A. During the Contest Period, visit coke.com/dearfuturecommunity and follow the links and instructions to complete and submit the registration form, including a valid home address (no PO. Boxes) and selecting either your local community or the national challenge, which will determine the grant for which your Submission will be considered. Then, follow the links and instructions to answer the specific question for the community you selected, as the topic will vary based on the community. Complete an answer in the form of an written submission no longer than 300 words that specifically answers the question and expresses your idea for a local project relevant to the question for your community. Optionally, you may also upload up to two supplemental videos and/or photos to add to your idea.
A. Seventeen change makers will receive one-time, $30,000 grants – awarded to community partners – to execute their ideas, as well as the opportunity to work side-by-side with some of the most creative and successful leaders in their communities, including Coca-Cola bottlers, Coca-Cola Scholars and community partners.
A. Seventeen change makers will receive one-time, $30,000 grants – awarded to community partners. We will select one change maker from each of the 15 communities and two national challenge change makers.
Q. What are the guidelines for submitting an idea?
A. Successful submissions will follow the “S.M.A.R.T.” model:
Specific - Idea is clear and well-defined.
Measurable - Idea will have measurable outcomes and/or impact (qualitative or quantitative) on the local community. Share your recommended approach to measure it.
Achievable - Idea is realistic and attainable within the $30,000 grant budget.
Relevant - Idea is on topic to the question asked and relevant to the community (or the country, if selecting to answer the national challenge).
Time-Bound - Idea can be implemented within six months of starting project.
Following is a sample submission that follows this model, responding to a hypothetical challenge question about how we can support women entrepreneurs in our communities:
The future of [community] depends on support for women entrepreneurs. Today, women own just XX% percent of businesses nationally, and XX% percent in [community]. By boosting the entrepreneurs who understand best the purchasing power and decisions of women, we can boost our economy for the future.
My idea for accelerating women-owned businesses locally is to expand the holiday shopping calendar – currently including Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday – to include Women-Owned Business Wednesday. The goal of this day will be to raise awareness of women-owned businesses in [community], and to help drive holiday sales.
I’ll work with local partners to develop a brand identity for the holiday, as well as a toolkit for local businesses interested in participating. The toolkit will include signage and materials for stores and websites, as well as ideas for in-store events to build buzz on Women-Owned Business Wednesday. Those events might including in-store lectures or speed-networking events, or online promotions or discounts, to entice shopping on the day.
For a signature women-owned business partner, we can take the lead on organizing an event designed to bring in women shoppers on Women-Owned Business Wednesday. I’ll recruit prominent female leaders from [community], like Mayor XX or CEO XX of XX to attend our special event and say a few words about the importance of empowering female entrepreneurs. I’ll invite local media in the hopes that their coverage will inspire more people to shop women-owned on the day and in the future.
Our community needs to rally around our women-owned businesses, so the next generation of female leaders is inspired to pursue their dreams and build an even stronger future economy for [community]. My idea to tap into popular holiday and shopping trends will help to jumpstart this effort for the year ahead.
A. Once the submission phase has ended, a panel of qualified judges, whose decisions are final and binding, will select 17 community-changing ideas from across the country.
Q. I’m having technical issues. What should I do?
Q. Will there be future opportunities to participate in the Dear Future [Community] Challenge?
A. We’ll keep you posted on our plans for the future. Check back here to learn more about all of the ways we’re renewing, strengthening, and bringing good to our communities with the products we make and the actions we take.
Q. Who is The Coca-Cola Company?
A. The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is a total beverage company, offering over 500 brands in more than 200 countries. In addition to the company’s Coca-Cola brands, our portfolio includes some of the world’s most valuable beverage brands, such as AdeS soy-based beverages, Ayataka green tea, Dasani waters, Del Valle juices and nectars, Fanta, Georgia coffee, Gold Peak teas and coffees, Honest Tea, innocent smoothies and juices, Minute Maid juices, Powerade sports drinks, Simply juices, smartwater, Sprite, vitaminwater and ZICO coconut water. We’re constantly transforming our portfolio, from reducing sugar in our drinks to bringing innovative new products to market. We’re also working to reduce our environmental impact by replenishing water and promoting recycling. With our bottling partners, we employ more than 700,000 people, bringing economic opportunity to local communities worldwide. Learn more at Coca-Cola Journey at www.coca-colacompany.com and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Q. Why is The Coca-Cola Co. USA sponsoring the Dear Future [Community] Challenge?
A. We know the key to the future is catalyzing the energy, optimism, and potential of youth. That’s why we’re inviting tomorrow’s leaders to tell us how to renew, strengthen, and ultimately bring more good to their community. We’re also celebrating 30 years of The Coca-Cola Scholars Program by inviting Coca-Cola Scholars from across the country to help inspire the next 30 years of action through participation in local challenges.
Q. How did you select the challenge questions for the 15 communities, as well as the national challenge?
A. We worked closely with a cross-section of community partners to select issues we know we can put our resources toward to collectively make a meaningful difference, including:
Recycling: The Coca-Cola Co. USA is continuously working to reduce its environmental impact. The company has helped place one million recycling bins in communities across the country, diverting ~700 million pounds of recyclables from landfills annually and helping to create a world without waste.
Water Conservation: The Coca-Cola Co. USA is working with community partners to conserve fresh water resources across the country. For every drop of water we use, we’re giving one back through local water projects in 100+ communities.
Women’s Empowerment: The Coca-Cola Co. USA believes there’s no better investment than women to spur economic growth and foster sustainable development. In 2010, we announced our goal to enable the economic empowerment of five million women entrepreneurs across our value chain by 2020.
Workforce Development: The Coca-Cola Co. USA is the country’s biggest small business, employing 90,000 people in every corner of the country. We have a 30-year legacy of preparing young adults for the future through The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation.
Youth Empowerment & Mentorship: The Coca-Cola Scholars Program helps to transform the lives of high-achieving, civic-minded students. The program has awarded $66 million in scholarships to 6,000 students over the past 30 years. Coca-Cola Scholars are welcomed into an active alumni network that includes 700+ government officials and staff, 300+ nonprofit founders and advisers, 200+ C-level executives and 175+ business entrepreneurs.
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