Application

Propose your solution to drive innovation in landscape connectivity in North America.

Thank you for participating in the Connectivity Challenge. We recommend reading all requirements for this application before you begin. We encourage you to review the Scoring Rubric that will be used to assess all valid applications. Applications must be submitted in English. You must propose a project and budget for $100,000 (USD) - not less. Portions of your applications may be published online and will be shared with others during the evaluation process.

Be sure to review your application as it will appear after it’s been submitted (link at the bottom of the page) and confirm your changes have been saved. When you have completed all of the requirements, a message will be displayed on the screen. At that point, you can submit your final application. Once you have submitted the application, you will no longer be able to make changes.

You must submit your application no later than Thursday, April 16, 2020, at 5:00 PM Mountain.

All fields are required unless otherwise noted.

A. QUICK PITCH

This is your opportunity to make a strong first impression. Offer a brief and compelling overview of your proposal. Avoid using jargon or language that a layperson may not understand. The information in this section is likely to be made publicly available in a variety of online settings. 

Project Title (10 words)

Provide the title of your project. Choose a name for your project which easily identifies your solution and distinguishes it from any other projects.

Project Description (25 words)

Provide a short description for your project in one sentence.

Executive Summary (150 words)

Write a one-paragraph overview of your project that answers the following prompts: 

  • Provide a brief description of the connectivity problem that you are trying to solve.
  • How will you solve it, and how does your solution innovate on the status quo?
  • What are your intended outcomes?
  • How will your solution benefit the community and/or wildlife in your target area(s), and how does it further diversity, equity and inclusion? 

Your Executive Summary should be a stand-alone statement of the problem and solution. It should not require any other context to clearly explain what you are seeking to accomplish.

Solution Location

Please select the location of your proposed project (Select One).

  • A project based in the United States
  • A project based in Canada
  • A project based in Mexico
  • A project which may include multiple or combined locations in Canada, the United States, and/or Mexico.

Video Presentation

You are required to submit a video that captures your project and why it should be funded. The video is an opportunity to showcase your passion and to pitch your story in a succinct format. We want you to share your vision with the judges in a way that is different from the written proposal format. This DOES NOT need to be a professionally produced video.

In order to complete this part of your application, your team will upload a short digital film using YouTube.

Set the Privacy Settings on your video to Public or Unlisted – do not set them to Private.

Your video may be extracted from your submission and made available to the public and other donors. Appeal to a broad audience. Video submissions should follow these guidelines. Failure to do so will render the application ineligible: 

  • A length of no more than 90 seconds.
  • Your pitch must be primarily in English. If it includes segments in another language, those segments should be subtitled in English.
  • Your video must be captioned. See these instructions on how to use You Tube automatic captioning.
  • Your video should not contain identifiable children without parent consent.

Here are general suggestions for delivering a high-quality video pitch: 

  • Introduce yourself and your organization(s) and/or team.
  • Describe the problem that you are committed to solving.
  • Explain your solution.
  • Explain what is unique about your solution.
  • Describe how you plan to measure success and achieve meaningful impact. 

B. YOUR TEAM

Now that you’ve provided a brief overview of your project, focus on the talent and management of your team. 

Principal Organization

During registration, you identified the Principal Organization responsible for receiving and taking accountability for any grant funds, as well as providing the direction, control, and supervision for the project. If the Principal Organization has changed, please Edit Registration Form from the Profile menu to update this information.

Principal Organization Website or Social Media Page

What is the URL of the website or social media page of choice for the Principal Organization? If your Principal Organization does not have a website or social media page, then please insert “Not Applicable.” 

Collaboration Among Organizations

Does your team consist of two or more organizations with an executed MOU? (You are not required to have an executed MOU to apply.) (Select one)

  • Team consists of two or more organizations but there is not an executed MOU
  • Team consists of two or more organizations and has an executed MOU
  • Team does not consist of two or more organizations

Why Your Team (250 words)

Explain how your team is uniquely positioned to deliver results and why you are the best choice to solve this problem. Emphasize why you believe you have the right capabilities, experience, and commitment to execute your project. Showcase your combined talents integrating research, policy, and practice to meet your team’s goals. If your team consists of two or more organizations, present a clear case as to why it is important to collaborate: what can your organizations accomplish together that they couldn’t accomplish alone? Your response may include, but is not limited to:

  • How your solution aligns with the primary purpose of your organization(s) or, if there is loose or indirect alignment, explain why you have decided to solve this problem.
  • Your team's previous performance or relevant experience that highlights your ability to deliver results.
  • Description of the largest project you've overseen (financially and/or in terms of team members involved and/or beneficiaries served).
  • Description of what draws the leader or the group to this project on a personal level. What are your team’s core values?
  • If a collaboration, why you believe this will be an effective collaboration. Have the entities successfully collaborated in the past? Explain how the partnership is positioned to deliver the solution as an integrated team.
  • Description of how your team composition reflects the targeted beneficiaries you aim to reach.

C. THE CHALLENGE

Demonstrate your understanding of the problem that you want to solve

Challenge Statement (250 words)

Describe the specific problem that your team will solve, using non-expert language (do not cite papers or studies). Share the most specific articulation of those issues and, if appropriate, connect it to any larger social concerns or systems. As part of your description address:

  • Why does the problem exist?
  • Who is affected by this problem?
  • What are the most influential ways to effect the necessary change, and where are the leverage points where the smallest change can have the biggest impact?

Focus on setting the stage for your solution (versus describing how you intend to solve it).

Geographic Focus (100 words)

Describe the specific geographic boundaries where the problem is most intense and explain where you intended to implement your solution within those boundaries. If your geographic focus crosses any local, state, or international borders, please explain. Your answer should only represent the facts/data regarding your geographic focus. In the next questions, you are invited to describe the conditions within those boundaries.

Local Conditions (200 words)

Please describe the local conditions in and around where you intend to implement your solution. This is your opportunity to showcase that you’ve taken time to understand the ecological, economic, and political implications of your solution within a local context. The Connectivity Challenge is designed to reward teams who understands how to navigate the many local barriers which may inhibit any proposal. Therefore, please include specific references to local interests who may have an invested interest in your success or failure.

D. YOUR SOLUTION

Explaining how you intend to solve the problem. 

Solution Deep-dive (250 words)

Please address the following questions:

  • Describe who will benefit from your intervention (human and/or wildlife) and the projected benefit(s) or outcome(s) of your solution.
  • How does your solution meaningfully remove or remediate the identified barriers to connectivity between humans and wildlife, so as to change the trajectory of human and wildlife connectivity and in a way that improves local conditions for all target beneficiaries?
  • Describe the impact your solution will have on the chosen problem over a period of 18 to 24 months, and beyond if applicable. Will it have broad impact on a large population or geography, or will it have deep and intense impact on a small population or geography? Later, in the Projected Impact section of your application, you can expand upon any assertions made here.
  • Showcase how your solution leverages your target community’s interests, any shared resources, and any long-term plans within your geographic focus area.

Stakeholder Engagement (200 words)

Explain how you have engaged local stakeholders, to garner their respect and support. Your explanation may include any specific reference to stakeholders representing different local jurisdictions who would be required to cooperate in order for your team to implement your solution. For example, if your solution crosses any jurisdictional boundaries (local, state, international), then describe how stakeholders from each of those communities have engaged in your planning process. However, if your solution is contained within a single such jurisdiction, you will describe how stakeholders in that community have informed your plans.

Endorsements (Upload)

Please upload letters of endorsements from those who have been identified in the previous description of local conditions. This is your opportunity to show our judges that the communities where you intend to implement your solution are in full support of your plans. Therefore, any endorsement must include specific mention of the challenges that you intend to overcome. It is your responsibility to solicit endorsements from those who best represent your target community or communities. You will choose who best represents the broadest and most important constituents within the boundaries that you have previously described.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (150 words)

Explain how you intend to engage and ensure the active participation of a broad range of target community members, including those who represent the most diverse range of representation and those who may not be equitably represented in other programs from within the community. How will you include them too?

E. PROJECTED IMPACT

This section provides the opportunity for you to offer evidence that supports your proposed solution. 

Evidence of Effectiveness (250 words)

You may share an example of where your proposed solution has previously been implemented. Describe the local conditions that the intervention measurably improved and how. Present any internal or formal academic evidence you may have, including any results from complementary or previous work. If you have not previously implemented such a solution, then please offer the basis upon which you have previously asserted any projected positive impact for the target beneficiaries (both human and wildlife). 

Timeline, Milestones & Measurement of Results (250 words)

What is your expected timeline for the project completion and what outcomes will you track to know if you are successful or on track to be successful over that timeline? Your timeline should occur over an 18-24 month period (with a progress report due midway and an impact/lessons learned report due at the end).

Barrier Assessment & Risk Mitigation (150 words)

Describe the most threatening barriers to the short- and long-term success of the project, as well as any potential unintended consequences, and your plans to mitigate them. Barriers can include problems inhibiting solution scalability, political or public policy concerns, or any other potential operational or tactical hurdles that may hinder your solution’s success. 

Research, Policy, and Practice  (250 words)

Now that you have outlined local conditions and your plan to overcome specific barriers, this is your opportunity to describe how your solutions takes into account key considerations stemming from a combined understanding of research, policy, and practice. How does your proposal take into account these three key ingredients? Does your success build upon existing policies or practices, and what – if any – gaps in local policies and practices would your solution fill? 

Other Considerations (150 words)

This is your final opportunity to raise any other considerations. Here, you may emphasize or expand upon a previous point or provide new information, as necessary.

F. RESOURCE REQUIREMENTS

Indicate and describe the financial resources required to successfully implement your team’s project.

Budget Narrative (200 words)

Offer a general overview for how your team would spend a $100,000 (USD) grant to implement your proposed project over an 18-24 month period. Please explain what portion of the budget, if any, is expected to be spent on capacity building (a perfectly acceptable use of funds) to ensure effective execution on the project. Please also specify what portion of the budget is expected to be spent on measurement and evaluation of results. Otherwise, please offer a narrative breakdown of your spending plan that does not exceed $100,000 (USD).

Budget

Provide specific line items from your team’s budget narrative (above). To help us understand your team’s priorities, please provide this detailed budget according to how you would spend a $100,000 (USD) grant. Please make sure that any funds identified in this table reflect and clarify your team’s general explanations provided in your team’s budget narrative above. 

Budget

Other Needs (150 words)

In addition to the $100,000 (USD) budget that you have specifically outlined (above). Please describe any non-financial needs that you may have. For instance, if you require more support from key constituents, regulatory authorities, or others in your target geographic area, please describe them here. This is your opportunity to seek support beyond the provision of any grant. We welcome a frank and open explanation of all the key ingredients required for your team to succeed. 

Other Resource Providers (100 words)

If the successful execution of your proposed project includes the provision of other resources which have already been committed from other sources, please describe them here. While you’re proposed budget may not exceed $100,000 (USD), we invite proposals which may exceed the grant provided through this Connectivity Challenge. So, explain those other sources of funding and describe the level of commitment from any other sources of additional necessary partners. If no other sources are required, please enter “not applicable.”

G. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION TO BE PROVIDED

If your team is invited to participate in any future phases of this competition, you may be required to provide additional information (refer to the RULES and Timeline), including but not limited to:

  • A Tax Determination Letter
  • Audited Financial Statements
  • Articles of Incorporation, Charter, or similar documentation.
  • Any formal recognition for Site Control or approval from relevant jurisdictional authorities for the proposed project.
  • Any formal MOU between the relevant parties, if the team consists of two or more organizations.
  • A more comprehensive Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Plan for the project.
  • Existing policies, if any, addressing conflicts of interest, whistleblower, internal controls, anti-money laundering, intellectual property, human subjects research, code of conduct, ethics, gifts, and any similar policies governing the organization

The Connectivity Challenge reserves the right to perform background checks on key individuals associated with the project, and the refusal by key individuals to provide necessary authorizations will give reason to reject any application for further consideration. Background information and results of any background checks will be kept confidential.

Are you ready to catalyze change for the resilience and health of ecosystems in North America?

Join us in finding breakthrough projects to increase landscape connectivity for habitat and community benefit. Registration has closed.