Announcing the Results of the Stronger Democracy Award: Meet the Awardees!

Thank you for your interest in the Stronger Democracy Award (the “Competition”). The Competition is sponsored by Additional Ventures and an anonymous donor in the ICONIQ Impact community (the “Competition Sponsors”), with additional funding from philanthropists Cipora & Vlado Herman, program support from ICONIQ Impact and Lever for Change, and platform support provided by Carrot. Please know that by participating in this Competition and in accordance with these Rules, you are eligible to receive various forms of recognition and a possible Award from the Competition Sponsors of $10 million as the Awardee from Additional Ventures, $10 million as the Awardee from the anonymous ICONIQ Impact donor, or $2 million as one of the Finalists. The Rules governing this Competition ("RULES") are stated here as an extension of the Terms & Conditions ("TERMS") for use of this website.

“You" means the person, team, or organization team using the Website, including a User, or an Entity duly organized and validly existing under state or federal law in the United States of America that is represented on the Website by a User that is a person at least 18 years of age who is the duly authorized representative of such Entity. The full TERMS are available for your review by accessing them on this website. The RULES constitute "Competition Terms & Conditions" under Clause 2.3 of the TERMS. Capitalized words used but not defined in the RULES have meanings given to them in the TERMS.

Please read these RULES and the TERMS carefully, as they describe the conditions under which you are allowed to participate. As you participate, you may periodically be asked to recognize your acceptance of these RULES and the TERMS by clicking "accept" at various pages on this website, but by continuing any use of this website you expressly consent to all of these RULES and the TERMS.



1. Eligibility

For the Competition, organizations eligible to submit an application as a Lead Applicant must be based in the United States and/or a United States territory as:

The Lead Applicant is a single legal entity that has the legal responsibility, authority for and control of the use of any grant funds, be responsible for the reporting on any grant funds, and must be able to exercise in fact and law direction, control, and supervision of the proposed project and the grant funds.

2. Collaborations

Eligible organizations are welcome to collaborate with for-profit companies, foundations, education institutions, government agencies, individuals, and other entities in order to implement the Project.

Lead applicants who are 501(c)(4) organizations are required to include a 501(c)(3) organization that is eligible to receive funds from a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) as part of the project team.

If selected as a Finalist, organizations proposing to work together must demonstrate through a fully-executed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or other similar agreement, executed by all parties, that all parties have agreed that the Lead Applicant will serve as the Awardee and will have direction, control, and supervision of the proposed project and management of all grant funds and be responsible for all reporting requirements. Review the Guidance on Memorandum of Understanding. While MOUs will not be collected in the application, MOUs are required for teams that are selected as Finalists.

3. Multiple Applications from a Single Organization

An organization can submit only one application as the Lead Applicant. An organization can also serve as a partner on a team for other applications provided that each application proposes a separate, distinct solution.

Regional or location-specific branches of larger organizations, as well as departments, schools, and nonprofits within or based in a college/university, can each register and submit separately as the Lead Applicant on more than one application as long as the proposed solutions are different and separate. Each application must be submitted by a different team member using a unique email address. Overlapping membership of advisory boards is permitted. All this said, we strongly encourage teams to select a single project that best represents your organization's ability to deliver a solution that meets the scoring criteria.

4. Ineligible Persons or Entities

The following entities are not eligible to apply as the Lead Applicant but can serve as partners on an application:

Employees of the Competition Sponsors, Lever for Change, Carrot, and any of their subsidiaries and affiliates, and immediate family members (spouse, parent, child, sibling and their respective spouses, regardless of where they live) or persons living in the same households of such employees, are not eligible to participate.

5. Prohibited Use of Award Funds

Award funds must be used for the project for which they are awarded, and may not be used:

Any lobbying activities must constitute less than 50% of the $10 million budget. Please note: Advocacy activities are not considered lobbying and are an eligible use of funds with no budget limitations or requirements. Review the Lobbying Policy for guidance on lobbying. Review the Lobbying Policy for guidance on lobbying.

6. Indirect Costs

While general operating support is not allowed, we recognize applicants may have overhead costs that are not directly attributable to the proposed project but are necessary for implementation. We will consider paying for these indirect costs up to a maximum of 25% of direct project or activity costs within the $10 million award limit. Ensure that any indirect costs are accounted for in your budget in the application. Any portion of salaries and other similar costs that will be allocated directly to implementation of the proposed solution are eligible expenses (direct costs) and can be their own line items. Review the Indirect Cost Policy for guidance on direct and indirect costs.

7. Guidance Related to Non-Charitable Applicants

Grant funds will be used solely for charitable purposes and will not result in private benefit to other people, organizations, or entities other than incidental benefit that is a necessary byproduct of the accomplishment of the charitable purpose.

8. Financial and Organizational Capacity

All applicants must demonstrate their financial and organizational capacity to carry out the proposed project and to appropriately manage any Award.

9. Treatment and Use of Intellectual Property

Each application should reflect the anticipated ownership, use, and licensing of any intellectual property. You represent and warrant that your Entry is an original work created solely by You, that You own all Intellectual Property in and to the Entry, and that no other party has any right, title, claim or interest in the Entry, except as expressly identified by You to us in writing in Your application. You retain all right, title and interest in any inventions, software or work of authorship You invent or create. The ownership and use of intellectual property arising from this competition remains with You.

10. Grant Agreement

The successful Finalists and/or Awardee will be expected to enter into a grant agreement with the Competition Sponsors, containing key terms and conditions which are separate from these RULES and TERMS posted on this Website for this Competition.

NOTE: Each grant agreement governing the use of Awards may vary, depending on the nature of the project, the organization receiving the Award, and the Competition Sponsors.

11. Reporting

Any Grantee who enters into a separate grant agreement to receive funding will be required to report progress towards milestones and other goals. Those reporting requirements may vary, based on the organization and the project, and will be determined by the Competition Sponsors. However, it is likely necessary that a minimum of one financial report per year and one narrative report per year may be required.

12. Other Rules

12.1 Your application must be in English.

12.2 You must complete registration to participate in the Competition. Individuals representing an applicable organization must be 18 years of age or older at the time of entry to participate.

12.3 Your Entry should meet the application requirements stipulated on this website. You are required to register in advance of any deadlines for the submission of an Entry, and You must comply with all other deadlines posted on this website. Your Entry may not, in the sole and unfettered discretion of Competition Sponsors and/or Carrot, contain obscene, provocative, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable or inappropriate content. Competition Sponsors reserves the right to cancel, modify or suspend Competition in whole or in part without liability to You. Competition Sponsors and/or Carrot also reserve the right to disqualify You from participating.

12.4 By participating in the Competition, You represent, warrant, and agree that:

  1. You are the sole author, creator, and owner of the Entry;
  2. the Entry is not the subject of any actual or threatened litigation or claim;
  3. the Entry does not and will not violate or infringe upon the intellectual property rights, privacy rights, publicity rights, or other legal rights of any third party;
  4. the Entry does not and will not contain any harmful computer code (sometimes referred to as "malware," "viruses" or "worms"); and
  5. the Entry, and Your use of the Entry, does not and will not violate any applicable laws or regulations, including, without limitation, applicable export control laws and regulations of the United States and other jurisdictions. If the Entry includes any third party works (such as third party content or open source code), You must provide the Competition Sponsors with all appropriate licenses and releases for such third party works. In the event You cannot provide all such required licenses and releases, the Competition Sponsors reserves the right, in the Competition Sponsors' sole discretion, to disqualify the applicable Entry.

12.5 You may participate by registering, but You may not register more than one true and uniform identity; multiple registrations for a participant using multiple identities are not allowed. Competition Sponsors, Lever for Change, and/or Carrot reserve the right to disqualify any Entry made by a participant violating this limitation, regardless of whether all of the respective parties had knowledge of such violation. Each registrant may submit at most one Entry.

12.6 Upon submitting Your Entry, the Entry will be subjected to an Administrative Review, to ensure compliance with all of the requirements. Qualified Entries will then be distributed to other registrants during a Peer-to-Peer assessment of those Entries. If Your Entry qualifies for Peer-to-Peer review, You will be required to assess at least five (5) other Entries. If You do not complete those assessments, using the tools and process described on this Website, Your participation may be terminated. Based on normalized scores from each Peer-to-Peer review, a rank order of the Entries will be populated. The top-scoring Entries will advance to the next phase of review.

12.7 The top-scoring Entries as determined by the Peer-to-Peer Review will advance to an Evaluation Panel review. The Evaluation Panel consists of experts who are identified on this Website. Each of the top-scoring Entries will be assessed by five Evaluation Panel members, who will be assigned to score these Entries either randomly or after considering any potential conflicts of interest, using the scoring rubric that is described on this Website. In cases where a Judge indicates any potential conflict of interest, the Entry will be assigned to another Judge. Based on normalized scores from each Evaluation Panel review, a rank order of the Entries will be populated.

12.8 Once a rank order of Entries has been populated from the Evaluation Panel review, up to five (5) top Competitors will be named as Finalists. Of these Finalists, one (1) Competitor will receive an award of $10 million from Additional Ventures and one (1) Finalist will receive an award of $2 million from Cipora & Vlado Herman. The Competition Sponsors will review and discuss the top Entries and will determine any Finalists and/or Awardees, using criteria that may incorporate considerations beyond the Judges’ reviews.

If a Finalist is unable to fully participate in the next phase of the Competition, then they may forfeit their designation as a Finalist.. Final determination of Finalists and Awardee rests with the Competition Sponsors.

12.9 While Carrot is providing an online platform for your participation, Carrot is not responsible for the payment of any Award(s). Payment of any Award(s) is the sole responsibility of the Competition Sponsors and its designees, and under the TERMS each participant has agreed to look solely to the Competition Sponsors, for the payment of any Award.

12.10 By submitting your Entry, you agree to release, discharge and hold harmless the Competition Sponsors, Lever for Change, Carrot, and their partners, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising agencies, agents and their employees, officers, directors and representatives from any Loss arising out of your participation in Competition and the acceptance and use, misuse, or possession of any Award(s). Neither the Competition Sponsors, Lever for Change, or Carrot assume responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, or delay in operation or transmission; communications line failure; theft or destruction of or unauthorized access to Competition entries or entry forms; or alteration of entries or entry forms. Neither the Competition Sponsors, Lever for Change, or Carrot are responsible for any problems with or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any entry to be received on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or any website, human errors of any kind, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to competitors’ or any other persons’ computers related to or resulting from participation, uploading or downloading of any materials related to this Competition. In the event of a dispute about the identity of any Competitor, an online registration will be declared as if made by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address submitted at time of entry.

12.11 THIS COMPETITION IS VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Competitors agree that this Competition shall be subject to and governed by the laws of the United States of America and the forum of any dispute shall be in the courts of the United States of America.

12.12 If for any reason the Competition is not capable of running as planned, due to infection by computer virus, bugs, worms, Trojan horses, denial of service, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures or any other causes beyond the control of Carrot that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Competition, Carrot reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual(s) who tamper with the process, and/or to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Competition. If Competition Sponsors and/or Carrot terminates the Competition, it will not retain any rights in the submitted Entries.

12.13 The Competition Sponsors reserves the right in their sole discretion to disqualify any Competitor who is found to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Competition to be acting in violation of these RULES or the TERMS, or to be acting in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with the intent to disrupt or undermine the legitimate operation of the Competition or to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any other person.

12.14 Entry into the Stronger Democracy Award does not constitute entry into any other Lever for Change competition, Carrot competition, or promotion that may be offered by the Competition Sponsors and/or its affiliates.

12.15 Competition Sponsors and/or Carrot reserve the right to disqualify any participant who violates these RULES, the TERMS and any standards of behavior expressed or implied in them.

12.16 The names of the Finalists and Awardee will be posted on this website for such period of time as the Competition Sponsors deem reasonable.

Contact Information

You may contact us with any questions or comments about these RULES. You may reach us by email.