Innovation Competition

In conjunction with our 30th anniversary we recently announced an Innovation Competition designed to encourage Tuolumne County, especially our nonprofit organizations, to make plans to spend some time engaging in creative thinking, problem solving and strategic planning. Our Board of Directors approved $50,000 in prize money to be awarded to the top ideas submitted. We also are offering microgrants to be used for support of the innovation-stimulation process.

Nonprofits may apply for a microgrant by submitting a simple description of what it will be used for, such as: refreshments for an innovation retreat, cost of a meeting facilitator, motivational speaker, or..? (perhaps an idea we haven’t thought of). Please email your request for a micro grant by February 7, 2020 to darrell@sonora-area.org.

Submit your Big Idea by close of business August 31, 2020 to be considered for the contest prize money.

Here’s a link to an information article posted on MyMotherLode.com outlining the program: Innovation Competition

We encourage your organization to participate in the program. You are welcome to reach out with questions.

As always, we appreciate your support and look forward to working with you to make Tuolumne County an even better place to live and work.

Here’s some more information about innovation:

Most all of us appreciate innovation. In a survey of 1500 CEOs conducted by IBM’s Institute for Business Value, creativity was viewed as the single most important attribute needed to lead a large organization. Most would say innovation and creative thinking are strategic necessities. We read books and watch movies highlighting creative thinkers. But what is the draw? Rarity. True innovation is hard to come by. As a result, when it occurs, it grabs our attention. So how does it happen and is there anything that can aid the process? Not sure on either point but we are certainly going to try.

The Sonora Area Foundation Nonprofit Innovation Challenge is designed to encourage Tuolumne County organizations to carve out some time, remove hurdles and barriers known to hinder the creative process and brainstorm, discuss and dream in response to the question: “What would you do if you could do anything?”

Indeed it’s a big question which warrants sky-is-the-limit thinking. We live in a wonderful place … let’s uncover some big ideas to make it even better.

Check back soon for more innovation competition application details.

January 13, 2020

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