The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Teaching & Learning Innovation Challenge

Update 3/8/17:

Although there is no additional funding for this match offer, you may have heard that the 3 winners of this Innovation Challenge are preparing webinars to explain a bit more about their winning ideas.  We hope you'll attend! Here's how to make sure you can view the 3 webinars (and when you can tune in!):

1. Sign up for a free WebEx account. Use "" as your company name if you do not wish to use your school name.
2. Confirm your account by following the link in your email.
3. Click on the link below for the webinar that you'd like to attend.
4. Select "Yes" when a pop-up asks you if you'd like to attend.  You'll also be given the option to receive an email reminder for the webinar.

Here are the 3 winners' webinars:

Joel’s Webinar: A Family Botanical Experiment – Tue. 3/14 & Mon. 3/20 @ 3pm EST
Jessica’s Webinar: Literacy Comes Home – Wed. 3/15 & Wed. 3/22 @ 5pm EST
Kelly’s Webinar: Bringing Families Together – Thu. 3/16 & Thu. 3/23 @ 5pm EST

Can't make it to one of these times? We'll upload the recordings here by March 30 so that you can still check out a webinar by the teacher of your choice and think about your own future family engagement project! Stay tuned to see those here soon.


What’s your best idea for engaging families in your students’ learning, in or out of the classroom?

Thanks to generous funding from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, teachers are invited to participate in an Innovation Challenge: a call for the very best ideas for classroom materials or experiences that benefit your students by engaging families as partners in your students’ academic success.

Eligible projects will qualify for matched donations from The Gates Foundation, and three submitting teachers will win $10,000 in funding. Winners will also be invited to share their ideas with other teachers. To be considered for this Innovation Challenge, submit your project idea by Feb. 1, 2017.


Here’s how to participate

1. New to Visit to sign up for an account.

2. Create a new standard project—materials and trip & visitor projects can qualify.

3. In the Welcome screen of your project, select “Got a campaign code?”:


4. Enter the code “GATES” in the campaign code box:

5. Walk through the process of creating your project. To qualify for The Gates Foundation Innovation Challenge, you will need to:

  • Answer the specific questions posed such that your project clearly explains your idea for engaging your students’ families to improve their academic progress. For example:

  • Keep your project’s total goal under $1,000 (that’s about $750 in materials or experiences):

6. When you submit your project, it will be reviewed and posted to our site. Within seven days of your project going live, you will receive an email informing you if it qualified for the match offer from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

7. Fundraise! Every donation made to your Innovation Challenge project will be matched as long as funds last. We’ll update this page if funds are ever running low, but rest assured that if you see The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation logo on your project page, there are still funds available:


8. Project submissions will be reviewed in February, and winners of the $10K prizes will be notified by March 1.


Here’s how winners will be selected:

Projects will be considered for the winning prizes based on the following rubric: