Community Impact Project Proposal

.PLEASE READ THE FAQs below, before submitting a proposal. The FAQs contain important information, dates, and instructions.

You may submit a proposal now through Oct 10, 2022. 

Click here to access the proposal application form:

You may submit a proposal now through Oct 10, 2022. If you have questions, please, reach out to Jaime Murphy or call (574)314-9090.

Community Projects FAQ

What are Community Projects?

One component of Leadership SBM’s Signature Program is taking collective action in the context of a current regional challenge or opportunity via Community Impact Projects. Projects are 6-month long initiatives, and our theme for this year is “Building Healthy Communities”. These projects are partnerships between cross-sector teams (also referred to as Impact Teams) of 6-7 working professionals in Leadership SBM’s Signature program and nonprofit or public sector organizations or groups in the region. 

What can a team do for my organization?

Teams of volunteers help by providing strategic advising on organizational issues or project design and implementation for your area of need. Participating organizations may come away with improved operations, increased exposure, or more strategic focus, all while connecting with potential board members and volunteers.

Project teams are not fundraisers, so projects cannot be fundraising in nature unless the project revolves around creating an overall development or strategic fundraising plan.

Past projects should not constrain what’s possible this year! However, if it’s useful, you may review summaries of 2021-2022 projects by visiting our website

Is my organization eligible to submit a project proposal?

If your organization is a nonprofit, public sector organization (division, unit, department, etc.), or community organization or group that serves St. Joseph County, your organization may apply. 

Please review Leadership SBM’s mission, vision, and values (at the end of this document). Your organization does not need to be in complete alignment with these statements, but to be eligible to participate, your organization should not be at odds with them.

Is working with a team just like hiring a consultant to undertake a specific project? 

Not quite. This is a volunteer group of leaders with varied professional expertise devoting time outside of their job and other Signature Leadership program commitments to work on your project.

In addition, teams may discover hidden issues or limitations in the original proposal or approach. In this partnership model, Leadership SBM teams are encouraged to bring concerns, new ideas, and input to their partnering organization. Community partners are encouraged to considering a change in course even if it deviates from the original issue or plan.

What is my organization’s role in the partnership?

Having a team working with you is only successful if the team is supported by your agency. Someone specific in your organization must be available as an ongoing liaison between the agency and the team. Teams that have the most success are teams that have the best communication with their partnering organization. This will require time and energy on the part of the organization to attend meetings, return emails, take phone calls, and make decisions in a prompt manner. If the team is not given direction and feedback from their partner, they will have difficulty moving forward and achieving success.

In February 2023, you will be contacted by the Leadership SBM staff for a status update and feedback. In June 2023, evaluations of project experience will be required from all parties. 

How are proposals selected?

  • Once proposals are received, Leadership SBM’s Executive Director and Director of Programs will review proposals to ensure they meet criteria.
  • Written proposals will be shared with Impact Teams at their October program day.
  • Impact Teams will rank and submit the top three projects they would like to choose.
  • Leadership SBM Staff and Program Committee will review and match project groups with organizations.
  • Note that because we receive more proposals than there are teams, not all organizations who submit a proposal will be matched.
  • THEME FOR Leadership SBM 2022-2023 CURRICULUM YEAR

This year’s program focuses on “Building Healthy Communities”. While this theme is meant to give direction to the projects, we think it is broad enough to encompass many types of projects.  Consider these questions as you create your proposal.

  • What does “community health” mean?
  • How will this project contribute to the “health” of our Michiana community.

PROGRAM GOALS and values:

Build Trusting Relationships

  • We build trusting relationships among our board; within our staff; between our participants and with community partners.

 Facilitate Growth and Transformation

  • We continually create opportunities for growth and transformation

Teach and role-model leadership skills and knowledge

  • Philosophies such as servant leadership and authentic leadership are embedded in what we teach and how we act.

Motivate individuals to act

  • By creating connections to the community individuals are motivated to act to create positive change. 

Note that because we receive more proposals than there are teams, not all organizations who submit a proposal will be matched.

What are the guidelines for project proposals?

  • The project must be realistic in scope and be able to be completed in the given time frame (6-7 months between December 2022 and the end of May 2023). Projects that are flexible in scope which can be narrowed or expanded in collaboration with a Team’s capacities will be most successful.
  • The project should produce sustainable results, allowing your organization to better serve the community, and be strategic, structural, operational, or organizational in nature.
  • The partnering organization should be able to explain how the project connects with Leadership SBM’s overall curriculum theme or advances program goals.
  • The partnering organization must be open to new and innovative ideas that the team will provide.
  • The partnering organization must have the capacity to communicate with the team regularly, meet with the team regularly, and work with them to make decisions quickly regarding the direction of their project.
  • Make sure your submission is clearly written so the teams can understand exactly what you are asking.
  • Projects may not be partisan or religious in nature nor have fundraising as a primary focus.

What are the key dates to know?

  • October 10, 2022 at 5:00 – Project proposals are due.
  • October 20, 2022-Proposals are reviewed by project groups when they will record their top three choices.
  • Oct. 25, 2022-Project Team matching Day. Leadership SBM Staff and Program Committee will review and match project groups with organizations. Please, note that submitting a proposal does not guarantee your project with be matched with an Impact team. Leadership SBM will contact organizations and teams to announce partnerships. Organizations that were not selected will also be notified and thanked for their interest.
  • February 2023 – Partnering organizations complete a check-in survey.
  • April 20, 2023 – Leadership SBM Impact Teams Project Presentations. We love our partners to attend.
  • May 2023 – Impact Teams complete their projects
  • June 30, 2023– Partnering organizations submit project experience survey.

I want to submit a proposal. What are the next steps?

You may submit a proposal now through Oct 10, 2022. To receive a proposal application, please, reach out to Jaime Murphy or call (574)314-9090.

We’re excited about offering this opportunity to our region and hope you will submit a proposal!

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