The Challenge

The Packard Foundation’s Irene Wong was seeking a special investment to celebrate the foundation’s 50th Anniversary and its legacy of supporting local communities. 



MDC collaborated to launch a social competition, Building Vibrant Communities, awarding $500,000 to six organizations that cultivate empathy skills locally and equip young changemakers.

MDC worked with Local Grantmaking and Ashoka Changemakers to create the competition theme, messaging, and provide social and media outreach. 



More than 200 ideas were submitted to the competition from more than 50 cities. The competition uncovered innovative ideas and new organizations doing creative work. It also spurred broad community participation and interest. It culminated in winners’ showcase at the Foundation.






This guide helps others evaluate whether a grant award competition would serve their objectives and provides a topline step-by-step guide for sponsoring a social competition.