Could you use $20,000 for your nonprofit?

Yeah, we thought so too.

Contest Summary

Apply today for the Focus Magazine $20,000 Grant Contest for your chance to win the grand prize of agency services, advertising, and cold hard cash. We will be giving one lucky group a grand prize gift to help them with marketing, branding, advertising, events, and promotions over the next year. To be considered, apply online now.

Tips for Crafting Your Application:

  1. Send us clear, compelling, and engaging essay answers and video (strongly encouraged).
  2. Use your social media, website, and other communications, to develop the organization’s brand voice, including the use of visuals, cohesiveness, humor, engagement and uniqueness to help finalists during the online voting period in August 7-14, 2019.
  3. Whether the applicant/owner of the organization is prepared to be a mentor to other small organizations in our future planning of grants under this same program.
  4. Review of our social media sites, including all posts and/or images and make sure that they are up to par. We will be looking at them.
    In addition to the above, we strongly suggest applicants to submit a video that shows us a day in the life of your organization, but not to exceed ninety (90) seconds in length.

Stand Out (call outs)

  1. Tell us why your organization deserves the $20,000 grant.
  2. Showcase the unique or innovative services that you offer.
  3. Express your positive impact on the community.

Please Read:

You can Download and Print a copy of Rules, Eligibility Requirements, Terms, Legal Disclaimers, and other information here.

  1. Applicant/Operator must be an authorized agent of the registered business. Only one applicant per organization may apply.
  2. The organization must be in good standing with local, state, and national government
  3. agencies, as of the date the application was submitted and must remain so throughout the duration of the contest and award duration.
  4. Applicant/Operator needs to be at least eighteen (18) years of age at the time the application is submitted.
  5. The organization must be currently active, lawful, have all necessary and required licenses and registrations.
  6. Organizations with up to twenty-five (25) employees are eligible to apply. Verification will be required.
  7. The organization cannot be in any way affiliated with a franchise.
  8. The primary purpose of the business must not be in competition with Ray Rico Freelance,
  9. Focus Magazine, or the Focus Center Foundation or any Ray Rico operating companies.
  10. The organization must not be under bankruptcy protection or have judicial liens or attachments.

The grant winner will be identified as winner and Focus Magazine will be referred to as the benefactor.

  1. The winner will be announced August 23, 2019 at Ballet Memphis at the 2019 Focus Awards. Representatives (at least two (2) will be expected to attend the entire event that night (6:30 – 9 p.m.) and have a presence, Winners must be present in order to be granted the award. Failure to attend will forfeit the award. In that case, the grant award will be given to the 2nd place finisher.
  2. On the night of the event, the benefactor will present an oversized check to the winner, and photo of the winner will be required for promotions on all Focus channels.
  3. By accepting the award, the winner gives permission to the benefactor to promote, advertise, market, and use all works in the benefactor’s advertising and marketing plans.
  4. The winner allows rights to the benefactor to provide marketing and advertising without any conflicts with other agencies or outside marketing groups.
  5. The winner must acknowledge the mission, vision, and values of Focus Magazine and identify the implemented and enforced nondiscrimination policy in the bylaws and practice of the winner’s group.
  6. Any and all federal, state, local or other tax liabilities arising from this contest are the sole responsibility of the winner.
  7. Prior to receiving the Grant, the winner must submit a W-9 tax form verifying their tax identification number.
  8. Winners will be required by benefactor to complete and sign (1) an affidavit of eligibility/liability certifying that the winner has complied with the official rules of the contest, and (2) a liability and publicity release (except where prohibited by law). Failure to sign and return any of these documents or to comply with any term or condition of these official rules may result in the winner’s disqualification.

Prepare to apply: Read and understand the eligibility requirements and terms of the contest as they are required. Review the responses we request and prepare them beforehand because the application form will not save your work. Make time to do your work, it will show. Carve out time to submit the application and devote at least thirty (30) minutes to apply and submit your complete application. It might help to have this in a digital document where you can copy and paste to make things easier.

Application process: Apply online at awards.focusmidsouth.com No paper applications accepted. Contest begins July 4, 2019 12:00 am and ends August 4, 2019 12:00 am. After close of application process, benefactor reviews all applicants to verify eligibility of entrants. Once complete, all finalists will be notified on or before August 6, 2019.

Online voting period: During August 7-14, 2019, we will announce all finalists on Focus Magazine platforms and allow for a voting process to be opened up to the public. We encourage you to share, like, and tag folks to increase your exposure. The online voting will give all finalists a ranking order and a that number will account for 25% of the weighted judging.

Judging process: We use a scientific method for judging and scoring all finalists. This 5-person judging system is also used in place for the Focus Awards. Judging uses an odd number of diverse judges from the community to rank applicants on a 0-3 score system; zero being the lowest score and 3 for highest score. The applicants applications are reviewed and are judged based on the tally score. Tie-breaker will be conducted if needed. Social judging will account for a 25% weighted score while judges scoring will account for 75%. A second runner-up will be selected in the event the first winner does not meet eligibility requirements or forfeits the prize.

Award process: We are excited to offer this grant this year and want you to be also. All finalists are requested and allotted two (2) tickets to the Focus Awards 2019 and expected to attend the Focus Awards 2019 on August 23, 2019 at Ballet Memphis from 6:30-9:30 pm. In the event that others wish to attend they may purchase additional tickets or tables from awards.focusmidsouth.com.

Grant award agreement: A mutually selected date will be chosen to have the winner and benefactor meet to review and approve all necessary documents to award the grant. This will include but is not limited to any necessary review, verifications, paperwork, contract and grant award agreement terms and conditions.

The winner will be announced August 23, 2019 at Ballet Memphis at the 2019 Focus Awards. Representatives (at least two (2) will be expected to attend the entire event that night (6:30 – 9 p.m.) and have a presence, Winners must be present in order to be granted the award. Failure to attend will forfeit the award. In that case, the grant award will be given to the 2nd place finisher
  1. On the night of the event, the benefactor will present an oversized check to the winner, and photo of the winner will be required for promotions on all Focus channels.
  2. By accepting the award, the winner gives permission to the benefactor to promote, advertise, market, and use all works in the benefactor’s advertising and marketing plans.
  3. The winner allows rights to the benefactor to provide marketing and advertising without any conflicts with other agencies or outside marketing groups.
  4. The winner must acknowledge the mission, vision, and values of Focus Magazine and identify the implemented and enforced nondiscrimination policy in the bylaws and practice of the winner’s group.
  5. Any and all federal, state, local or other tax liabilities arising from this contest are the sole responsibility of the winner.
  6. Prior to receiving the Grant, the winner must submit a W-9 tax form verifying their tax identification number.
  7. Winners will be required by benefactor to complete and sign (1) an affidavit of eligibility/liability certifying that the winner has complied with the official rules of the contest, and (2) a liability and publicity release (except where prohibited by law). Failure to sign and return any of these documents or to comply with any term or condition of these official rules may result in the winner’s disqualification

The $20,000 award is comprised of $10,000 in marketing agency services provided by Ray Rico Freelance (ie: PR, graphic design, branding, promoting events, and agency services, etc.); $5000 in advertising in Focus® Mid-South Magazine during 2019-2020 for the duration of 6 issues, or 12 months, online at focusmidsouth.com, on our social media platforms, and in our newsletters; $5000 cash donation. Aside from the monetary donation, there is no cash value for the prize and the winner must accept the terms in services and advertising. The grant is provided by the Focus Center Foundation.

The application period begins July 4, 2019 and ends August 4, 2019. Applications must be submitted online at awards.focusmidsouth.com and be entered within the contest application period. No late entries will be accepted. On the application, we will ask you to provide responses on the following items: (1) Tell us about your organization (tell us who you serve, what you do, which products or services you provide, etc) (2) Tell us why you started or are working in this field (what sets you apart, what inspires you, why did you want to do this, how are you making a difference) (3) Tell us how you’d use the grant award to promote your business and why you need it (be sure to mention your needs as they apply to the actual award components) (4) Describe your diversity and inclusion vision and policies for your organization. Along with the above responses, every applicant is required to submit the following items:
  • Name of Business
  • Name of Business Owner/Authorized Agent
  • Phone Number
  • Position/Title at Business
  • Email Address
  • Street Address
  • City
  • State
  • Zip
  • Business website or primary website where goods or services are offered to the public (i.e. Etsy store, EBay store, Facebook page, etc.)
  • High-resolution digital image
  • REQUIRED: Company Logo or optimal photo best representing the organization.
  • SUGGESTED: Up to 3 additional photos for general representation of the organization.
  • Social media sites for the business
  • If you have any other documentation to add that outline your diversity and inclusion, mission, vision, and values, you may also upload those.

Focus® Magazine $20,000 Grant Application

The application window for the $20K contest is now closed. Follow Focus Mid-South on Facebook for announcements about when and how to enter future contests.

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