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2017 Mayors Challenge

Grants to USA Mayors and City Executives for
Innovative Projects to Address Critical Problems

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Bloomberg Philanthropies

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Grants to USA mayors and authorized executives of cities of over 30,000 residents for new, large-scale, innovative projects that will address a critical city problem. Applicants must register by August 18, 2017 to participate in the competition. 35 cities will be selected and receive funding to begin implementation of their project. In the Fall of 2018, the top five cities will be selected as the Mayors Challenge winners.

All entrants will receive expert guidance to develop their ideas and will join Bloomberg’s cities network, which identifies, elevates, and promotes innovations that work across cities.

Each city can submit only one application, representing a single idea that addresses a specific problem.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to use the Mayors Challenge to help city leaders think big, be bold, and uncover new or unexpected – and ultimately, shareable – ideas that tackle today’s most urgent problems. Successful ideas might, among other things, reimagine or drastically improve how cities delivers services, create efficiencies, or improve citizen engagement. Innovation is no longer optional.

Applications are evaluated across four distinct criteria:

- Vision: Ideas should be bold, creative, and, importantly, should tackle the most pressing issues facing your city today.

- Impact: In order to be successful, ideas should have the potential to significantly improve citizens’ lives.

- Implementation: Though implementation plans may not be fully developed, cities must demonstrate their commitment and a viable path to bringing their ideas to life. This includes garnering support from citizens and key stakeholders.

- Transferability: Winning ideas will not only be beneficial to the city generating the idea, but also have the potential to spread – and succeed in – other cities. Issues addressed should be timely and relevant. We are looking for approaches that address problems other cities face. Other cities should be able to import and adapt the best ideas to benefit their own citizens.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181919

Number of Grants:

35 Champion Cities; 4 Mayors Challenge winners; 1 Grand Prize winner

Estimated Size of Grant:

- 35 Champion Cities will be awarded up to $100,000.
- In the following year, Bloomberg Philanthropies willl announce 5 Mayors Challenge winners; the grand prize winner will be awarded $5 million and four cities will each win $1 million to bring their ideas to life.

Term of Contract:

Funds will be distributed over a two- or three-year period, depending on the particulars of the project.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

In order to be eligible for the 2017 Mayors Challenge, cities must be located within the United States, have more than 30,000 residents within the administrative division of the city or urban area, and must have a local government.

Applications must be submitted by a city hall or a city department (or the equivalent local central administrative body) under the direction of an authorized executive or body (e.g., mayor, deputy mayor, chief executive, city manager, or equivalent). The individual(s) completing the application online must be designated by the city’s authorized executive or body.

Ideas that are currently being implemented and that have already been launched are not eligible for the competition.

Any excess funds must be used to help build winning cities' innovation capacity.

Pre-proposal Conference:

One-day Idea Accelerator workshops will take place starting in late July and run through September, 2017, The Idea Accelerator workshop is designed to help city leaders strengthen idea development by drawing upon the expertise of the community.

The first 300 cities to RSVP are guaranteed a spot to participate. See Contact Information below to RSVP.

Pre-Application Information:


- August 18, 2017: Applicants must RSVP.
- October 20, 2017: Deadline to submit the online application. You can submit the application at any time that day, as long as it is still October 20, 2017 in your city.
- January 2018: 35 Champion Cities are awarded up to $100,000 to begin their projects.
- March 2018: Champion Cities come together for an intensive workshop with innovation experts and leading urban practitioners.
- August 2018: Champion Cities refine their ideas after the testing phase and submit a more detailed application focused on implementation, timelines, partners, and more.
- October 2018: Bloomberg Philanthropies announces the Mayors Challenge winners.


Selection Criteria:

Legal Terms and Conditions:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To begin the application process, RSVP below:

Bloomberg Philanthropies
25 East 78th Street
New York, NY 10075


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming