The Application

Your team must submit a completed application by 11:59 PM, MST, on January 16, 2015. The entire application is described here so you can learn exactly what is required to compete. Please consider all of the application requirements, and then register to participate.

Every registered team must complete the application requirements described here.  Please read all of them before submitting questions.  To offer a set of guidelines for what is required, please consider this checklist:

  • Teams are invited to participate.  Teams may represent a collection of individuals or an organization (i.e., a not-for-profit or company).  Individuals can register, but they must work with others to form a team before submitting a final application – partnerships are encouraged.
  • Teams must propose a targeted content strategy to inform and activate a public understanding of water scarcity challenges within a defined community. 
  • Teams are encouraged to emphasize how their proposed strategy will reach the broadest audience possible in a meaningful and measurable way.
  • Teams must offer sample materials to showcase their talents for delivering compelling and memorable experiences to the target audience – those materials can range in media type and purpose, but content should be digital/social and “shareworthy.” Other activities, events, or gatherings may be proposed but they must support and reinforce the digital content strategy.
  • Proposals must include detailed project plans and budgets to indicate the feasibility of each strategy.

Here are the three sections of the application:


The following request for information captures a basic understanding of the leadership, structure, vision, and capabilities of your team.

Each team must identify a leader, who assumes final responsibility for completing the application. Team leaders may delegate responsibilities to others, but each team leader will act as the primary point of contact and must coordinate answers to any questions and/or have a working knowledge of all decisions made by the team.
Please provide the name and title of your team leader for the purposes of communicating with your team. If your team is a group of individuals with no formal titles, then the Point of Contact may simply indicate the title, “team leader,” and later describe how that role relates to the other team members.
Please provide the phone number(s) and email address(es) of your designated Point of Contact. Team leader contact information will only be used for the purposes of the competition.
Teams may consist either of a group of individuals or a structured organization with governing control over the proposed strategy. Organizations may be either not-for-profit or for-profit. If your organization is for-profit, please indicate your legally recognized structure (e.g., sole proprietorship, limited liability corporation, etc.).
Please provide the year in which your team or organization was established. If your organization has been reorganized or restructured, only offer the most recent date of instatement. If you are forming your team for the purposes of this competition, you must designate the current year.
Please provide the total number of team members. If the team is an organization, please indicate the total number of staff within the last reported fiscal period.
Please provide a narrative description of your management structure with the name/title for each senior team member or executive, responsible for delivering the proposed strategy, and their relationship to any other team members or executives. You may describe a formal structure, but if your team is loosely constructed please offer a description of how the parties share responsibilities and/or hold one another accountable. Include a brief biographical statement for each of the top three team members or executives. You may also list the name and credentials of any key advisors not included as team members (up to three), who may counsel decisions where management lacks relevant credentials. If your organization is governed by a board of directors, please describe the board briefly and any controlling authority that it may have.
(up to 250 words)
If your team or organization has agreed to partner with one or more other organizations, please list each partner organization in a bullet-point format, indicating the name of each partner organization, the point of contact for each partner organization (name/title), contact information for each partner organization (phone and email), and the legal structure of each partner organization. Each team is strongly encouraged to develop partnerships. Following the list of partners, provide a brief narrative of the structure of your partnerships, such as roles and any specific decision-making control between the parties. Please note that all other elements of the application assume that your team or organization is the final controlling authority, that any financial commitments within one or more partnership(s) are disclosed, and that those obligations are incorporated as part of your own financial and operational considerations; if these assumptions are incorrect, please do not proceed further.
(up to 250 words)
You have established who you are. Now, please condense the most salient points describing your relevant credentials, which will serve as a brief and final pitch for your team or organization. This brief pitch may be used in other materials to encapsulate your talents and to offer others with an overview of your capabilities.
(up to 150 words)


In this section, you will describe your proposed creative content strategy. Your proposal should emphasize how your approach aligns with the four traits that will be used to score your application. Take time to highlight both any broader strategies that will lead to increased awareness among your target audience and the specific strengths of your tactical approach to implementing your content strategy. Keep in mind that some proposal requirements include baseline expectations. You are encouraged to exceed any minimum requirements.

Each team must start with a clear understanding of why their proposed strategy is necessary. You will show that you understand the underlying facts that support a need for greater consciousness of water scarcity in Arizona and among your target audience. Focus on data that may set the stage for how you’ve shaped your strategy.
Please provide a concise description of the current water scarcity challenges facing the state of Arizona. Offer detailed facts drawn from credible sources, indicating that you’ve researched the issues and understand the most important data. You may also rely on any predictions, drawn from recent findings, which offer a clear roadmap to the future of Arizona’s water needs. Here, you are defining the problem; you do not need to propose solutions. However, you may also focus on whether one or more aspects of the problem have been insufficiently addressed and why. Approach this exercise as an investigative journalist – lead with facts. And, just as any great news story includes a description of those involved, you may explain any previous attempts to solve the problem and why the big challenge persists within the current environment. Keep your explanations brief but compelling.
(up to 250 words)
Your proposed strategy must be implemented (at a minimum) within the Phoenix metropolitan area and surrounding communities, also known as the Valley of the Sun. However, within those minimum geographic boundaries, you get to define your target audience. Provide a detailed description of who they are, what interests them, and how they’re connected to the water scarcity issues that you’ve previously described. You may cite broader statistics related to your target audience, but your response needs to illustrate that you grasp local interests and conditions. Show that you understand the current environment where you have chosen to implement your content strategy.
(up to 250 words)
Now that you’ve defined the problem that you are solving and the target audience for your proposed strategy, you are invited to offer a description of your tactical plans for implementation.
Briefly describe your overarching approach to raising the public’s consciousness of the problem that you have described for your target audience. Your explanation needs to include your core philosophy or strategic approach to capturing your audience’s attention in order to illustrate any guiding principles or other considerations which would clearly differentiate your approach from competing strategies. Please ground your strategy with a description of the tactical or operational plans that you’ve chosen to adopt. Some teams may prefer to use only digital media or online content, while others may also incorporate boots-on-the-ground tactics (e.g., guerilla marketing), special events, community organizing or other campaigns. In any case, this is your opportunity to explain why you have adopted a particular strategy and how your strategy will translate into meaningful and widespread engagement. Keep this overview short but inspire the judges to want to learn more.
(up to 150 words)
Here is your opportunity to share an overview of your proposed strategy, your goals and any considerations which validate your approach, including how your approach may produce measurable indicators of success. Your response may be used by administrators to summarize your proposal for a public audience or other partners.
(up to 250 words)
In this section, you will be asked to provide more specific details about your proposed content strategy. Please read all of the requirements first to avoid redundancy. Your plans must build in a manner that leaves the judges with a detailed understanding of your goals, the measure of your success and the steps required to achieve your proposed outcome(s).
Please describe the experience that your strategy will deliver to a single representative of your target audience. This is your opportunity to emphasize depth of engagement. Regardless of how many individuals you plan to reach, you must first describe this typical experience, and later you will have an opportunity to project the reach of your strategy. If you plan to offer multiple opportunities for engagement, please illustrate a successful example of one individual’s experience across the full range of your efforts.
(up to 150 words)
Please provide the total number of individuals who will experience your proposed strategy. For some, this is easily measured by headcounts (e.g., those exposed to your materials); for others, exposure may be harder to count (e.g., arming one group with information to reach another group). In any case, you are asked to provide the number of the projected individuals who will experience your strategy. Later, you will have the opportunity to describe how you will calculate those and other measurable outcomes. Do not include individuals who might experience the strategy through their direct involvement managing or volunteering in the effort.
(up to 150 words)
Describe your methodology for measuring the overall performance of the proposed strategy. You will choose how to calculate your performance, but you are required to submit projected goals and the means through which you will track results. While strategies may vary according to their goals and the way in which they define success, our judges will assess your metrics according to how precisely your methodologies will track meaningful outcomes and how closely your metrics are linked to a meaningful assessment of your performance.
(up to 150 words)
Please provide the total duration of the proposed project (in months). Every project must occur over a minimum of three months. Teams will be judged on their ability to meet or exceed the minimum three-month requirement.
Please list the individual tasks that you must complete to implement and manage your strategy. This exercise is important for the judges to assess the feasibility of your proposal. For some, project plans are not linear, meaning that tasks may overlap or persist over the entire plan; this is acceptable.

We are providing a tool for you to document your strategy. Please indicate tasks by number and name. You will be assessed based on the level of detail that you provide. We encourage you to identify any subtasks that will support primary tasks. Please list each task chronologically by start date and enter end dates accordingly. For tasks that start at the same time, please begin with the most essential and continue the list in order of importance.

* In chronological order by start date. (E.G., TASK#1: PROJECT LAUNCH MEETING) -- indicate any sub-tasks or task dependencies.
** To comply with the minimum project duration (see above), the total number of days from "TASK#1 START DATE" to "FINAL TASK END DATE" must meet or exceed 90 days.

Now that you have mapped your strategy, please describe the use of any volunteers or other in-kind resources by describing those contributions against each relevant task identified in the plan. Your description of any necessary support is intended to show where difficult tasks will be supported through means other than funding. In your response, you may refer to partnership(s) that have been previously identified.
(up to 250 words)
Please describe any threats to the proposed strategy and your plans to address them. While every plan is different, we expect you to identify any assumptions that imply risk and how you intend to manage those risk(s), if your underlying assumptions prove untenable.
(up to 150 words)
Please describe your strategy for growth. Base your description on data provided in previous responses, such as how the successful execution of key tasks may increase your reach. Your growth strategy should rely on detailed descriptions of inherent strengths, which would lead to scalability.
(up to 150 words)
For the judges to understand what you plan to deliver, here is your opportunity to showcase your creative talent. As you compose your sample content, please consider the following instructions:

  • While some strategies are designed to arm the public with specific activities for addressing a problem, your only job is to raise consciousness – please direct all of your resources towards this goal.
  • Your sample content must showcase your potential.  You do not need to provide every set of materials that you plan to use; only offer your strongest and most compelling representation of your work.
  • Your sample content must tie back to your plans in order to depict what an individual will experience when they are exposed to your proposed strategy.
  • All sample content is subjected to the terms & conditions of your participation in the competition, which allow for sharing your sample content with others (e.g., judges, prize administrators, et al.).

People are drawn to creative content differently, and we want you to have multiple opportunities to express your content creatively. Digital media offers many popular outlets and distribution channels (e.g., social networks, etc.). We also appreciate that a solid digital campaign can be enhanced through ancillary activities, such as traditional grassroots marketing, special events or community organizing efforts.  So, you are provided with options for showcasing your sample creative content.  You may use as many of them as are available to you, but you must submit at least one sample of your proposed digital content strategy.

Here are your options: 

We encourage you to make a personal connection with your audience, and one way to connect is by using video to express yourself.  Today, smart phones and inexpensive video recording devices provide opportunities to capture and produce video content easily.  We hope that you will use this medium, either to showcase content that will be available for your target audience or for you to speak to our judges to explain other media.

You are allowed to upload a short digital film that follows these guidelines:
  • A maximum length of five minutes (which may include one or more videos).
  • The video must focus on your proposed content. Do not repeat what is described in other sections or expand upon other aspects of your proposed plan (use this time to present new information).
  • Your video must be in English (although if your content strategy is going to be offered in both English and Spanish, you should indicate this).

    Video submissions that do not follow these guidelines may be removed from the application.

    Here are some logistical and technical suggestions:

  • Video cameras, digital cameras, tablets and phones are easy ways to record your video.
  • Laptop and desktop computers can typically record video through software that is readily available on those devices, such as Skype, iMovie, MovieMaker, or other options.
  • If possible, set to a low resolution to reduce file size. This will enable an easier video uploading process.
  • If you are having difficulty uploading the video file, try logging out of the application and logging back in using another Internet browser (Google’s Chrome browser is preferred).

Whether you choose to use video footage or not, you are provided with the option of uploading static images that depict your sample content.  For those using video, we recommend that you capture one or more images from your video footage that represent themes or key messages and provide them here.  For others, this is an opportunity to reveal another form of visual imagery that depicts specific content or the means for delivering sample content.  We recommend that you take this opportunity to showcase your creative talent and/or compliment other forms of planned media.

You are allowed to upload one PDF file that may contain:

  • One or more images with accompanying text to describe those images and any intended use (in English).
  • A minimum original file size of 150dpi (print size) per image is needed.
  • Only content that directly ties to your proposed plans – please only include images and accompanying text which are self-explanatory.

Static image submissions that do not follow these guidelines may be removed from the application.

Note - Please select the file first using the Select button, then click the Update Uploaded File button to attach it to the application. If you want to remove the attached file from the application, you can by selecting the Delete checkbox and then clicking the Update Uploaded File button.
Finally, while video and static images are often enough to capture your sample content, we want to make sure that we are not limiting your creative talents in any way.  So, you have the opportunity to cover any additional content that may not translate well in other media here.  In 250 words or less, you can offer a narrative description of any other media and how you plan to use it.  Please limit this option only to describing media or content that is not previously captured in video, static images or descriptions of static images.

You are allowed to upload one PDF file that may only contain a narrative description of sample content (in English) not previous described in the other options.

Note - Please select the file first using the Select button, then click the Update Uploaded File button to attach it to the application. If you want to remove the attached file from the application, you can by selecting the Delete checkbox and then clicking the Update Uploaded File button.


While the information that you provide under the previous section, Your Strategy, is intended to reveal strategic and practical implementation plans for your approach, we also require other information necessary for our judges to understand the health and scalability of your proposal. For this reason, you must submit a detailed budget and notes, explaining all of your resource requirements.

What is the total cost to implement the proposed strategy within the specified duration? This includes capital expenditures and operational expenditures. Please list each cost category in the following table and provide notes for the cost categories if they require further explanation. Please clarify whether each cost category is a capital expenditure or an operational expenditure.


Please indicate the amount of resources secured (to date) to implement the strategy. You may enter the source of the secured funding or in-kind contributions in line-item descriptions. Also, please indicate any outstanding capital required to implement the strategy over the proposed duration. Identify this amount by entering “OUTSTANDING CAPITAL” in the last line item description. The amount of “OUTSTANDING CAPITAL” should be equal to $100,000. If it does not, then provide a clear explanation for how you plan to secure the balance before your application can be considered feasible.


An initiative of the Arizona Community Foundation, Republic Media, and Morrison Institute for Public Policy to create the Arizona of tomorrow. Made possible through the support of the Tashman Fund and the Lodestar Foundation.