What is the aim of the United States Community Play Fund?
The aim of the United States Community Play Fund, supported by the LEGO Foundation, is to support existing groups and individuals (once they form a team) across the United States to start new projects that create Learning through Play opportunities in their communities. Communities choose the project they want to start based on their community’s needs, from a portfolio of ideas on the ChangeX site. Once the applicant has demonstrated their commitment and ability to start the community project by successfully completing a 30 Day Challenge on the ChangeX website and agreeing to the Terms & Conditions of the funding, ChangeX will provide funding, information guides and support to give the applicant the best chance of success. In addition, once the applicant has demonstrated the impact the new project is having in their community, they will receive a further installment of funding to support the maintenance of the project. All projects should be managed in an inclusive and welcoming manner and any events organised as part of your project should comply with any relevant public health guidance.
The following criteria must be met by all applicants:
Projects must take place within the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, or New York. During a special pilot period, applications will be accepted from anywhere in the United States.
Projects must be able to be run in a safe manner in light of COVID-19 and resulting restrictions.
Applicants must be at least 18 years old or have the permission of a guardian to apply for funding.
Applicants must provide a certificate of clean criminal record or equivalent or in the case of organizations, registration of the legal entity.
Applicants must not be political figures or organisations.
The fund opens for applications on July 1st for a special pilot period where the funding will be available to projects across the United States. Starting on July 21st the fund will only be available to applicants in the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, or New York.
Registrations will close when the grant funds have been distributed to applicants who have successfully completed the 30 Day Challenge. Please visit our fund website https://www.changex.org/us/funds/community-play-fund-us to confirm whether we are still accepting entries.
Who can apply?
The United States Community Play Fund is open to existing groups and individuals (once they form a team) in the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, or New York to start new projects in their community (from July 1-July 21 this fund will be open to anyone in the United States), from the portfolio of ideas on the ChangeX site (https://www.changex.org/us/funds/community-play-fund-us), that improve community wellbeing.
Examples of eligible groups include schools, universities, colleges, daycares, churches or other faith-based organisations, hospitals and hospital rehabilitation centres, mental health facilities, community gardens, neighbourhood groups, senior centres, and community centres.
Political figures and/or political organisations are not eligible to apply.
Religious figures and/or religious organisations are eligible to apply as long as projects are inclusive of all community members regardless of religious beliefs or lack thereof.
What can the funding be used for?
The United States Community Play Fund is for new projects and can be used to cover direct costs relating to the set-up or maintenance of the new project. For example, funds can be used for play materials, building materials, space rental, insurance fees, tools, training fees; pretty much any materials you might need to start a new project to create Learning through Play opportunities that benefit your community.
What can the funding not be used for?
Funds may not be used to promote or engage in criminal acts of violence, terrorism, hate crimes, the destruction of any state, or discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, religion, military and veteran status, disability, sex, age, gender identity or sexual orientation, or support of any entity that engages in these activities.
The fund cannot be used to cover costs of work that has already been carried out and can’t be used for anything that is not related to the set up and maintenance of the new community project. It cannot be used to cover the promotion of political parties, religious causes, non-charitable activities, sponsorship or fundraising events. Funds cannot be used as payment to group members for their work on the project.
Reporting Requirements and Funding
In return for any funding you may receive, you are required to share the outcomes of your new project with ChangeX.
The funding allocated to your new project is divided into two stages. The first payment (70% of total funding amount) can be accessed upon successful completion of a 30 Day Challenge on the ChangeX website. During the 30 Day Challenge, several steps that demonstrate the commitment and ability of you or your community group to start the project are taken. These include scheduling a support call with a ChangeX team member; setting up your first team meeting; sharing a photo of your first team meeting and providing a narrative on what you will spend the funding on, your next steps as a group, and how you hope the project will ultimately benefit your community.
The second payment (30% of total funding amount) will be issued to you after you have completed an impact survey demonstrating the outcomes of your project. The impact survey will be accessible to complete on your page on the ChangeX platform from three months after you applied to start the project. You will be sent email reminders about completing this survey and will have up to six months after you originally applied to complete it. You will be asked to answer questions such as the number of beneficiaries impacted by your project, as well as specific questions related to the idea you have started (for example: number of children impacted). At this stage, you will also be asked to share photos that show your project is up and running and having an impact. These photos should show your group in action and should ideally be taken at any significant events, for example: building events, trainings, workshops or planning meetings and should include as many of your organising group and beneficiaries as is safely possible.
It is very important that you keep all receipts and records of how any funding you might receive is spent as ChangeX will collect and review these receipts before releasing the second installment of funding. If receipts cannot be shown, or the funds are found to have been spent on costs other than those relating to the set-up or maintenance of the new community project, no further funds will be allocated to this project and ChangeX reserves the right to retrieve the funds that have already been distributed. The applicant will be indefinitely ineligible to apply for any subsequent grants through ChangeX.
Each individual is only eligible to submit one application to receive funding. Existing community groups can apply for and receive funding to start up to three different portfolio ideas, once each application and the resulting project is submitted and led by a different member of the organisation's team. Projects taking place at the same location must be different and complementary.
Family and close relatives of ChangeX employees or of LEGO Foundation employees are not eligible to apply for funding.
How to apply
Once you have ensured that you meet all of the criteria above, you can go to https://www.changex.org/us/funds/community-play-fund-us, select your preferred idea and register to start the project in your community. The amount of funding available for your project depends on which idea you chose to start. Funding amounts generally range from $500 to $5,500. The amount of funding available per idea can be found on the webpage of each idea. Funding amounts align with the cost of starting each project. The full amount of funding will be allocated to you upon registering. You will be able to access this funding in 2 payments; the first payment (70% of your total funding) is unlocked upon completion of the 30 Day Challenge, and the second (30% of your total funding) once your project outcomes have been demonstrated. If you do not complete the 30 Day Challenge within the allocated time period (30 days from registration), your funding will be reallocated to another group and will not be accessible to you any longer. If you do not report your impact in the allocated time (6 months from registration), the second payment will be reallocated and will no longer be accessible to you.
Once you have completed your Challenge and entered your bank information ChangeX will review your application to make sure all elements of the Challenge have been completed successfully. Payment will then be made, and the transfer will take an average of 4 working days to reach the applicant’s bank account.
When the final impact survey has been completed (between three and six months after the original application was made) it will also be reviewed, to ensure the project is active and the second installment of funding is necessary. Payment will then be made, and the transfer will take an average of 4 working days to reach the applicant’s bank account.
In order to give you the best chance of success to get your new project active, ChangeX will provide you with a number of supports, resources and tools. These include a 5-Step Guide relating to the idea you are starting, a general guide to starting projects in your community, a call with a member of the ChangeX team (which is a mandatory step in completing the 30 Day Challenge), email support, a local webpage to manage your team and previous starter stories to provide information and inspiration.
Where is this funding coming from?
This fund is supported by the LEGO Foundation. ChangeX is solely responsible for the management of the fund, including the selection of applicants, starter support, fund distribution and impact tracking.
Sharing your project with media or on social
We encourage you to share news about your community project through your local media or on social media in order to find people to join and support your project, or just to share some positive news with your wider community. When talking to media, we kindly ask you to mention the source of the funding for your project. For example, you can say: “This project has been made possible thanks to support from ChangeX and funding from the LEGO Foundation, through its Build A World Of Play movement” On social media, please use the following hashtag when announcing your project: #BuildAWorldOfPlay
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
By submitting an application, you are deemed to have read and accepted the fund guidelines and these terms and conditions. ChangeX.org reserves the right to disqualify any entries which do not comply with the Fund Guidelines and Terms and Conditions.
In the event that circumstances beyond the reasonable control of ChangeX effect, or could effect, the proper operation of this fund, ChangeX reserves the right to cancel or amend the fund or these terms and conditions at any time but will make every effort to avoid causing undue disappointment to applicants where such action is deemed necessary.
If you are a successful fund awardee, you agree that ChangeX and the LEGO Foundation may use your name, image and location for any reasonable and related promotional purposes. You further agree to participate in any reasonable publicity required by ChangeX or the LEGO Foundation.
Your fund application and any accompanying material submitted to ChangeX (such as motivation statements, group or impact photos, action plans) will become the property of ChangeX on receipt, and may be used by Changex and the LEGO Foundation for any reasonable and related promotional purposes.
Parental/guardian consent must be secured before any images of children can be uploaded to ChangeX, and any images uploaded to ChangeX will be presumed by ChangeX to have parental/guardian consent. Individual children should not be identified by name on the ChangeX site.
By applying to this fund, you:
Agree that any personal information provided by you with the fund application may be held and used only by ChangeX, the LEGO Foundation, and relevant social innovator to administer the fund and for any other purposes to which you have expressly consented;
Understand that you may withdraw such consent at any time by contacting ChangeX at [email protected]
Insofar as is permitted by law, ChangeX will not in any circumstances be responsible or liable to compensate applicants or accept any liability for any loss, damage, personal injury or death occurring as a result of taking part in the fund except where it is caused by the negligence of ChangeX or its employees.
Nothing in these terms and conditions shall operate to limit or exclude its liability for death or personal injury caused by its negligence or for fraud (including, but not limited to, fraudulent misrepresentation) or for that which cannot lawfully be excluded.
Nothing in these terms and conditions shall impact the awardee’s statutory rights.
If any provision of these terms and conditions is held by a competent authority to be invalid or unenforceable, the remaining provisions of these terms and conditions will not be affected and will remain valid.
Nothing in these terms and conditions shall confer any rights on any third person owing to the rule of privity of contract.
These terms and conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Ireland. Any dispute arising under these terms and conditions (whether such disputes or issues are contractual or non-contractual in nature, such as claims in tort, for breach of statute or regulation or otherwise) shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of the Republic of Ireland.
ChangeX Child Protection Policy
ChangeX indirectly engages with thousands of children within the context of supporting local communities to start a range of innovations on the ChangeX platform. ChangeX is committed to taking the necessary actions to support child protection. At ChangeX we care about the well-being and safety of children and recognise our fundamental duty to care for the children with whom we directly engage, and our responsibility to ensure that the social innovations we work with, and the local organisations that directly engage with children through the starting of innovations from the ChangeX platform, are also committed to this duty to care for children, and are equipped with the relevant information needed to do so.
ChangeX has a zero tolerance policy for child abuse in any form. People working for or affiliated with ChangeX must always treat children decently and respectfully.
Scope of the Child Protection Policy
In accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, a child is defined as an individual below the age of 18. This policy covers all children we engage with directly and indirectly through our strategic partners and local communities. It also includes any young people below the age of 18 who work or cooperate with ChangeX or our partners.
ChangeX operates in different geographical contexts where ideas and legislation related to children and child protection vary. ChangeX strives to provide a positive experience for all children, and they must be treated with dignity and respect, no matter where we operate.
It is mandatory that all ChangeX employees and others acting on behalf of ChangeX comply with this policy.
Child abuse is intolerable and all ChangeX employees and partners or affiliated parties are expected to comply with the law.
ChangeX Child Protection Guidelines
ChangeX staff, partners, and other individuals representing ChangeX, as well as social innovation teams, and local community organisations starting innovations from the ChangeX platform, must never:
hit, otherwise physically assault, or physically abuse children.
engage in sexual activity or have a sexual relationship with anyone under the age of 18 years or below the age of consent in the country of operation. Mistaken belief in the age of a child is not a defense.
develop relationships with children which could in any way be deemed exploitative or abusive.
act in ways that may be abusive in any way or may place a child at risk of abuse.
use language, make suggestions or offer advice which is inappropriate, offensive or abusive.
behave physically in a manner which is inappropriate or sexually provocative.
have a child/children with whom they are working to stay overnight at their home unsupervised unless exceptional circumstances apply and previous permission has been obtained from the immediate manager.
sleep in the same bed as a child with whom they are working.
sleep in the same room as a child with whom they are working unless exceptional circumstances apply and previous permission has been obtained from the immediate manager.
do things for children of a personal nature that they can do themselves.
condone, or participate in, behaviour of children which is illegal, unsafe or abusive.
act in ways intended to shame, humiliate, belittle or degrade children, or otherwise perpetrate any form of emotional abuse.
discriminate against, show unfair differential treatment or favour to particular children to the exclusion of others.
spend excessive time alone with children away from others in a manner which could be interpreted as inappropriate.
expose a child to inappropriate images, films and websites including pornography and extreme violence.
place themselves in a position where they are made vulnerable to allegations of misconduct.
This is not an exhaustive or exclusive list. Staff, partners and other representatives should at all times avoid actions or behaviour, which may allow behaviour to be misrepresented, constitute poor practice or potentially abusive behaviour.
ChangeX staff, partners, and other individuals representing ChangeX, as well as social innovation teams, and local community organisations starting innovations from the ChangeX platform must:
listen, value and respect all children.
know the culture in which you are working and the appropriate behaviour and language around children.
listen to children carefully if a child has a concern.
as a member of staff or a volunteer, run projects in a safe, fun and positive manner.
let children know you are there to help them.
Relevant child safeguarding training:
Save the Children make such resources available: Understanding Child Safeguarding: A facilitators guide | Save the Children’s Resource Centre
Keeping Children Safe offers resources, a self-assessment tool plus free trainings: Training Resources Archives - Keeping Children Safe
The UK Government also offers some resources: Child abuse concerns: guide for practitioners - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) They reference the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, who also offer many resources, a self-assessment tool and trainings: NSPCC Learning homepage - safeguarding training and resources