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Innovation Lab

Innovation Lab Round II Grants


Round II of the Innovation Lab is now open!


This grantmaking cycle reflects an updated approach to our Innovation Lab grantmaking. It remains grounded in a systems change framework, seeks to align with indicators of system change, and allows for a two-part approach to (1) design the project idea, and (2) implement a longer-term, transformative idea that is based on the design phase concept. 


Successful applicants in this funding cycle will present ideas that have the potential to demonstrate change in a clearly identified problem or system failure in the Montgomery County safety net.


The funding cycle will offer two types of grants: Design Grants and System Impact Grants.


For detailed information on both grants, including project proposal information and applicant eligibility, please review the RFP below. 


Design Grants

Design grants are short term (suggested 4-8 months) and will be funded up to $30,000. The purpose of these grants is to develop a long-term change strategy and partnership plan that will address a current problem or system failure in the Montgomery County safety net system.

Design grants are meant to give organizations the time and resources to fully outline a systems change initiative, build trust with their partners, and determine whether the project could be expanded into a System Impact Grant.

System Impact Grants

System Impact Grants are long term (anticipated timeframe of 2-3 years) and will initially be funded up to $100,000 for the first year, with a declining sum in subsequent years.

The purpose is to implement a longer-term change strategy and partnership plan that will address a problem or systems failure in the Montgomery County safety net system, and that can be adopted at scale. The projects must have the goal of addressing one or more of the following key indicators of systems change:

  • policies and practices;
  • peer networks and support;
  • public perception and awareness;
  • programmatic/service access and alignment;
  • quality and cost-effective outcomes.

System Impact Grants are open to partnering organizations that have completed a Design Grant or an Innovation Lab Round I grant, and is by invitation only. Systems change projects that can demonstrate other planning outside of the Innovation Lab may be invited to apply on a case-by-case basis. For more information, please contact the Foundation by November 18.


Projects must serve Montgomery County residents. Applicants must have a 501(c)(3), have a fiscal intermediary, be a religious organization, or part of Montgomery County government. Applicants must apply with at least one additional partner organization.

System Impact Grants are by invitation only. Please see the RFP for additional information.

How to Apply

Applications are submitted through the Foundation's grant portal. The grant applications will be available on or around November 12, 2019.

We hosted a grant information session on November 15. See our slide deck below for additional tips on applying.

Deadline to Apply

The deadline to apply for both grants is December 13, 2019.