Design, Social Impact

Why Enter the Fuller Challenge? Benefits Beyond the Grand Prize

Outside of the $100,000 grand prize awarded to the Fuller Challenge Winner each year, there are a number of benefits and opportunities associated with entering “socially responsible design’s highest award”.

Here are some benefits that entrants experience after each year’s cycle:

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT: BFI offers a number of specific opportunities to the top entrants in each year’s pool. These opportunities come from partner organizations in our network that have benefits to offer through their own programs. These organizations trust in the Fuller Challenge’s rigorous vetting process as they source their own participants. Last year, Catalyst Program benefits were offered to the top 10% of entrants.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES: BFI maintains a private network of donors and funders who follow our work closely. Following each year’s Challenge announcements, philanthropies, foundations, and investors reach out about the top entrants. This year, the Autodesk Foundation selected 2015 Fuller Challenge Finalist The Nubian Vault Association (AVN) as one of their grantees.

MEDIA COVERAGE Successful entrants receive extensive exposure from their association with the Challenge. Winners, finalists, semi-finalists, and Catalyst Program entrants all receive substantial media coverage after being recognized by our program. Just some of that coverage can be viewed here.

Below, you can read some testimonials from past and current Fuller Challenge entrants.

Too often, we find ourselves working diligently to solve the problems of the day and seldom find ourselves taking the time to properly consider the larger picture and the ultimate destination of our work. This exercise has allowed us the opportunity to step back and really look at what we are trying to accomplish from a much higher perspective and with a broader world view of the goals we aspire to meet.

This application process presented us with an important exercise. Nearly every other prize or grant application forces us to focus on one small aspect of our work. In this application, we wanted to convey all of the different dimensions of our model. It is critical that we are able to do so concisely and with clarity, and this application pushed us to convey all of the layers that our model encompasses.

Our team found the Challenge evaluation criteria to be an excellent framework for how to design an implementation plan and our new design with the greatest potential for success. It is inspiring to stir the imagination with new ideas, but without proper feasibility, verifiability, and replication, it is difficult to envision the idea taking flight.

The BFI Challenge application is enjoyable because it lets us express our plans on the ethical grounds in which we seem them… We benefit from applying as we get to reflect deeply on our mission, successes, and the road ahead.

This has been an amazing educational exercise for everyone evolved in the project, and has allowed us to synthesize our progress so far and refine our objectives for the future.”

The process of developing an application to the Fuller Challenge has been enormously valuable to the growth and refinement of our proposed project. In particular, we found that the brevity and specificity of the application questions allowed us to hone into the essential and defining characteristics of our proposal.

I believe the questions are useful and targeted. Many prize applications require a disproportionately significant amount of time. It’s also helpful to be able to attach further documentation.

Being asked to account for our work, our approach to life and our commitment to change is always humbling, but also profoundly useful. The questions that BFI poses are vital and in the most significant sense – obligatory.

The Fuller Challenge welcomes past entrants to re-apply each year. Some of our winners, finalists, and semi-finalists received recognition after entering the Challenge more than once. Please reach out to Program Manager Megan Ahearn at [email protected] with any questions about entering.