now     In this session, we will educate the participants in the core mission, principles, and strategic priorities the ACF works by, their budget, and what that budget aims to address in national priorities....

      NEA - National Endowment for the Arts Session 10 of the Federal Agency Series Register Now     In this session, we will educate the participants in the core mission, principles, and strategic priorities the NEA works by, their budget, and what that budget aims to address in national priorities....

Funding Alert! Opportunities for STEM Education The Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) program is one of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) cornerstones when it comes to producing research and resources for improving undergraduate education. This core program has been around for quite some time and it is open to application from all institutions of higher education, including 4-year institutions and 2-year community colleges. This is the kind of program where innovative teaching approaches will be quite appealing, as the program has been around for a long time.

      NEH - National Endowment for the Humanities Session 9 of the Federal Agency Series Register Now     In this session, we will educate the participants in the core mission, principles, and strategic priorities the NEH works by, their budget, and what that budget aims to address in national priorities....

      NSF - National Science Foundation Session 8 of the Federal Agency Series Register Now     In this session, we will educate the participants in the core mission, principles, and strategic priorities the NSF works by, their budget, and what that budget aims to address in national priorities. We'll then...