Launching a new fund in Arizona: The Arizona Sustainability Challenge

Today, ChangeX is launching the Arizona Sustainability Challenge, a $70,000 fund for local community groups, schools, and organizations who want to bring environmentally sustainable solutions to Arizona. This fund is sponsored by the Microsoft Datacenter Community Development team.

We have partnered with Microsoft to support more than 25 teams in getting new projects kicked-off. People who join the Arizona Sustainability Challenge can choose from more than 10 existing and proven ideas around five sustainability themes: forestry, food, transport, waste, and energy. Each team will then have 30 days to build their team and come up with their action plan to be eligible for seed funding. The grants range between $500 and $5,000, depending on the idea.

“The solutions to many of our environmental challenges exist, and our commitment is to make them accessible to everyone. There are leaders in every community taking action and many more ready to do so. Through partnerships like this one with Microsoft, we can support new and existing community leaders to get proven ideas activated across Arizona. ” says Paul O’Hara, Founder, and CEO of ChangeX.

Some of the ideas are Arizona-born, such as Sow it Forward, a school food-growing project led by the Arizona Sustainability Alliance. Other ideas originate from the U.S. and in Europe. For example, Pollinator Partnership, helping neighborhoods protect pollinators to ensure healthy ecosystems and food security or Recycle Across America, a society-wide standardized recycling program.

A vertical school garden. One of more than 10 ideas that teams can start as part of the Arizona Sustainability Challenge
A vertical school garden, a project by Sow It Forward, one of more than 10 ideas that teams can start as part of the Arizona Sustainability Challenge


“Microsoft is constantly exploring innovative partners that can help scale and deepen our community impact. ChangeX is indeed one of those innovative partners, and we are excited to start a pilot project with ChangeX to bring impactful projects to Arizona over the next year,” says Holly Beale, Program Manager for Datacenter Community Environmental Sustainability at Microsoft.

The challenge is open to everyone in Arizona starting May 16th 2019, and the seed funding will be allocated to applicants who join the challenge on a first come, first served basis. A similar challenge will launch in Chicago in June 2019.

To join the challenge and see all criteria for applicants visit


Header Photo: David Crummey, CC BY 2.0

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