Collaborative Problem-Solving Proposal Summary Information

*Information about how to submit a Proposal Summary is below.
ZSR held a webinar about the Foundation's Community-Based strategy (including Collaborative Problem-Solving and Community Progress Fund) on October 15, 2018 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. During the webinar, ZSR staff answered questions from webinar participants about both grant opportunities. 
Email with questions about ZSR's Collaborative Problem-Solving approach.

ZSR’s Community Based Strategy includes two approaches -- a Collaborative Problem-Solving approach and a Community Progress Fund. Through the Collaborative Problem-Solving approach, ZSR will support a select number of community efforts that use inclusive, collaborative and resourceful processes to authentically engage the community to tackle challenges and work towards solutions. In particular, we seek to fund proposals that work across sectors (public, private, nonprofit) and/or geographic lines (municipal, county, etc.), are built on existing community assets, use a racial equity lens, and/or bring people together across identity or ideology. We intend to dedicate a significant portion of our grant support, in this approach, to efforts that actively enhance racial and/or economic equity. While ZSR is aware that there is a lot of community-level collaboration already occurring across North Carolina, we will prioritize Collaborative Problem-Solving investments to incentivize new, innovative or non-traditional collaborations, and to encourage existing collaborations to operate in new ways.

Click here for a list of terms and examples of resources that might advance your thinking or help determine if your work aligns with ZSR's core principles of promoting collaborative, inclusive and resourceful processes. Printable summary also available from this link.

As part of our Collaborative Problem-Solving approach, we are eager to also learn with and from our Collaborative Problem-Solving grantees. This will involve efforts to identify learning questions that both ZSR and our grantees want to explore and supporting opportunities for an exchange of ideas, information, and insights across grantee communities. In other words, ZSR expects that its relationship with Collaborative Problem-Solving communities will not end with awarding a grant and instead will involve mutual learning and reflection with Collaborative Problem-Solving communities. We plan to select approximately 10 finalists from Proposal Summaries that we receive. In the application process for finalists, when ZSR invites full applications, we will share more about this co-learning agenda.

Read more about ZSR's Collaborative Problem-Solving selection criteria. As noted, we plan to select a limited number of communities in our first year of the Community-Based Strategy, and we aim to support a diverse pool of grantees in terms of issues, geographies, stakeholders and approaches. We want our grantees to be as fully reflective of the range of collaborative community problem-solving in North Carolina as possible, and we are eager to learn from a diversity of initiatives. Given this interest, please, within the space limits allowed, paint as full a picture as you can of the work you are proposing.

Dedicating a funding strategy explicitly focused on community-level change represents a significant shift in the way that ZSR has approached grantmaking at the local level in recent years. In addition, as part of our commitment to being a learning organization and learning alongside communities through our Community-Based Strategy, ZSR has partnered with MDC – a Durham-based nonprofit focused on equity and opportunity with deep experience in collaborative community change – to assist the Foundation. MDC will contribute to ZSR’s learning agenda and support the Foundation in responding to questions from potential applicants about Collaborative Problem-Solving grants over the coming months.

Email with questions about ZSR's Collaborative Problem-Solving approach.


How to Prepare an Invited Application


What To Prepare Before Submitting an Invited Application:

If your organization is invited to submit a full application, you will receive a notification from ZSR that you have been invited to submit a full application. The application form will be placed in your online account. A link to access your online account is below.

To access your online account for the application form or submitted Proposal Summary, click here.