Local Giving Circle to Award $15,000 to an Aspiring Social Innovator - Generocity Philly

Dec. 12, 2014 12:07 pm

Local Giving Circle to Award $15,000 to an Aspiring Social Innovator

The Turning Point Prize Seeks Applicants with Creative Ideas that Benefit Women, Girls and Families.

The Philadelphia-based giving circle Women for Social Innovation, a donor advised fund of WOMEN’S WAY, is seeking applicants for the Turning Point Prize, seed money awarded to an individual who seeks to address a problem affecting women, girls and families in the Greater Philadelphia area. The submission deadline is January 16, 2015.

The annual prize of $15,000, which can be sought by a man or a woman, is intended for “people who have creative ideas outside the traditional boxes — someone who is passionate about a new idea but needs funding to get started,” said Andrea Anania, the chair of the organization.

Similar to Impact100 Philadelphia, Women for Social Innovation is an all-women group of volunteers who pool their $1,000 annual contribution to make a grant.

But instead of supporting area nonprofits, the group targets individuals. “We view ourselves as the first money in,” Anania said. “What’s important to us is to serve underprivileged women, children and families, and to look for ideas that are unique.”

Past recipients of the award have used the funds to establish Let’s Go Outdoors!, Philly Girls Read, Youth in Action, Rock to the Future, and The Monkey and The Elephant, among others.

Jessica Craft, who won the Turning Point Prize in 2010, used her award to start Rock to the Future, now a five-year-old nonprofit providing free music education to underserved youth.

According to Craft, the application process is different than most, meaning “you don’t have to follow general grant guidelines, and you don’t have to have the ‘magic’ of nonprofit wording. The people who apply are generally people without nonprofit experience.”

After winning the prize, she was paired with members from the giving circle, who provided guidance around how to develop outcomes and set up a nonprofit budget.

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“It’s not like they’re just giving you the money,” Craft added. “They really want to mentor you and they want you to succeed.”

Craft also received support from Girls Rock Philly, which served as her nonprofit sponsor during the start up year. Each applicant is required to have one.

For more information about the Turning Point application process and eligibility criteria, go here.

Photo courtesy of Rock to the Future

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