Great Idea Competition

Great Idea Competition, © Photo by Kelley Brenner

Great Idea Competition is back for 2021!

Applications will be accepted from April 1 – July 1, 2021. The winner will be announced in the fall. Watch for our new online application process, coming soon. (See qualifying guidelines below.)

Due to the pandemic, our annual Great Idea Competion was suspended in 2020. The $10,000 award amount was donated to the St. Croix Valley COVID-19 Community Response Fund, to help meet the basic needs of those within the our service organization. (Read the press release here.)


Win up to $10K for your civic-minded project!

What would you do with up to $10,000 to make your community better? Stillwater Area Community Foundation’s Great Idea Competition is open to any citizen, group, nonprofit, business or organization with an idea for the community, and the determination to complete it. The competition is held every spring.

As long as it benefits one of our local communities, the Great Idea could be just about anything! For example, the next Great Idea may…

  • Welder and artist John Hughes installs "Trap", an original outdoor sculpture of a life-sized female wolf made out of animal traps by Dale Lewis, in downtown Stillwater, Wednesday, June 1, 2016. (Pioneer Press: Scott Takushi)Beautify streetscapes
  • Address an environmental concern
  • Make life more enjoyable for local residents
  • Address needs of under-served community members
  • Attract visitors and engage residents
Selection criteria include:
  • Enhance community quality of life
  • Strengthen community connections
  • Innovative idea
  • Leave a lasting impact
  • Build community pride
And it will benefit one or more of our communities.

Want to apply? Tell us your idea.

Great Idea applications will be accepted from April 1 – July 1. The winner will be announced in early fall. The winning project should be targeted for completion within 12 – 18 months from grant receipt.

Stillwater Area Community Foundation strives to diversify the types of Great Ideas we fund, and the places and people within our service areas who will benefit from it.  Preference will be given to applicants who have not received a Great Idea grant within the past three years.

Top entrants may be asked to present their Great Idea concept to the Stillwater Area Community Foundation board of directors.

Access the Great Idea Application Form

Application deadline: July 1, 2021.
email completed form to

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