Key Points

This article describes how the Boston Foundation is leveraging Collaborate Boston, a competition launched in 2013, as a tool to support interorganizational and cross-sector collaboration in greater Boston to catalyze, surface, and implement ideas that have the potential to strengthen communities facing complex challenges.

After a discussion of Collaborate Boston’s theory of change and the prize design and process, the article shares early results from the inaugural 2013 competition, the foundation’s reflections, and subsequent iterations for 2014 and beyond.

The article concludes with an examination of the ways a prize can be a powerful tool for social change, and outlines specific recommendations for funders considering a prize mechanism to enhance their impact.

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