SPI Idea Contest Rules

Description of the Competition:

Submit a unique idea regarding fundraising techniques that SPI researchers can test. Your idea might be used as part of SPI research, and will help to bring more attention to the world of philanthropy and the unique issues that non-profits face.

Binding Agreement:

To enter the competition, you must agree to these Official Rules. Therefore, please read the following rules prior to entry to ensure you understand and agree. You agree that submission of an entry in the competition constitutes agreement to these rules. By entering the contest and submitting an entry, you are agreeing to official rules. These official rules form a binding legal agreement between you and the competition sponsors with respect to the competition.

Who Can Enter:

Anyone from a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization who is involved with fundraising activities. Anyone primarily involved with research is not eligible; academic researchers are encouraged to apply for the sub-award program. Multiple unique entries per organization are allowed

Competition Period:

  • Competition Opens: March 14, 2013
  • Submission due: June 14, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
  • Winner will be announced on July 1, 2013 on our website and notified via email and phone.


  • First place: $5,000 cash prize
  • Second place: $1,500 cash prize
  • Third place: $500 cash prize
  • Feature on SPI website, promotional materials, etc.
  • Possible partnership with SPI to test idea. However, winning the contest does not guarantee a partnership with SPI
  • Prize money will be made out to the organization

Intellectual Property Rights

  • By submitting any entry, entrants thereby grant to the Science of Philanthropy Initiative, the University of Chicago or any of their affiliates, and assigns, an irrevocable, perpetual and royalty-free right to use, reproduce, edit, display, transmit, prepare derivative works of, modify, publish and otherwise make use of the submitted work or other information in any and all media, whether now known or hereinafter created, throughout the world and for any purpose. In addition to other things, the rights granted to the Science of Philanthropy includes, but is not limited to, the right to censor, edit, feature, caption, affix logos to, and to otherwise alter or make use of the submitted work.
  • By submitting an entry, entrants thereby represent and warrant that the submitted work or information does not and shall not infringe on any copyright, any rights of privacy or publicity of any person, or any other right of any third party, and the entrants the right to grant any and all rights and licenses granted to the competition sponsors herein, including but not limited to, all necessary rights under copyright, free and clear of any claims or encumbrances.
  • Entrants acknowledge and agree that the competition sponsors shall have no obligation to post, display or otherwise make publicly available any work submitted by the entrant, and may, in their sole and unfettered discretion, remove, edit, modify or delete any work that the entrant submits.

Winner Selection:

All complete and eligible proposals that are received by SPI by June 14, 2013 will be considered. Each entry will be considered anonymously. SPI researchers and staff will evaluate the entries. Evaluation criteria for the “best” ideas will include, but not limited to, innovation, feasibility, impact on the charitable giving market. SPI reserves the right to reject any entries and decline to award any or all prizes if the entries are not found to be worthy.

Winner Notification:

  • Winners will be notified by a phone call, email, and website announcement. The competition sponsors reserve the right to examine additional identification (such as 501c(3) status, etc. and may choose to accept or deny awarding the prize based on the identification presented.
  • By participating in the competition, each participant and winner waives any and all claims of liability against the competition sponsors, and their employees and agents, their respective employees and agents, for any personal injury or loss that may occur from the conduct of, or participation in, the competition, or from the use of any prize.
  • By claiming the prize, the winner authorizes the use, without additional compensation, of the organization name and/or organization media materials for promotion and/or advertising purposes in any manner and in any medium (including, without limitation, radio broadcasts; newspapers and other publications; television or film releases; slides; videotape; distribution over the Internet; and picture date storage) the competition sponsors may deem appropriate.

Additional Rules:

  • The conduct of the competition is governed by the applicable laws of the Unites States of America and State of Illinois, which take precedence over any rule to the contrary herein. The competition sponsors shall follow the applicable laws for conducting competitions, including notice to the state attorney general or consumer affairs office, posting of a prize bond, furnishing lists of winners, running specific on-air disclaimers, providing specific written information about the competition, etc., as required by local and state law.
  • The competition sponsors are not liable for any lost or stolen entries, prizes or competition information.
  • By participating in the competition, participants agree to be bound by the decisions of competition sponsor personnel. The competition sponsors reserve the right to disqualify any participant or winner and may refuse to award any prize to a person who is ineligible or has violated any rule, gained unfair advantage in participating in the competition, or obtained winner status using fraudulent means. The competition sponsors will interpret these rules and resolve any disputes, conflicting claims or ambiguities concerning the rules or the competition and competition sponsor decisions concerning such disputes shall be final. If the conduct or outcome of the competition is affected by human error, any mechanical, technical, electronic, communications, telephone, computer, hardware or software errors, malfunctions or failures of any kind, intentional interference or any event beyond the control of the competition sponsors, the competition sponsors reserve the right to terminate this competition, or make such other decisions regarding the outcome as the competition sponsors deem appropriate. All decisions will be made by the competition sponsors and are final. The competition sponsors may waive any of these rules in their sole discretion
  • The competition sponsors reserve the right to withdraw or terminate this competition at any time without prior notice.