Out of the Box Prize 2015

The Community Tool Box is celebrating its 20th anniversary by hosting an Out of the Box Prize to honor innovative and promising approaches to promoting community health and development happening in communities worldwide. The Grand Prize winner will receive $5,000 USD.


Groups engaged in building healthier and more just communities during the last three years can apply. This may include efforts to improve community health, education, urban or rural development; or to address poverty, the environment, or promote social justice. Applicants must be willing to have their group’s efforts shared via the Community Tool Box.

We are seeking to honor “out of the box”— innovative and high impact — approaches to bringing about change and improvement in communities. “Innovation” may include a unique or effective way of bringing about change, generating or using existing resources, or generating participation and advocacy for change. We seek clear descriptions of how applicants took action in the community; including Assessment, Planning, Taking Action, Evaluation, and Sustainability of the group’s efforts.

Download the application from the CTB website.



Grand Prize: $5,000 cash award (USD)

Second Prize: $3,000 cash award (USD)

Award Finalists: Applicant stories will be shared via the Community Tool Box. Judges will select approximately 10 Finalists, whose stories will be posted on the Tool Box home page. Site visitors will vote on the Finalists to receive the top two prizes.



April 30, 2015: Deadline for submission of applications

August 1, 2015: Award Finalists posted on the homepage of the Community Tool Box; public voting begins

October 1, 2015: Public voting on Award Finalists closes

October 15, 2015: Grand Prize and Second Prize announced and awards given


View community stories from Out of the Box 2010.

To receive Out of the Box Prize updates and for other news and information from the Community Tool Box, please subscribe to the CTB eNewsletter or follow CTB on Facebook.


The Community Tool Box is a service of the Work Group for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas. © 2014 Community Tool Box. All Rights Reserved. Re-posted by permission.

About the Lead Author

Bill Berkowitz, Ph.D.
Bill Berkowitz, Ph.D.
Bill is a community psychologist who has been writing about, teaching about, creating, and directing neighborhood and community service programs for more than 30 years. He has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in psychology since the 1970s at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and at other universities.  Three of his books – Community Impact, Community Dreams, and Local Heroes – deal respectively with skills, ideas, and personal qualities needed for effective community action. A fourth book, The Spirit of the Coalition, deals with principles and techniques for community coalition development. These books have led to national television and radio appearances, major media write-ups, and articles written for popular publications ranging from The Futurist to Parade. His professional publications include multiple scholarly journal reports and several book chapters, as well as invited articles in the Encyclopedia of Psychology and the Handbook of Community Psychology. Since the mid-1990s, Bill has also been a core team member, lead editor, and writer for the largest single source of community development information now in existence (the Community Toolbox, a national Internet collaborative at  http://ctb.ku.edu, with over 7000 pages of original text). In addition, he edits a Neighborhood Newsletter in his own community, where he has also served in elected public office as a Town Meeting Member for 25 years. Among community programs he has helped start are a Neighborhood Innovations Program, a free adult education center, a shelter for battered women, a consultation and education division, a regional training consortium, and the  statewide Community Partners program, which has built and supported dozens community coalitions across Massachusetts. He has often consulted to and trained community groups, and has been a frequent keynote presenter at major conferences. Bill is now Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and previous administrator of its graduate program in Community Social Psychology. His special interests focus on teaching, writing about, and practicing social and community psychology, neighborhood development, and the strengthening of citizen participation in local community life. He is presently completing a multi-method research project on the dynamics of suburban neighborhoods, designed to strengthen life in communities where more than half the American population lives.  Dr. Berkowitz graduated with honors from Cornell University and received a Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University. He is a Licensed Psychologist, an elected Fellow of the American Psychological Association, and a recipient of its national career award for Distinguished Contributions to Practice in Community Psychology. Further biographical details may be obtained from his 2008 listing in Who’s Who in America.

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