Each year Mezzanine’s $10K Project Grant floors us. It’s an opportunity for all of us to see new ideas, initiatives, and leading brands seeking to be conscious and creative. It’s an opportunity for our studio team to be inspired and take on a project outside the realm of strategy and consulting. It’s an opportunity for partnerships to grow between Mezzanine and other like-minded conscious brands, so together we can see projects out there enacting good for our world. And we are pleased to say that 2021 has seen more for-purpose projects come through than any other! And we have you to thank!
So as a quick recap, before you check out who are this years Top 10 Finalists, here’s how the selection process worked. Firstly, we were looking for projects that brought impact and good to our world. We call this a conscious brand, where the people behind the project or idea have a clear and conscious picture of the good impact they can make on our world. That’s where we uniquely start with all our projects and where we start with this one. Secondly, we were looking for projects or ideas that have a clear and tangible outcome. As our studio team hit this project within a short and sharp time frame, we were after projects that we could see a clear direction in. Our normal projects are long as we lead with strategy, whereas we want our Grant Project to enter the world with haste and excellence. Lastly, we wanted to see that you already had some runs on the board. For all our applications we did some digging to see where you are up to and what energy is behind your organisation. This doesn’t mean you need to have a million-dollar revenue stream or 250K followers on insta. We just wanted to see that you are ready to step up.
So without further delay, we are proud to announce our Top 10 Finalists for 2021 (in no particular order)…
Black Dog Institute
Black Dog Institute (BDI) is a team of people dedicated to driving better outcomes for those with or at risk of mental illness. BDI has a virtual fundraising campaign to coincide with mental health month called One Foot Forward. One Foot Forward is a free virtual walking event perfect for everyone. The challenge is to walk 20km, 40km or 60km during Mental Health Month this October and raise funds for vital mental health research. Providing creative support to enable greatest success for this campaign is the project they put forth.
The value we saw in this project was the direct impact this Campaign can have on those who battled mental-illness during Covid. We love BDI’s purpose and sensed a real passion behind their team.
Surfing the Spectrum
Surfing the Spectrum (StS) is a not-for-profit surf therapy initiative working to positively impact the lives of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Autism or ASD) by improving social inclusion through surfing. StS was established as a response to the demand for an inclusive ocean focused activity which targets ocean awareness, social inclusion, and water safety.
StS will be expanding their community offerings by delivering Autism Informed Training packages to Surf Schools in Australia.
StS is a great example of a for-purpose business with a clear future. As they are needing assistance in developing awareness, we saw this a great project that can scale into new markets with great success.
RSPCA advocates for animal welfare across Australia. To mark the 150th anniversary of RSPCA Victoria, they are producing an art exhibition that showcases 150 years of unrivalled animal care, protection, education and advocacy. “Wombat in the Room” is core to the exhibition playing on the ‘elephant in the room’, helping people understand the the mission for RSPCA still continues as animal cruelty and neglect still exists.
It was the clear outcomes of this project that moved them to a finalist. The mixture of a succinct exhibition project combined with the opportunity to celebrate 150 years of their impact were the things that thrilled us about this entry.
Known for its products, Whole Kids seeks also to provide Australian children a platform for their voice. Their project explores this vision within the realm of a digital experience and provides a clear way for their consumers to be an active community.
By giving children the opportunity to express their opinions, ideas and to use their voice in a safe and non-judgemental space, we believe we can encourage kids to be more confident, self-aware and engaged with the world around them. This is why they are a finalist.
Future Directors Institute
Future Directors was established to help accelerate the pathway to a better world by increasing the diversity, inclusion and innovation in all boardrooms. Their vision is for leaders to be curious, courageous, conscious. Their project entry focused on how they can develop the next generation of leaders through an intentional program.
As we work alongside CEO’s and board members, we see such value in an ongoing pipeline to establish future conscious boards that are inclusive and represent those within minorities. Their future thinking is why they are a finalist.
Loaves and Fishes Tasmania
Loaves and Fishes Tasmania is the State’s largest free emergency food provider. Each week they feed tens of thousands of Tasmanians doing it tough through school breakfast clubs, made-to-order emergency food hampers, ready-to-eat meals and fresh produce delivered statewide through more than 220 community agencies and schools. Their project centered around developing greater awareness to their services and their purpose.
We see many for-purpose organisation like them be knee deep in their day to day, doing such great work, that could only benefit exponentially if provided with brand and marketing support. What a great investment to make!
Borne Clothing is an online clothing retailer with a goal to help prevent disease and illness from mosquitoes in developing countries. The sales from their products enables support for Nothing But Nets, an organisation dedicated to the prevention of mosquito born diseases. Borne is transparent in its fair trade supply chain and also partners with organisations to support environmental sustainability.
We love seeing startups gain some serious runs on the board before turning to professional services. The dedication of their team to the cause and their business is what made them a clear finalist.
Ronald McDonald House Charities South Australia
Simple need meeting wide impact are the projects we are always looking for. Ronald McDonald House Charities in South Australia focused their project around inclusion and accessibility for minority groups in Australia. As they welcome so many families into their support network, they are looking for their orientation resources to meet their purpose.
The outcome of enabling greater inclusion to minority groups seeking support and care through Ronald McDonald House was too good not to showcase.
HUMIFORM connects young people with their impact, their community and the world to empower them to be active citizens and change makers. They launched their Melbourne based Change Maker Community School in Term 1 this year as a student-led after school program that supports young people to take action to create a more fair, equitable and sustainable world. As they look to expand they are looking for the brand growth support to help them succeed.
Projects that take an existing structure and add something that expands its thinking are some of the best to work on. Helping parents see the value of impact investment in their children lives alongside the usual curricular activities is a great project.
As a century old surf-lifesaving club, Coogee SLSC exists to promote and ensure public safety in the ocean, alongside enhancing the life of their local community. The club offers various community programs including nippers, Blueys, and parent groups to bring the community together. Like many volunteer lead clubs, resources and expertise focused around brand and marketing can often be a forgotten investment. To invest in their project can therefore turn into an investment in many others like them, developing greater impact across Australia.
Their youth development is a key area of impact, enabling mentoring and help for the next generation. Matching this with a service that is so unique to Australia makes this an exciting project to work alongside.
This year saw more for-purpose projects than ever before, affirming the growth of conscious brand which we have advocated for over 20 years. Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter their project and our hope is that the process enabled you to be conscious of the impact you bring. Over the coming week, we’ll be personally connecting with the finalists to deep-dive into their projects a little more so we can find the right winner of the $10K Grant, leading up to next Thursdays reveal of the winner on our Facebook channel.
For 2022 we’ll be re-imaging how the $10K Project Grant can bring more impact so subscribe to our mailing list to stay updated.