We're looking for a few brave organizations. 

We are recruiting organizations for a "first wave" research program to help test and co-develop tools to become OF/BY/FOR ALL. Starting in October 2018, First Wave organizations will set goals for community involvement, try out new ways of working, and collect data about the outcomes of these efforts. The First Wave program will last for six months, and we will ask research participants to collect data for another six months after that. 

We are looking for organizations from diverse sizes, sectors, and geographies that are ready to make change in the next six months to deepen community involvement AND are interested in being part of a research process. 

Applying for the First Wave is a two-step process. First, please take 5 minutes to check your organization's eligibility (button below). If your organization is eligible. we will send you a full application within two weeks. Only one eligibility check is needed per organization.

FAQS about the First Wave

What's the timeline?

Check your eligibility now. Eligible organizations will be invited to fill out full applications. 

  • Full applications due August 27, 2018
  • First Wave selected & notified by September 10, 2018 
  • Program starts October 1, 2018 (online)
  • In-person event in Santa Cruz January 28-30, 2019
  • Program ends March 30, 2019
  • Data collection continues until September 30, 2019

What's in it for me?

First Wave organizations will be the founding members of the OF/BY/FOR ALL Change Network.

This is a great opportunity for organizations that want to deepen community involvement and are seeking some clarity, support, and accountability to accelerate change. During the First Wave, our expert team will help you: 

  • set goals for community engagement
  • collect participant data to establish a baseline
  • adopt new behaviors to strengthen your work
  • track progress towards your goals

You'll make change alongside a supportive online community of fellow travelers from forward-looking civic and cultural organizations like yours around the world. We will coach and support you along the way, but ultimately, you decide how fast and far to go.

You'll receive:

  • Free access to OF/BY/FOR ALL online platform and tools for 1 year 
  • Personalized support in developing a plan and tracking your progress 
  • Global support and community-building with other First Wave colleagues
  • Promotion and PR about your founding involvement in the project
  • Opportunity to be part of the beginning of something big

What's in it for OFBYFOR ALL?

We see First Wave organizations as collaborators and test subjects. You'll help us refine the OF/BY/FOR ALL Change Network program to be as strong as possible. We will ask you to share:

  • honest, frequent feedback on the program, both informally and through a formal evaluation process
  • documentation of your work in the program in the form of pictures and stories
  • data generated during the program about changes in your institution and your community

Does it cost anything?

Eventually, the Change Network will have a paid model. For the First Wave, participation--including all tools, consulting support, and online interaction--is free.

There are two exceptions:

  1. There will be one in-person event for all OF/BY/FOR ALL First Wave organizations in January 2019. We will ask all organizations if they can cover their team's travel expenses (full or partial) so we can focus OF/BY/FOR ALL funding where it is most needed. We will ensure that money is not a barrier for any first wave teams to attend.  
  2. If you'd like to attend an OF/BY/FOR ALL bootcamp during the research program, you'll have to pay for it. You will receive priority registration so we can ensure there's a spot for you.

What kinds of organizations are a good fit?

We are looking for organizations that fit three criteria:

First and most importantly, you must be already on the path to involve more of your diverse community. You don't have to be experts at it, but you should have some experience partnering with community groups, welcoming new people, and grappling with internal barriers to opening up your organization. At least some leaders at your organization should believe in the benefit of this work. If there is no organizational buy-in to working with community, the First Wave is not a good fit.

Second, you must be ready to put organizational energy behind this work during the First Wave timeframe (October 2018-March 2019). That means a team of people actively working to involve new communities during this time. If you are completely overloaded with big projects right now, the First Wave is not a good fit.

Third, you must represent one of the types of organizations we want to do research with during this period. We are intentionally building a First Wave with organizations of diverse budgets, sectors, and geographic locations. We're also seeking a few organizations that are led by people of color, indigenous people, and volunteers. We're building a diverse First Wave so we can test what kinds of organizations this program works best for. In future iterations, we may offer different programs for different types of organizations, or constrain our offerings. For the First Wave, we want to experiment as widely as possible.

What's in the full application?

First, take five minutes to check your eligibility. We will invite eligible organizations to apply on a rolling basis, with the application period closing August 27. In the full application, we will ask you to:

  • Assemble an organizational team of at least three members of your staff/board who agree to actively participate in a 6-month intensive process starting in October 2018. One person - the "team champion" should be able to commit to 4 hours per week of work, while the others should commit to 1-2 hours per week. The ideal team includes a board member, an executive, a fundraiser, and a public engagement/programming lead. 

  • Write a short statement from the team about why you want to participate and how you think it will help you achieve organizational goals.

  • Provide signed support letters from your organization’s executive director, a board member, and the team champion's boss.

    • If YOU are the team champion and one of these other categories, great! Makes it easier for you.

    • If your organization does not have a board, you can get a support letter from an elected official, dedicated volunteer, or other leadership stakeholder.

  • Tell us about your existing commitment to community involvement (via strategic plan/mission statement or stories about community partnership projects). 

  • Provide contact information for one current or recent community partner who is willing to serve as a reference.

  • Be willing to share data, documentation, and feedback with other participating organizations and with the OF/BY/FOR ALLteam

What data will I be asked to share? What kind of research are you doing?

We are using the First Wave as a prototype, and our biggest research questions are:

  • Does it work? Are we able to help you successfully and authentically involve new communities?
  • Who does it work best for? Are there any types of organizations for whom this is not a good fit?

To answer these questions, we'll ask First Wave organizations to share the following:

  • Who you are involving as a result of this work. In the beginning of the program, we will ask you to select a specific "community of interest" with whom you want to build deeper relationships. We will ask you to quantify and qualify their involvement with you over the 12 months from Oct 2018-Sept 2019. We will also invite you to capture and share broader demographic information about your participants. We will provide tools for capturing all of this data.
  • What's working and what isn't. We will ask you regularly to give us feedback on how the program is going for you.
  • How it's changing your organization. We will ask you to share what impact the program is having (if any) on the way you work, the conversations at your organization, and leaders' perspectives on community involvement.

Why can't I just apply directly?

We are using the eligibility survey as a quick way to do two things:

  1. for you to identify whether you have the ability to complete the application 
  2. for us to identify whether you fit one of the "spots" in the research cohort

We don't want to waste your time in applying if it's going to be impossible for you to complete the application or be a strong candidate for a spot. We will be inviting organizations to apply on a rolling basis, and we will close the application process by the end of August 2018.

How will you select organizations for the First Wave?

The full application process is competitive. We will select First Wave members the way a coach recruits a team or a casting director selects actors. We seek organizations with strong applications that represent specific types so we can ensure that the First Wave reflects the full diversity of organizations we hope to involve in the full-scale release. This diversity is crucial for us to do good research on the effectiveness of the program.

It's entirely possible that you are 100% amazing but not a great fit for the First Wave because of these constraints. In that case, we'd love for you to stay involved via this site and the email list. We'll update you as we are ready to take on additional organizations. Our intention is to build this to scale. We plan to open up a full-scale version of the change network to everyone and anyone by 2020. 

Ready to check your eligibility? You can do so right now.

If you have other questions, please email Lauren Benetua at laurenb@santacruzmah.org. Lauren will help you - and we'll keep updating this FAQ for you and others.

You can also check out the 45-min recording of the August 9 webinar about the First Wave.