Morgan Stanley

Children’s Mental Health Innovation Awards

The Purpose of the Innovation Awards

The Morgan Stanley Alliance for Children's Mental Health Innovation Awards initiative aims to identify and fund mental healthcare solutions for children and young adults across the United States. This program specifically addresses the lack of both private and public investment in children’s mental health and of effective ways to connect innovative ideas with capital. The resulting systemic funding gap has only increased with the deepening crisis in children’s mental health due to COVID-19 and ongoing social injustice issues.

The Morgan Stanley Alliance for Children’s Mental Health was created to fund and leverage solutions for what we believe is a serious and growing problem for the next generation. With the Innovation Awards, we hope to further this goal by identifying and advancing new, impactful ways to address mental illness in children and young adults.
- Ted Pick, Head of Institutional Securities Group, Morgan Stanley, Chair of the Morgan Stanley Alliance for Children’s Mental Health Advisory Board

About the Program

WHAT FINALISTS CAN EXPECT

The Morgan Stanley Alliance for Children’s Mental Health (the "Alliance") invites U.S. -based 501(c)(3) public charities to submit innovative ideas for advancing children’s mental health. Selected organizations have opportunities to:

  • Be awarded with a grant of up to $100,000.
  • Receive six weeks of consultation and training from industry professionals.
  • Learn from peers and build powerful connections.
  • Raise their profile and showcase their solutions at the final awards presentation day.

For more information, please see program FAQs. >

ELIGIBILITY AND PROJECT SCOPE

Registered 501(c)(3) public charities based in the U.S. are eligible to apply.

We are looking for new or piloted projects from direct-service organizations that will help address the far-reaching challenge of stress, anxiety, depression or other mental health issues in children and young adults on a national or local level in the U.S. Projects must tackle specific issues and address unmet needs, with a goal of reducing stigma, increasing access to care, improving equity in mental health, enabling early identification/prevention or enhancing intervention, especially among disadvantaged and vulnerable populations.

FINALIST SELECTION CRITERIA

Applications are reviewed based on the below equally-weighted criteria:

  • Innovation: Project briefs must present an innovative solution for tackling the challenge of stress, anxiety, depression or other mental health issues in children or young adults.
  • Scope: Project briefs should outline executable services for addressing unmet needs in children’s mental health care, especially among disadvantaged and vulnerable populations.
  • Impact: Project briefs should offer measurable deliverables aimed at improving the state of mental wellbeing of children or young adults.
  • Potential: Project briefs will also be judged on the feasibility of replicating or scaling the proposed service to benefit children and young adults in broader communities.

KEY DATES FOR 2021 INNOVATION AWARDS

  • April 12: Application opens (use Chrome for optimal experience).
  • May 6: Briefing session. To learn more about the program and how to apply, please register for a virtual briefing session scheduled to take place at 12:00 PM ET.
  • July 2: Application deadline; applications must be received by 5PM ET.
  • Early October: Finalists announced; six-week program commences, during which finalists learn from industry experts, enhance their proposals and develop their pitches.
  • November 11: Final awards presentation day during which finalists present their solutions to a broad audience, including other funders.

For additional inquiries, please email acmhinnovation@morganstanley.com.

Applications are Now Open for the Alliance for Children’s Mental Health Innovation Awards

ABOUT THE MORGAN STANLEY ALLIANCE FOR CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH

For more than 50 years, the Morgan Stanley Foundation has supported healthy starts and solid education for the children in our communities, and has continued to expand the reach of those initiatives globally for the past 20 years through the Morgan Stanley International Foundation. Our latest initiative, the Morgan Stanley Alliance for Children’s Mental Health, combines the resources and reach of Morgan Stanley with the knowledge and experience of our distinguished nonprofit member organizations to help deliver positive, tangible impact on the critical challenges of stress, anxiety and depression in children, adolescents and young people.

Learn more about the Alliance and meet our nonprofit member organizations >
 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

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Background and Basics

 

What are the goals of the Innovation Awards?

The Innovation Awards program aims to help fill the funding gap in the under-resourced children’s mental health sector and provide runway for game-changing ideas. Our goal is to bring nonprofits and funders together, in order to match much-needed capital with innovative projects in the field of mental health care for children and young adults.

Who can apply for the Innovation Awards?

All registered 501(c)(3) public charities based in the U.S. are eligible to apply. 

What is the eligible project scope?

We are looking for new or piloted projects from direct-service organizations that will address the far-reaching challenge of stress, anxiety, depression or other mental health issues in children and young adults in the U.S. Projects must tackle specific issues and address unmet needs, with a goal of reducing stigma, increasing access to care, improving equity in mental health, enabling early identification/prevention or enhancing intervention, especially among disadvantaged and vulnerable populations. 

Is a local or regional project eligible or does it need to be national?

A proposed project can be on a national, regional or local level. We are especially interested in projects that can show feasibility of replicating or scaling the service to benefit children and youth in broader communities.

Are international organizations eligible?

No, only U.S.-based public charities are eligible to apply.

How can I learn more about the Innovation Awards?

To learn more about the program and how to prepare a project summary, please register for a virtual briefing session scheduled to take place at 12:00 PM ET on May 6, 2021.

Application Details

 

How do I apply?

Submit an application online by 5:00 PM ET on July 2, 2021. Please use Chrome for optimal experience.

How many applications can each organization submit?

One application may be submitted per organization, or per department for higher education institutions.

How are applications reviewed? Do I need to provide any further information?

Applications are reviewed by the Alliance based on the selection criteria stated above. You may be asked to provide further information on your organization and proposed project during the process. Decisions by the Alliance are discretionary and final.

When does the application open? When is the application deadline?

The application period will be open from April 12 to July 2, 2021.

When will I hear back about my application?

We will notify applicants of their results before we announce the shortlisted finalists in early October, 2021.

What is required in the project summary?

Project summaries should address the following:

  • Describe your proposed project for addressing the far-reaching challenge of stress, anxiety, depression or other mental health issues of children and youth in the U.S.
  • What is the problem or unmet need your program aims to address?
  • Is it a new, piloted, or existing program? Please highlight the innovative and transformative ideas.
  • Who would benefit from your program services?
  • How would you assess the impact of your program?
  • Please indicate the total budget of your program, including funds requested from the Innovation Awards and other committed sources of support.
  • Is it feasible to scale your program to a broader community?

Is there a word limit for the project summary?

The project summary should not exceed 800 words in a one page PDF document.

Benefits of the Program

What are the potential benefits for applicants?

Selected organizations will have opportunities to receive grants to test and scale their innovative work. In addition, they will receive six weeks of consultation and training from industry professionals, build powerful connections and raise their profile.

How much funding is available?

Grants of up to $100,000 will be awarded to each finalist who can also showcase their projects to other funders during the awards presentation day.  The funding does not cover institutional overhead on the proposed project —funds will go directly to the project itself, and won't cover or share any overhead costs of the organization.     

Are grants recurring or made on a one-time basis?

Grants are made on a one-time basis.

What Finalists Can Expect

What is the consultation and training program?

Selected organizations will be invited to join a six-week program that runs from early October to mid-November, 2021, which includes virtual training sessions on strategic planning, governance, fundraising and program development. They will also be paired with experts from the Alliance for mentorship and consulting opportunities in order to refine their proposed projects and develop their pitches.

What are the profiling opportunities?

We will announce the finalists in early October and promote their innovative ideas through Morgan Stanley’s global communications channels. During the final awards presentation day on November 11, 2021, participating nonprofits can showcase their proposals to a broad audience, including other funders.

How will the final awards presentation day take place?

The final event format will be determined closer to the date, depending on any limitations imposed by the ongoing pandemic. At this time, all finalists and most audience members are expected to join the event virtually.