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DEEP INVESTMENT FUND

Amplifying our investments

** This program is currently closed to new applications **

We are looking for projects that:

  • Have previously received funding from SHIFT; 
  • Tackle a significant community-identified issue related to inequity, injustice and unsustainability;
  • Connect to Concordia through teaching, learning, research or student life;
  • Wish to collaborate with SHIFT to strengthen their socially transformative impact at Concordia, in the Montreal community and on the system they seek to transform.

Program overview

The Deep Investment Fund  will invest in 3 to 6 multi-stakeholder teams who are already part of the SHIFT Learning Community and are looking to realize longer term social transformation through: 

  • Expanding on previous projects 
    • Ex: grow to other boroughs if appropriate, translate resources into multiple languages 
  • Sharing their expertise 
    • Ex: work to create a credited course at Concordia based around community knowledge, engage in advocacy for policy change 
  • Embedding their work in institutions and systems 
    • Ex: collaborate with a Concordia office to change their service delivery, create a partnership with faculty for a permanent internship site  

Teams must be interested in leveraging SHIFT and Concordia resources to strengthen their project, create institutional transformation in Concordia and/or their own communities in the long-term.  

Funding details 

  • Up to $50,000 per year and up to a two-year commitment
  • Required and substantial customized support from SHIFT staff in collaboration with the broader SHIFT ecosystem (e.g., facilitating introductions, co-hosting project-related events, developing relevant research initiatives, co-producing publications and reports, etc.).
  • Up to 30% of the funding can be used for operational core costs (ex: HR salaries not tied to project), with the remaining 70%+ towards direct project costs (ex: project team salaries, materials, transportation).
  • Applications do not have to be for the same project initially supported by SHIFT but should be working towards the same goals or working on the same issue within the same community (-ies).

 

SHIFT's Deep Investment strategy

The Deep Investment approach is anchored in our vision of recognizing the potential that already exists within the SHIFT community and investing time and energy to develop truly transformational partnerships. Tailored Deep Investment collaborations will be co-developed by project teams and SHIFT staff and may engage four key support pillars:  

Connecting

  • Work with SHIFT staff to connect to a greater diversity of stakeholders and experts from the university and beyond in order to amplify or unlock further social transformation potential.

Research & Learning

  • Become a teaching site for students, working with SHIFT to create experiential learning opportunities for paid interns.
  • Benefit from opportunities for deeper engagement with Concordia researchers, faculties, and offices.

Training & Support

  • Build your project teams’ capacity and project sustainability through identifying targeted learning opportunities based on needs and interests, in collaboration with Concordia services and offices.
  • Attend or lead training sessions with other members of the Learning Community.
  • Work with SHIFT staff on strategic initiatives, helping to remove roadblocks, and leveraging additional resources as possible.

Space

  • Host events or co-work out of the SHIFT Centre with your project team and the wider community.

Value exchange

In-kind support (What does SHIFT offer?)

In addition to the standard benefits associated with membership in the SHIFT Learning Community, each funded project will work with SHIFT staff to co-create a tailored in-kind support plan that suits their needs.

We expect the content of these collaborations to vary and evolve with the specific needs and interests of each funded project. While SHIFT’s contributions will be grounded in our four deep investment support pillars, we also hope to see new support possibilities emerge over the course of our engagement.

Project commitments (How do projects contribute to the SHIFT community?)

In the spirit of collaboration and reciprocity, and in lieu of traditional reporting requirements, we ask the teams we fund to contribute to the vibrancy of the SHIFT community. Our goal is for this value exchange to be light, useful and relevant to the trajectory of each project.

SHIFT asks projects funded through the Deep Investment Fund to commit to the following:

  • Complete the project as described (at a high level)
  • Attend at least two meetings with SHIFT staff during your project to discuss progress, additional needs, etc.
  • Provide a high-quality photo of your project in action with permission to use it in SHIFT materials.
  • Submit three bullet points describing your key learning from this project.
  • Share one output from your project with members of the SHIFT community (e.g., research finding, copy of the project plan, information pamphlet).

  • Attend at least one networking event with other SHIFT funded projects.
  • Participate actively in workshops offered through the Learning Community (if interested).
  • Offer up to four hours of coaching or support to another SHIFT funded project (if requested).
  • Participate in SHIFT communications efforts (if requested).
  • Participate in SHIFT’s own evaluation and assessment (if requested).

Application process

There are two deadlines for the Deep Investment Fund: November 20, 2022, and April 2, 2023.

We are working with a lighter application process this year, given the pre-existing relationship SHIFT has with all applicants as members of the Learning Community.

SHIFT staff will be available for pre-proposal meetings with project team members to discuss initial ideas for their application and if the Deep Investment Fund is right for them. While not a formal pitch or presentation, we ask that you come prepared to discuss your vision for a proposed collaboration that would enhance your socially transformative impact by engaging at least two of our deep investment support pillars. These meetings are mandatory to continue with your application.

 

Through our Deep Investment Approach, SHIFT is working to move towards becoming a better collaborator and partner with project teams. We want to support projects in creating connections both within and outside of Concordia University, and within SHIFT’s ecosystem.

SHIFT has lengthened the application development period to encourage teams to work with us, in collaboration, towards their project application. Through brainstorming, connecting, and coaching, we want to work with projects deeply on co-developing ways to receive more in-kind support that goes beyond funding.

After your pre-proposal meeting, you can work one-on-one with a SHIFT staff member to develop your project and application.

There is no required format for applications. Teams can apply using a traditional write-up (form style replies to the prompts listed below). SHIFT also welcomes applications in other formats created by project teams to align with their strengths, including video, audio, or slideshow.

  • Written content outside of the form should not exceed 3 pages single-spaced
  • Video/audio content should not exceed 5 minutes
  • Slideshows should not exceed 12 slides
  • … if you have an idea for another application style not listed, please get in touch with us before drafting.

Teams cannot submit applications in more than one format. If a team submits two styles of application, only the first one received will be considered.

Successful applications of all styles will respond to the following areas, with prompts underneath to guide you in answering:

  • General Project Description (500 words)
    • What social issue(s) are you working to change? What are the activities of your project: are you working to embed, formalize, or expand? What are the outcomes of your project you are working towards and your deliverables? What are you bringing from your previous project, and what do you want to change?
  • Connections (300 words)  
    • Who are you currently working with? Which individuals, groups, or departments do you want to connect with, why and how? Whom do you want to deepen pre-existing relationships with?
  • Research & Learning (200 words)
    • What knowledge does your team hold already, or has cultivated through running your project? What can you share with and teach others, and how would you do it?
  • Training & Support (200 words)
    • What roadblocks do you want support in deconstructing? What do you want to learn in order to develop capacity and sustainability?
  • Space (100 words)
    • How do you intend to engage with the new SHIFT space?
  • Funding (100 words)
    • How do you intend to spread the funding from SHIFT between operations and project costs? You can use your own budget document, or use this budget template (includes standard categories and automatic equations). SHIFT does not require much detail, but rather broad categories of expenses.

Word counts are meant to guide the approximate weight of response we hope to get out of each question. Please note, projects must engage with at least two key pillars of Deep Investment (Connecting, Research & Learning, Training & Support, Space). If you are not working in one of those areas, please explain why not in your application.

An independent selection committee will review all eligible applications against SHIFT’s selection criteria and select the most promising applications to move forward to the final stage.

Selection committee interviews will take place in April.

Projects that are selected by the committee to move forward following an initial review of all applications will be invited to meet with the selection committee. The purpose of these meetings is to:

  • Clarify and validate any point of confusion or disagreement amongst the committee related to the selection criteria;
  • Gather information about elements of the selection criteria that may be difficult to assess through written applications; and,
  • Brainstorm additional support that SHIFT might be able to offer this project in order to amplify its transformative impact.

Project teams will be compensated for the time spent at the interview with the selection committee.

After interviews with the selection committee, applicants can expect to receive communication of final funding decisions in early May.

Support for applicants

SHIFT provides many resources to assist teams in the application process. In addition to the resources below, at any time you can send us an email or book an appointment to meet a member of the team.

Available resources:

Calendar

Events

Notices

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