Community Indicators for Your Community

Real, lasting community change is built around knowing where you are, where you want to be, and whether your efforts are making a difference. Indicators are a necessary ingredient for sustainable change. And the process of selecting community indicators -- who chooses, how they choose, what they choose -- is as important as the data you select.

The Jacksonville Community Council (JCCI) understands indicators and community change, with more than 25 years of producing the annual Quality of Life Progress Report for Jacksonville and the Northeast Florida region, and two decades of helping other communities develop their own sustainable indicators projects. JCCI consultants give you the information you need to measure progress, identify priorities for action, and assess results.

I'd like to talk with you personally about how we can help. E-mail me at
ben@jcci.org, call (904) 396-3052, or visit CommunityWorks for more information. From San Antonio to Siberia, we're ready and willing to assist.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Geo Challenge Grants from Google

Here's a grant opportunity that might be interesting from some of you out there doing community indicators. From http://www.google.org/geochallenge.html:

Geo Challenge Grants - Overview
Apply now
FAQ

At Google.org, we believe maps are a powerful tool for non-profits of all kinds to communicate issues, understand needs, and create more effective implementation plans. Many of you have come to us with compelling ways that maps can help you and your organization increase impact, and we want to help you make your mapping ideas a reality. We're offering a pilot program of Geo Challenge Grants to organizations working in areas related to our core initiatives.

Through this program, we'll be offering grants valued between US$5,000 and US$100,000, either directly from Google.org, or through grant recommendations from the Google.org Fund of Tides Foundation. These grants will be issued through an open application process - legally qualified, public charitable organizations with a compelling idea about how maps can help them work more effectively are eligible. Smaller mapping applications requiring only static data might receive US$5,000 in funding, while development of tools that enable many organizations to create maps might receive US$100,000. We're partnering with Google Earth Outreach on this program to help evaluate proposals from a technical standpoint and to help us ensure the grants are successful.

Grant goals
Well designed maps can help organizations operate more effectively. They can convey the importance of your cause in a visual, compelling way. And, they can give individuals from around the world a chance to experience the work you do. Here are a few examples:
Spread of Avian Flu
A Refugee's Life
Disappearing Forests

Through these grants, we hope to enable organizations to create maps that will enhance their work and impact. For more examples, see the Google Earth Outreach case studies and showcase.
How it works
Think of ways in which mapping tools can help you be even more effective in your work.

Apply and submit your proposal online here by December 22nd, 2008. We intend to do future submission rounds in the coming year, so if you miss this deadline, stay tuned for details on our next round.

Our panel will make preliminary decisions and contact applicants within approximately 4-6 weeks of the submission deadline. A final grant determination will not be made until a due diligence review is completed and approved, and a formal grant agreement or award letter is executed. All grants are subject to compliance with all applicable laws.

Grant recipients will receive funding and, as appropriate, information on technical resources.
After grant funds are awarded, we'll review progress in 3 months and expect grant recipients to complete their map within 6 months.

When maps are completed, we'll ask for an initial report on what what has been accomplished, and how grant recipients anticipate it will help them with their work. We'll also require grant recipients to post their maps online for anyone to see/access for free, unless there is a compelling reason why the grant recipient cannot do so.

Then, 6 months later (1 year from receipt of funds,) we'll ask for a final report with feedback and metrics to understand the overall effectiveness of the map(s).

Who is eligible

Public, charitable organizations with a good idea and non-profit status in their country of incorporation are eligible to apply. You'll be asked to provide proof of your status as a non-profit, public charity as part of the application process. Please note that applicable laws may not allow us to make grants in certain countries or to certain entities.

Grant evaluation criteria

  • Potential impact toward your organization's goals.
  • Assessment of organization/team (organization's background, their work in the areas of Google.org's core initiatives).
  • Preference will be given to layers that directly complement at least one of Google.org's core initiatives.
  • Emphasis on the geo-spatial aspect of the organization's work.
  • Precise articulation of data sources and/or realistic plans to acquire data is critical.
  • Preference will be given to proposals where either data already exists or the data collection plan is realistic and practical, given resources.
  • Quality of planning (the plan should include concrete, measurable and realistic goals given time, people, and money constraints).
  • Meets all applicable legal requirements.
  • Passes the necessary due diligence review.

(Hat tip: NNIP)

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