SXSW Interactive Scholarship Program for Nonprofits | npENGAGE

SXSW Interactive Scholarship Program for Nonprofits

By on Oct 29, 2010


#1 Thing You Need to Know about This Post: 5 non-profit groups will attend the 2011 SXSW Interactive Festival for free if they submit their innovative ideas by Sunday, October 31.

A More Detailed Exploration

The SXSW Interactive Festival wants to help more non-profit groups attend their event. To help do that they’ve launched a special scholarship program which has a entry deadline of … Sunday, October 31.

To enter, just submit a short essay (300 words or less) explaining an idea for how your non-profit can (or already does) use media and technology to solve a social problem. Entries will be judged based on three criteria: Innovation, Impact, and Clarity.

You only need an idea – even if you don’t know the technical solution for implementing. It doesn’t matter whether your non-profit is in the vanguard or late adopters, the best ideas will win. All ideas will be assembled and shared in a public idea packet once the winners are announced.

More details can be found at the SXSW Interactive website. Entries need to be submitted by 11:59 PM (Central Time) on Sunday, October 31.

Send your idea to interwebcontent@sxsw.comtoday!

Tips for a Successful Essay

Your 300-word essay should briefly explain what the designated organization does and the challenges it faces. The essay should also focus on how the organization should use technology and media to further its goals beyond fundraising. Please keep in mind that we are looking for an essay, not a book. Responses cannot exceed 300 total words.

For instance, consider how your organization can use media and technology to:

  • Create sustainable commitments of action from individuals and companies to your cause vs. sporadic, one-off campaigns.
  • Generate interest in your organization’s social issue agenda in the absence of a “media worthy” disaster.
  • Foster collaboration among your fellow organizations working on the same issue to share data, funding and other resources to meet the finish line faster, more efficiently.
  • Develop new and more appropriate measures of impact of your organization’s efforts.
  • Envision new technology that would help your cause reach its goals.

Check out a few of Blackbaud’s Interviews at SXSW 2010


Frank Barry, formerly worked at Blackbaud helping nonprofits use the Internet for digital communication, social media, and fundraising. He’s worked with a diverse group of organizations including LIVESTRONG, United Methodist Church, American Heart Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters, ChildFund Int’l, InTouch Ministries, Heifer Int’l, University of Notre Dame and University of Richmond. Along with writing for industry publications like Mashable and Social Media Today, Frank facilitates discussions, presents solo sessions and organizes panels for industry conferences such as NTC, SXSW, BBCon and numerous others. When he’s out and about he enjoys talking to interesting people about how they are changing the world – check out his interviews. Say Hi on Twitter – @franswaa or Google+

Comments (3)

  • Chad Norman says:

    This is a great program, as SXSW is an inspirational event for nonprofit attendees. I also heard that there weren’t too many entries, so the chances are good for those that did it!

  • Has the deadline been extended? The original post says October 31st!

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry Anna, the deadline has passed, but due to there not being a huge number of submissions you may still want to give it a shot. Shoot an email to the email address in the posts to check

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