That Was Easy

Showcasing Youth Venturers who are using their skills and passions to create a positive impact in society. Inviting YOU to vote and comment on their work to advance the best strategies in youth social entrepreneurship, and spread the word about this youth-led social change movement that is transforming the world.

Prizes
Two members from each of the five "That Was Easy" finalist teams will receive a $1000 grant to support their Venture and will be flown to the Staples headquarters in Framingham, Massachusetts, for a celebration of their work and an opportunity to develop their strategies with the help of the Staples team. The Grand Prize Venture Team will also win a $5,000 Staples shopping spree!

Timeline

Winner is Announced

February 6, 2007
  • Launch
    November 6, 2006
  • Entry Deadline
    February 6, 2007
  • Voting start
    November 6, 2006
  • Voting end
    February 6, 2007
  • Winner is Announced
    February 6, 2007
"To deal successfully with an issue, [YOU] have to develop a passion for it. Passion is what enables someone to become an effective advocate, to touch other people's hearts, to move . . . public officials, to get the public mobilized to want to do something." -Tony Hall

The That Was Easy Competition. Calling all young people who are passionate, who are driven, who are committed to making a difference in the world in which they live.

The That Was Easy Competition. Showcasing Youth Venturers who are using their own skills and passions to create a positive impact in society.

The That Was Easy Competition. Inviting YOU to read about these Youth Ventures and be inspired, to comment on their work and participate in a discussion to advance the best strategies in youth social entrepreneurship, to spread the word about these impressive youth and support the youth-led social change movement that is transforming the world.

The Need For Changemakers

When was the last time you heard about people who every day looked hunger in the face, woke up to poverty, faced barriers to education, encountered violence in their own homes, neighborhoods or schools, felt digitally disconnected from society, couldn't afford a healthy lifestyle or access to care, or were ignorant of cultural differences and you did not feel compelled to act? In a world where people encounter such problems every day, we feel a necessity to help others less fortunate than ourselves, to make life easier for those around us. The key to acting effectively is seizing our impulse and doing something about it. Cultivating our passion and applying it to problems in our community allows us to succeed in our pursuit to alleviate poverty, hunger, and neglect for the elderly, to promote cultural awareness and foster dialogue, to provide access to education, digital resources, and health care. The time is now to embrace our passion, influence others, and think of tomorrow. The projections of our future are determined by the foundation of our past and the catalyst of innovation in our present. This catalyst in the twenty-first century is the global movement of young change-makers. If the young people are our future, now is the time to equip, encourage, and support them in helping to make life easier for others in this world.

The Impact of Young People

THOUGHTS turn into words -> WORDS turn into seeds -> SEEDS influence decisions -> DECISIONS determine behavior -> BEHAVIOR determines results -> RESULTS are measured by IMPACT

It is not enough to describe how influential young people can be, but rather more vivid to let the young people illustrate for themselves the impact they have been making in society. It is not just thought, but action that Youth Venture endorses, supports, and proudly celebrates. The That Was Easy Competition asks young people to evaluate their own work and describe the impact they have achieved, the footprints they have left, the ripples they have created, the lives they have changed. It prompts young people to take a step back, look at their work and say, "I not only Dreamt It. I Did It." It compels young people to recognize with pride their important role in creating a better world for all of us.

The Culture of Youth-Led Social Change

The That Was Easy Competition is designed to celebrate the power of youth and to draw attention to the important and growing movement of young social changemakers. It asks us to pay attention to their ambition and ability to address social problems by using their passions to transform their communities. While many stand back in discouragement, these phenomenal young people jump right in to deal with the problems they encounter and then boldly assert, "That Was Easy!" The That Was Easy Competition gives you the chance to encourage these young people by believing in their endeavors, assisting in the development of their social entrepreneurship skills, and getting involved with this national competition. To our youth, we salute YOU!

Criteria

Eligibility Criteria: This competition is open to all current Youth Venturers that have a currently active organization, club, or business that has received a seed grant as a Youth Venture team in the Unites States. We consider all entries that:

  • Reflect the theme of the competition: identify ways that the Venture makes life easier for others.
  • Are beyond the stage of the application process and selection panel (they have received a seed grant) by the time entry closes (February 7, 2007).
  • Are submitted in English and are complete. (Please note: If you are a Spanish-speaker and need help with writing an application in English, please contact us and we will work to assist you.)

(Note: If you are interested in participating in the competition but are not a current Youth Venturer, please click here to learn about how you can launch your own Youth Venture: www.changemakers.net/journal/thatwaseasy/launchventure.cfm.)

Assessment Criteria: The winners of the "That Was Easy" National Competition will be those entries that best meet the following criteria:

  • Innovation: The Venture introduces creative elements or methods to positively impact the community. For example, the Venture might use a new approach to tackle a challenge, might employ creative methods to raise awareness of a problem, or might use innovative strategies to raise funds or engage volunteers.
  • Impact: The Venture addresses a major challenge or need that people face and has the potential to benefit a significant number of people. Because some Ventures have been in existence longer than others, two aspects of Impact will be judged:
    1. Achieved Impact: The impact the Venture has already had since it was launched.
    2. Impact Growth: The demonstrated ability of the Venture to achieve impact and grow given the amount of time since launch, and the demonstrated potential for future growth. (This is different from Achieved Impact because it takes into consideration how long the Venture has been in existence so that newly-launched Ventures can be strong competitors based on early progress, strong plans and potential).
      Both aspects of impact will be measured in two ways:
      1. Direct Impact: The number of people/animals/trees/etc. that have directly benefited from the Venture program and the way in which they have benefited.
      2. Engagement: The number of community members that the Venture has engaged as team members, volunteers, mentors, donors, etc.
  • Budget: The Venture has used the original Youth Venture seed grant effectively to support the program and, where appropriate, bring in additional funds. The Venture has maintained a balanced budget, has a strong financial plan, and has a solid strategy for bringing in needed funds in the future.
  • Strategy/Vision: The Venture has a promising (realistic but ambitious) plan for both implementing the original program and expanding it to create a larger impact on the community. The Venture demonstrates a long-term vision for how the team members and the program will further the movement of youth social entrepreneurship.
  • Sustainability: The Venture has demonstrated a successful approach to creating ongoing positive impact in the community. The Venture has demonstrated or has a well-organized plan for transitioning leadership, recruiting team members or volunteers, and sustaining community and partner engagement.

Competition Timeline, Procedures, and Rules

Online competition submissions will be accepted beginning on November 15, 2006 and until February 7, 2007 at noon, U.S. Eastern Daylight Time. Any time before this deadline, competition participants can revise their entries based on questions and insights that they receive in the That Was Easy web-discussion. Participation in the discussion makes a participant more competitive because it demonstrates engagement in the Youth Venture movement and gives the community and the judges an opportunity to better understand the Venture. Furthermore, posting and discussion are encouraged because the exchange of ideas helps the youth movement to develop innovative methods to make life easier in the communities in which we live.

There are three main phases in the competition:

  • November 15, 2006 - February 7, 2007: Entries can be submitted by CURRENT Youth Venture teams and anyone can participate in the online discussion board with the entrants.
  • February 7, 2007 - February 28, 2007: A well-qualified expert panel of judges selects five competition finalists. Online discussion about ideas continues during this period.
  • March: The public is invited to vote online to select the Grand Prize Venture Team from the field of five finalists. *Please note: The timing of the online voting has changed and will not begin until March. Please check back for future updates to the exact voting dates.

On April 27, the Grand Prize Venture Team will be announced at the special award event for finalists at Staples Headquarters.

Prizes and Opportunities

Two members from each of the five "That Was Easy" finalist teams will receive a $1000 grant to support their Venture and will be flown to the Staples headquarters in Framingham, Massachusetts, for a celebration of their work and an opportunity to develop their strategies with the help of the Staples team. The Grand Prize Venture Team will also win a $5,000 Staples shopping spree!

Participation in the competition provides the chance to get feedback on your Venture and to learn about other youth programs that address social problems across the country. The discussion forum offers a special opportunity to discuss your venture with a wide range of youth and experienced social entrepreneurs and to receive suggestions for ways to revamp or revitalize your venture to better serve your community and effectively execute your venture's idea. Additionally, the competition website and discussion forum allow you to connect and potentially collaborate with other young social changemakers across the country that may be working on similar issues and developing solutions to some of the challenges your venture faces. The Grand Prize Venture Team will also win a $5,000 Staples shopping spree to purchase materials for their Venture!

Disclaimer - Compliance with Legal Restrictions

Youth Venture and Staples comply fully with all U.S. laws and regulations, including Office of Foreign Assets Control regulations, export control, and anti-money laundering laws. All grants will be awarded subject to compliance with such laws. Youth Venture or Staples will not make any grant if it finds that to do so would be unlawful. This may prohibit awards to certain individuals or entities. All recipients will comply with these laws to the extent they are applicable to such recipients. No recipient will take any action that would cause Youth Venture or Staples to violate any laws.

For more information, contact [email protected]

Youth Venture Tips and Tools
How to Create a Sustainable Venture

Sustain/s -st n /v. To keep in existence; maintain

How to Maintain Membership & Volunteers
How to Effectively Engage Community Members
How to Maintain A Budget
How to Promote Positive Leadership


How to Maintain Membership & Volunteers:

Tools for Leading Effectively:

Sample Agenda


How to Effectively Engage Community Members:

Engaging your community on an ongoing basis is the key to creating large-scale long-term change in any community. By creating sustainable relationships and educating your community about your work regularly, you will keep the momentum going between your service projects and inspire your community to create positive change.

Tools for Successful Events:

Event Evaluation
Example of a Press Release


How to Maintain a Budget:

Maintaining a budget is a huge part of making your venture sustainable and successful. How will your venture team continue once the initial seed funding from Youth Venture has been spent?

Tools For Maintaining Your Budget:

Sample Fundraising Letter
Sample In Kind Donation Letter


How to Promote Positive Leadership:

Passing the Torch:

Prizes

Total value:
15 000
Two members from each of the five "That Was Easy" finalist teams will receive a $1000 grant to support their Venture and will be flown to the Staples headquarters in Framingham, Massachusetts, for a celebration of their work and an opportunity to develop their strategies with the help of the Staples team. The Grand Prize Venture Team will also win a $5,000 Staples shopping spree!

Competition entries

Entries

randomness