Prizes from $50,000–$500,000 for Innovative Projects by Washtenaw County (MI) Organizations & National Partners 

Contact: Neel Hajra, 734.663.0401, nhajra@aaacf.org
President & CEO, Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation

The largest competition dedicated to seniors in North America is launching at the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation (AAACF). Vital Seniors: A Community Innovation Competition, a $2.5M initiative sponsored by the Glacier Hills Legacy Fund at AAACF, will support innovative projects designed to serve and protect our most vulnerable seniors and their caregivers. The competition is open to organizations in Washtenaw County, MI (and those with branches or partners here), and these local nonprofits are encouraged to partner with other local, regional and national nonprofits, governmental units, and companies.

Vital Seniors intends to spark innovative, actionable solutions to challenges faced by seniors, their families, and caregivers. AAACF is particularly interested in innovations addressing independent living support; safe/affordable housing; health; transportation/mobility; and caregivers.

The competition strengthens AAACF’s longstanding commitment to seniors and complements enhanced grantmaking for ongoing programs and services for seniors and their caregivers through its new $16M Glacier Hills Legacy Fund permanent endowment. By 2040, the number of adults age 60+ in Washtenaw County will more than double, as will the number of seniors in poverty. Life for everyone in 2040 will be shaped by how we respond now to the needs of the aging and local innovative efforts can serve as models for replication nationally.

Prize amounts will run from $50,000 up to a $500,000 grand prize, including the $250,000 Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation Caregiver Prize. Separate prizes will be awarded to both small and large organizations. Up to 10 finalists will all be winners, as each will receive operational funding and assistance to build capacity through workshops, coach/mentor support, and technical support.

Proposed projects should…
Solve a problem, resolve an unmet need, or improve on an existing program for seniors and their caregivers
Maximize relationships between nonprofits and innovators 
Be replicable
Mobilize outside investment into coordinated sustainability plans
Include sectors that will enhance the quality of seniors’ lives

Vital Seniors Competition Timeline:

March 9 - deadline for letter of intent (info sessions are scheduled Feb. 19, Feb. 21 and March 2)

April 6 - distribution of proposal template for invited applicants

May 4 - deadline for 10-page proposal for invited applicants

June 8 - announcement of up to 10 finalists, which will each get $20,000 cash award and take part in capacity-building workshops in late June, July, August and September 

October 11 - deadline for final project proposal

November - announcement of award winners

For more LOI, prize competition, and senior sector information, go to vitalseniorscomp.com

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