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UNITE Award FAQs

UniteAwardlogo smallQ. What is the timeline for the 2015 award?

A. The deadline for award applications is 5:00 p.m. on September 30, 2014.

The timeline for the review and selection process is:

  • August 1, 2014 - UNITE Award Application opens on Southwest Florida Community Foundation website.
  • September 30, 2014 - Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. September 30, 2014. No late or incomplete applications will be accepted.
  • November – December 2014 - All Applications will be reviewed and three finalists will be chosen. Site visits will be conducted to gather additional information on each of the finalists. Finalists may be asked to submit additional information in order for the selection committee to validate the effectiveness of the collaboration.
  • January 2015 - 3 finalists will be chosen and notified. All applicants will be notified of their application status.
  • January 21, 2015 -  Award winner will be publicly announced and invited to present their work at Myers Brettholtz's Annual Nonprofit Seminar.

Q. Who is eligible to apply?

A. To be eligible for the award, a collaboration must:

  • Be based in the five county Southwest Florida area (Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades).
  • Involve two or more entities (i.e. nonprofit organizations, businesses, and/or government agencies.
  • Include a lead organization that is a 501(c)(3).
    • Have a structure that is evidenced by a formal written agreement (i.e. memorandum of understanding, contract, or merger agreement).
    • Be able to demonstrate the impact of the collaboration through measurable outcomes.
    • Have begun operations, with a formal written agreement in place, by March 1, 2012.

Q. Where can I see the application questions?

A. Applications for the 2015 award are accepted through the Southwest Florida Community Foundation's online application system only. If you are considering applying, preparing to apply, or would just like to learn more about the award, click here for a list of the application questions (PDF Format - Coming in September).

Q. Our collaboration includes partners that are government agencies, businesses, etc. Are we eligible to apply?

A. Yes, as long as at least one partner is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Southwest Florida, and that partner serves as the "lead organization" for the application.

Q. Why must a collaboration have been in operation for 18 months in order to apply?

A. Although factors like formation, purpose, and planning are considered important for a successful collaboration, this award places a b emphasis on evaluation and results to identify highly successful collaborations. At least 18 months of operational history are required to help ensure that award applicants are able to demonstrate sustained impact and benefits from collaborating.

Q. Why must a collaboration have a written agreement, such as an MOU or contract, in order to apply?

A. The purpose of the UNITE Award, in addition to recognizing an outstanding collaboration each year, is to identify exceptional collaborations that can serve as replicable models and examples of best practices for others. The award steering committee agrees that having a written agreement is an important best practice. Although some collaborations may be successful without a written agreement in place, the UNITE Award regards a written agreement as an important element of a replicable, successful collaboration; it helps ensure that a collaboration can survive changes in its environment or key people, and is an important tool for building long-term stability and success.

Q. If my nonprofit receives the UNITE Award, are there restrictions on how the funds may be used?

A. While there are no restrictions on the award, it should be used to further the work of the collaboration, and it will be up to the lead agency and its collaboration partners to determine how the funds will be expended. The lead agency will be asked to prepare a report detailing how the funds were used, the impact of having received the UNITE Award, and any updates to the collaboration since receiving the award.

Still have a question?

A. If you don't see an answer to your question, please contact Myers Brettholtz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or the Community Foundation at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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