Search for Solutions FAQs: Third Grade Reading Proficiency



Thank you for your interest in learning more about our Search for Solutions (SFS) process.

Below are frequently asked questions about our Search for Solutions process.

To get the answer, simply click each question. To read our full Search for Solution as it pertains to Family Economic Mobility, please click the button below.

Can I submit multiple ideas?

Yes. You can submit as many ideas as you like. Or if you can fit several ideas onto two pages, 5 PowerPoint slides or in 6 minutes of audio/video, you can put multiple ideas in one submission.

After solutions are submitted, you say you will identify “emerging themes” — what does that mean?

At that point in the process, we’re seeking to be transparent about how your great ideas are shaping potential next steps. For instance, we may discover a strong set of ideas clustered in Commerce City. We may seek to deepen our understanding in order to support multiple applicants in working together in new ways. It is not yet a commitment that we’ll be moving forward with growing, building or changing together, but it is our attempt at sharing our thinking and starting the next conversation.

Does submitting multiple ideas affect my chances of being named as part of an “emerging theme” and moving on in the SFS process?

Only positively. More ideas will give you more chances of moving on in the process.

Do I have to be part of an existing nonprofit, government or for-profit organization to submit?

No. You also don’t have to submit an idea that’s connected directly to your organization’s core work. You can submit as an individual if you’d like.  

How can I possibly fit everything in two pages, five power point slides, or 6 minutes? 

We know ideas will come in at different stages. And for most folks, the totality of your thinking will not fit in two pages or six minutes. By structuring the process in this condensed way, we are kindly requesting that you focus on the top-level highlights of your idea without necessarily going into detail about all the finer points.

Can I include links to more information in my submission? 

Yes. But let’s not think of this as an “end run” on the page/minute limit. We encourage you to stay within the requested length.

Do you have particular types of submissions or information you are looking for? 

First, we’re looking for alignment with the prompts related to the specific SFS. We’ll be thinking about alignment to our mission and the academic research and community outreach we’ve done. We’ll also be getting feedback from the folks who matter most — kids and families. We’re intentionally not putting out a rubric to leave room for the possibility of being knocked over by ideas we might never have anticipated. 

What do you mean by Metro Denver? 

For the purposes of Gary’s work, we mean Denver, Adams, Arapahoe and Jefferson Counties.

Does my idea need to be fully formed?

No. To those of you new to this work or with brand new ideas, we don’t expect your idea to be fully fleshed out. We’re looking for moments of brilliance, and those don’t always need to be part of complex proposals. If you have a great, new idea in mind but haven’t fully mapped it out, that’s ok. Feel free to just share what you’re thinking.

Can I apply as part of a coalition with multiple partners?

Of course.

You mention past ideas have not solved our issues facing Metro Denver — does that mean that if my idea is already in practice, you’re not interested?

Not at all. To those of you who have been working tirelessly in child, family and community development for years: First, thank you. If you have an existing solution, we absolutely want to hear about it. 

If I have an idea that isn’t proven, are you still interested in hearing about it?

Absolutely. And to those who have activated solutions already, we also really want to hear about your next best idea. If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about state policy or design a totally new product to solve the problem at hand, what would you do? If you could remove one roadblock towards even greater scale or impact, what would it be? Remember, you can submit multiple solutions.

Search for Solutions Process Explained

At Gary Community Ventures, we’re former educators, nonprofit executive directors, and development directors, and we continue to be builders and change makers. From these experiences, we’ve found some problems in how ideas are often shared and supported, so we’re taking a new approach with our Search for Solutions process that we believe will address the following problems with the typical grant-making process.

Problem: Many folks with good ideas, and in particular families, students, and those closest to the hard work, don’t get heard or invited.

Solution: We’re making this call broad and open. We’re promoting it to idea generators of all types. Further, families and kids have input along the way- this is not participatory grant making but we’re working on potential solutions with people who will be using them.

Problem: This is a problem that’s bigger than any one solution, but they are often pursued one-at-a-time.

Solution: We’re inviting solutions all at once, so we can look, connect, and build across them.

Problem: While there’s lots of unique grant-making tools, there’s not tools to source ideas that are for policy change and new builds as well.

Solution: We’re seeking to intentionally invite all of those solutions, and believe part of our work will be connecting solutions for greater impact.

Problem: Applications can take forever and sometimes take away time from actually solving the problem.

Solution: We’re intentionally designing to lighten the burden for all applicants and ensure our process is short and sweet.

Problem: Folks with funds can make their decisions without transparency.

Solution: We’re putting out our current thinking, process and timeline as clearly as we can with multiple touchpoints to update you along the way.

Problem: A passive approach to finding solutions can put all the work on those with ideas or leave out people with good ideas.

Solution: We are actively going out to search for solutions, as the name of this process suggests. We’re releasing this broadly and through partners, and over the course of the deliberation process, we are going to host dozens of conversations in the community to source solutions.

Discover New Possibilities

Together, we will create the change our community wants to see. Whether you want to discover more about our ventures, or connect with a member of our team, we want to hear from you.