The Unfunded List – an organization that identifies and promotes great ideas that have not yet secured funding using a rigorous proposal evaluation process- began receiving submissions last month and will publish a list of the best unfunded grant proposals on December 1st, (Giving Tuesday) of this year. All proposals submitted will receive helpful feedback, but only those earning the highest evaluations will make the initial cut.
Founder Dave Moss (Moss Family Foundation ) started the Unfunded List in order to harness the power of the honorable mention and social media to bring added attention, recognition and funding to ideas that would otherwise have gone unnoticed.
“I spent years writing grant proposals for nonprofits large, small, and in-between,” says Moss, “I also spent years reviewing grant proposals for private donors, foundations and giving circles. With the current system we are in, I’m sure we are missing out on some potentially great solutions, and this list is intended to help identify them.”
The Unfunded List has quickly assembled an impressive and experienced pool of evaluators that includes Shawn Landres the Chairman of the Board of Impact Hub Los Angeles and Mamie Kanfer-Stewart the CEO of Starling and board member of the Lippman-Kanfer Family Foundation.
According to the Foundation Center, in 2012 over 85,000 U.S. foundations holding over $700 billion in assets gave approximately $55 billion in grants (comprising 16% of all philanthropy in the U.S.). Some foundations receive thousands of proposals in a year, and this massive volume guarantees that many great ideas will fall through the cracks. The Unfunded List is meant identify organizations who may not have the resources or connections to effectively navigate the proposal process.
This is not an unprecedented idea. “Every year, the Black List publishes the best screenplays that weren’t greenlit,” said Moss, “many of those screenplays have since been made into award-winning films.” In addition, the Slingshot Fund (where Moss has served for six years on the Board of Directors) publishes a “zagat-style” guide to innovation where the vast majority of featured organizations receive an increase in funding as a result.
The inaugural Unfunded List will be published on #GivingTuesday. Submissions for the inaugural list are due by November 1, 2015.