Last year the OSV Institute for Catholic Innovation awarded three ministries $100,000 to implement or expand their ministries. The three winners last year were Catholic Sprouts, Eden Invitation, and the Juan Diego Network.
The OSV Institute is bringing back the challenge for 2021. In addition to the three prizes of $100,000, there is education on how to approach investors or philanthropists and the opportunity to network with other apostolates. The OSV Institute will provide professional guidance, spiritual formation, and personal development needed to advance their ideas.
Why Did The OSV Institute Do This?
The church is facing a huge challenge as 6.5 people leave the church for every one that comes in. Millennials are leaving at an alarming rate. This is something that must be dealt with. Those who leave often cite a lack of vitality, beauty, and relatability in their churches.
OSV Institute president Jason Shanks states
“We are not aiming to fund the next good idea, but to invest in people – emerging innovators and seasoned trailblazers – by forming a new generation of entrepreneurs who are not afraid to relook at how we encounter and evangelize the truth and beauty of the Catholic Church. The Church has always been at the forefront of great ideas – hospital systems, schools and universities, missions, shrines, and some of the greatest art known to man. The OSV Challenge is a search for Catholic innovators with world-changing ideas.”
Apply For The Challenge
Applications are encouraged from inventors, artists, entrepreneurs, community leaders, and any layperson ready to unleash a world-changing idea. Funding areas of special interest include Hispanic Experience, Parents & Family, Catholic Education, Disaffiliation, Youth Ministry, Parish Life, Social Justice, Technology, and Creative Arts.
Applications opened on February 1 and the window closes at 12:00pm Eastern on April 2. The 2021 OSV Challenge will culminate with Demo Day on September 18. On this day finalists have an opportunity to present their final pitches to a panel of expert judges and investors before the three winners are announced.
A new incentive announced for 2021 is the ability to earn additional prizes as contestants advance through the various stages of the Challenge. Prospective Challengers can learn more about the OSV Challenge and apply now at osvchallenge.com.
Interview With Matt Smith Of The OSV Institute
You can listen to the audio only version of the interview here.
About Matt Smith
As Director of Strategic Alliances, Matt is responsible for managing existing relationships while generating new opportunities on a national basis with Catholic institutions, service providers, start-up businesses, and Catholic ministries.
Matt is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana. He came to OSV Institute from the Fort Wayne-based University of St. Francis, which he joined as a professor in 2002. Smith’s responsibilities at the university increased in scope with his initial appointment as the university’s Director of Writing, followed by Department Chair, Director of General Education, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, and Vice President of Institutional Advancement. Smith helped secure more than $33 million in grants and gifts to the university.