Collaborations go through several steps from application to winner selection, in a process that spans most of the year. Several committees, made up of staff from nonprofits and funders, devote a significant amount of time to reviewing and evaluating applications. Along the way, the committees also identify themes and trends – areas in which collaborations seem to be thriving and areas where resources and support are needed – to further the Colorado Collaboration Award’s goal of inspiring and supporting successful collaboration.
After the application deadline, the screening committee begins checking applications for eligibility. Screening consists of verifying that:
- A collaboration is eligible; applications are checked against the Award’s eligibility criteria.
- The application is complete (that all the questions in the narrative section are completed with pertinent text).
- The required attachments have been submitted.
Important Notes about Screening: Only collaborations which meet all screening requirements are advanced to the Review Committee for reading and evaluation. Collaborations which do not meet an eligibility requirement, incomplete applications, and applications that do not include all the required attachments are eliminated during this stage. Due to the high number of applications received, we are unable to work with individual applicants to complete their submissions or address eligibility issues after the application deadline.
At the end of the screening process, eligible collaborations will be asked to submit Participant Endorsement Forms completed by each partner. (In previous years, the Participant Endorsement Forms were required as part of the initial application.) Forms must be returned by April 17. For some collaborations, especially those with many partners or with business or government agency partners, requesting and gathering Participant Endorsement Forms can be a time-consuming process. For that reason, the Award committees have decided to limit this requirement only to collaborations which are advanced past the screening round. After screening is complete, applicants will be notified of their status and eligible collaborations will be asked to begin collecting Participant Endorsement Forms at that time.
Review round #1
The review committee reads and evaluates eligible applications. Each application is read by several reviewers and, by the end of review round #1, a list of semi-finalists is selected.
The review is based on responses to the narrative questions of the application, as well as any relevant attachments. (For instance, a collaboration’s score for the Budget section may be based on both their narrative and any budget documents they upload as attachments.) Applications are scored by:
- Formation (5 points)
- Structure (15 points)
- Purpose and Goals (25 points)
- Results to date (40 points)
- Planning (5 points)
- Anticipated challenges and opportunities (5 points)
- Budget (5 points)
Scores in each category are based on the following factors (where relevant and applicable):
- Depth of collaboration
- Demonstration of significant impact
- Innovation in addressing a specific challenge or opportunity
- Relevance as a model other nonprofit collaborations can replicate
- Effectiveness of community engagement
- Operation in accordance with nonprofit and collaborative best practices
Review round #2
A short list of semi-finalists (usually around 5 collaborations) is advanced to the second round of review. In this stage, the review committee conducts site visits with each semi-finalist, to learn about the collaboration first-hand and gather more in-depth information.
Based on the site visits, the review committee identifies finalists to advance to the next round.
A Final Selection Panel selects the winner from among the short list of finalists. The Final Selection Panel consists of leaders from funders, nonprofits, business, and government. Panel members review each finalists’ materials and meet once in late summer to select an Award winner.