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FAQ Resources for MFG Challenge: Grand Challenges | Explorations, Data Interoperability

GatesGrandChallengesExplorationsWe’re closing in on the MAY 7 DEADLINE for the MFG Challenge, a competition to increase the interoperability of social data, featuring $100k grants to be awarded to each winner. The contest is sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Partnership with Liquidnet for Good.

Many of you were with us for the Live Twitter Q&A. Others have followed our announcements and conversations on Markets For Good and Twitter (#MFGChallenge) over the past few weeks. We’ve been listening closely to your questions and answering them along the route. As a summary, we’re glad to send along these two FAQ resources to help guide you to the submission finish line.


Review the General Guidelines and “Grand Challenges | Explorations” FAQs here: GCE FAQ’s



More FAQs, Culled From Our Conversations With You


Q:  What about a project which is started and funded partially by other grant? Can we apply?

A: You can apply with a project in process –  proofs of concept, pilots, prototypes, and  full solutions welcome.


Q: Is the Challenge limited to health-related projects? (I noticed the header “Grand Challenges in Global Health”on this page:

A: No. Your data interoperability project submission is not limited to health-related projects. On that same page, in the section labeled “Opportunity”, note that the Challenge is open for “solutions that span issue areas (e.g. education, health, etc.) and/or geographies to the widest extent possible.” Grand Challenges | Explorations was begun as part of the Grand Challenges in Global Health efforts, but it has been and is now being used to solicit ideas for a wider range of ideas beyond health – including data interoperability for the social sector.


Q: Do we need to specify exactly what we are going to achieve in the $100K in a separate budget sheet?

A: The application asks for more information on how the funds will be used, but does not request a separate budget sheet.


Q: Another funder will give us funds if we are selected.  Should we mention this in the application?

A:  Applications can include information about additional sources of funding.


Q:  The overall Rules & Guidelines note: “Applications are sent to reviewers without personal or organizational information. Do not include this information in the body of your proposal. Proposals that include personal or organizational information in the body of the proposal are at risk of being automatically removed from the review.” The separate document detailing the “Increasing Interoperability of Social Good Data” challenge says “Successful Proposals Will Include…Explanation of why the organization or group submitting the proposal has the capacity to achieve success.” 

How do I describe capacity without including identifying information?

A: Applicants should describe the capacity of their organizations – strengths, etc. But do not include any specific, identifying information. Do not provide the name of your organization or institution or your individual name.  Applicants can describe their services and programs, share impact data (and/or constituent feedback!), revenue model and sources, staff and management teams, organizational history, governance, etc.


Q:  Can I name my partners, intended partners, hoped for customers/clients, etc?

A: According to the Rule (above) regarding exclusion of personal or organizational information, please do not name official partners in your application.  You can describe the type of organization your partner/partners are.


Q:  Do you encourage early-stage startups (in alpha or beta phase) to apply?

A: Start-ups are welcome.


Thank you!