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What is the aim of the Swarthmore College Community Challenge?

The aim of the Swarthmore College Community Challenge, sponsored by Swarthmore College is to support individuals and groups (once they form a team) in the Swarthmore community to either start a new project from a selection of 6 available projects or to expand an existing project, with the ultimate goal of building Swarthmore College relationships. Swarthmore community members can choose a project they want to start based on their interests and the community’s needs, from a portfolio of ideas on the ChangeX site, or alternatively submit an existing project, once it meets the criteria outlined in the following section. Once the applicant has demonstrated their commitment and ability to start or expand the chosen community project by successfully completing a 30 Day Challenge on the ChangeX website, ChangeX and Swarthmore will provide funding, information guides and support to give the applicant the best chance of success. All projects should be managed in an inclusive and welcoming manner and follow the College's COVID guidelines


The following criteria must be met by all applicants:

  • Applicants must hold an active Swarthmore College email address and complete the application using this email address. Applications using other email addresses will not be accepted. 

  • The project should aim to address at least one of the following themes: Environment & Sustainability, Education & Access, Arts, Media & Culture, Identities, Inequality & Human Rights, or Economic Development & Leadership (Note: the 6 available projects all address at least one of these themes).

  • Applicants must be an enrolled student or current employee of Swarthmore College, demonstrate an ability to build Swarthmore Community campus relations and the project must involve the gathering of Swarthmore community members, whether virtually or in person.

  • Projects must be able to be run in a safe manner in light of COVID-19 and resulting restrictions.

Opening date

The challenge opens for applications on September 20 2021. Registrations for new projects from the selection of available projects will close when the grant funds have been distributed to applicants who have successfully completed the 30 Day Challenge. Please visit our fund website to confirm whether we are still accepting entries. 

What can the funding be used for?

The Swarthmore College Community Challenge can be used to cover direct costs relating to the set-up or maintenance of the new or existing project. For example, funds can be used for materials, supplies, equipment or services such as training. Please contact [email protected] with questions.

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.

Applicants that don’t have a Swarthmore College email address are not eligible for funding. 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 setup and maintenance of the new or existing community project. It cannot be used to cover the promotion of 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 and Swarthmore College.  In addition, you will be asked to read and observe the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsiblity’s Code of Ethics.

The funding allocated to your new project is divided into two steps.  Applicants will be expected to submit a brief budget outline along with their project proposal during the 30 Day Challenge period. This project and budget outline demonstrates your commitment and the ability of you or your  group to start or expand the project.   Once you have completed your 30 Day Challenge and started to work on your project, regular check-ins with the Swarthmore Garnet Collaborative Advisory Team and ChangeX Team and sharing of progress information, such as sharing a photo of your team meeting (screenshots are OK!) and providing a narrative on what you will spend the funding on (including submitting a more details budget request form), your next action steps as a group, and how you hope the project will ultimately benefit the Swarthmore College community, will assist in the release funds to the project.   All purchases with respect to your Swarthmore Community Challenge project will be processed through the Center for Innovation and Leadership.  You will not have to make any purchases from your own pocket.  Please do not agree or arrange any purchases without consulting with a member of the Garnet Collaborative Advisory Team, as reimbursement is not guaranteed. 

On completion of the project, you and your team will receive an impact survey where you will be asked to reflect on and demonstrate 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 items repaired, or number of trees planted). At this stage, you will also be asked to share photos (or other artifacts) that show your project is up and running and having an impact. If it is possible to take photos of in person activities, the photos should show your group in action and should ideally be taken at any significant events, for example: planting events, harvesting events, trainings, workshops or planning meetings and should include as many of your organizing group and beneficiaries as possible. 

Multiple applications

Each applicant is only eligible to submit one project application to receive funding. 

How to apply

Once you have ensured that you meet all of the criteria above, you can go to, and choose one of two routes; either select your preferred idea from the portfolio of 6 proven ideas and register to start in the Swarthmore College community; or alternatively, if you are already working on a project in the Swarthmore College community that you want to expand, select the option to submit your own project. Once you have completed the application form for either option you will be assigned your own page on the ChangeX platform, where you can complete a number of simple steps to access the allocated funding . . 

If you do not complete the 30 Day Challenge within the allocated time period (30 days from registration), your funding budget will be reallocated to another group and will not be accessible to you any longer. 

Supports Available

In order to give you the best chance of success to get your new project active,  Swarthmore will provide you with support, resources and tools. These include a 5-Step Guide relating to the idea you are starting, a call with a member of the Swarthmore Garnet Collaborative Advisory Team (which is a mandatory step in completing the 30 Day Challenge), access to the Swarthmore College’s Garnet Collaborative 2.0 Moodle resources, email support, a local webpage to manage your team and previous starter stories to provide information and inspiration.


If you require any additional support to complete the application process or access resources please contact [email protected] and we will do everything in our power to help.


We hope your new community project will help your community to stay active, sustainable and connected as we adapt to new ways of living during the COVID-19 pandemic. However it should be noted that there is a need for your team to exercise personal responsibility and good judgment in their activities, and to stay up-to-date and adhere to any state, county or local safety laws, rules and regulations relating to COVID-19. National COVID-19 guidelines must always be followed, as well as those of Swarthmore College ( The 30 Day Challenge can be completed with no physical contact between team members. If adherence to COVID-19 guidelines results in unavoidable delays to the set-up of your project, an extension will be given to the impact survey deadline.

Términos y condiciones del fondo


  1. By submitting an application, you are deemed to have read and accepted the fund guidelines and these terms and conditions. If you are a successful fund awardee, you agree that ChangeX and Swarthmore College 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 Swarthmore College.Your fund application and any accompanying material submitted to ChangeX (such as group photos) will become the property of ChangeX on receipt.

  2. 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.

  3. If you are a successful fund awardee, you agree that ChangeX and Swarthmore College 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 Swarthmore College.Your fund application and any accompanying material submitted to ChangeX (such as group photos) will become the property of ChangeX on receipt.

  4. By applying to this fund, you:

    1. Agree that any personal information provided by you with the fund application may be held and used only by ChangeX and Swarthmore College to administer the fund and for any other purposes to which you have expressly consented;

    2. You understand that you may withdraw such consent at any time by contacting ChangeX at [email protected]

    3. By applying to the fund, you are deemed to have read, understood and accepted the ChangeX privacy policy, a copy of which can be found at

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Nothing in these terms and conditions shall impact the awardee’s statutory rights.

  8. 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.

  9. Nothing in these terms and conditions shall confer any rights on any third person owing to the rule of privity of contract.

  10. 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.