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We welcome ideas targeting any part of the city. However, we recognize that some areas have specific needs that could benefit from project innovation. In order to facilitate action in targeted sites/areas, Urban Initiative will periodically host INNOVATION COMPETITIONS, an open call for project proposals in an area (geographical and/or topical) determined by the Foundation, with promised funding for the winner. Through creative competition, the city creates opportunities for community-driven solutions to issues facing particular neighborhoods or geographic areas.


Grants are awarded based on viability and effectiveness of the project idea with no limit placed on creativity. We are seeking proposals that provide innovative options for city development and encourage community initiative and neighborhood self improvement. The proposal must have a strong public engagement component and have proven support from the community in which it is to take place. Progress Report Each grant application 2012 will undergo a vetting process by the Foundation, before it is placed online for the community to vote on. While it is important to note that not every application will get an opportunity to be voted on, the communtiy will ultimately decide which projects will be funded and which may need to be refined or strengthened. A strategy for

In choosing what proposals to place up for a vote, the following questions – taken from the WNYREDC Progress Report 2012 – should be applied to any review process:

Is the proposed project…

• Inclusive? • Does it promote smart growth? • Does it build upon strengths? • Does it have a regional impact? • Will it improve the region’s image?


We want Urban Initiative to be as inclusive as possible, reflecting not the desires of the Foundation but the needs and initiatives of the community. To make the projects as relevant as possible, we recommend using a crowdsourcing program to solicit feedback from the public on neighborhoods they would like to see targeted, issues they would like addressed, as well as deciding which projects will ultimately be funded.

Example: Kickstarter, a funding platform for creative projects.

in Western New York

WNY Regional Economic Development Strategic Plan




To promote the Urban Initiative project and inspire people to submit ideas, we would reach out to key communities in the city with large populations of young people, including but not limited to: • Local Universities and Colleges • Arts and Theater Community • Non-profits that support target areas • Community Centers • Neighborhood Libraries • High Schools Print, digital, and social media will be extensively used to reach those populations that can benefit most from community and economic development.

Urban Initiative  

An innovative platform for funding grassroots initiatives.

Urban Initiative  

An innovative platform for funding grassroots initiatives.