Top Tips for Applying for Maude’s Awards

Welcome! Application season is underway, and we wanted to share our best tips to help your application be as successful as possible this year. Read on to find out what we suggest to our applicants.

We want to hear about your existing innovations.

Maude’s Awards are awards for existing programs, practices, or innovations– something you have already accomplished or developed. We want to reward the good work that family caregivers and dementia professionals are already doing, so we only ask that your innovation has been active in the year prior to your application. Because this is an award, not a grant, it does not come with reporting requirements afterwards, other than letting us know how the Award has advanced your program or innovation. We love to hear your success stories!

If you’re looking for funding for an innovation that has not yet been developed, please check out our sister program Maude’s Ventures, which provides seed funding for innovations in dementia care.

Pick one category to apply for. 

While we make awards in multiple categories (and we appreciate your enthusiasm for all of them!), we do ask that our applicants choose one category on their application. The four categories of awards are:

Making Connections: awarded annually to the individual or organization that has created meaningful opportunities for persons living with dementia to connect with the people and world around them. Examples: Creative arts programs, intergenerational opportunities, community service or advocacy projects. Examples of past winners in the Making Connections category include organization winner Elderwise and individual winner Bonnie Erickson.

Treating by Design: Awarded annually to the individual or organization that has significantly improved the living spaces and/or mobility of persons living with dementia. Examples include adaptive clothing or equipment, physical environments and horticulture, accessible transportation, and ease/safety of wheelchair transfer. 

Cultivating Health: Awarded annually to the individual or organization that has provided exceptional care or education that supports the long-term physical health of persons living with dementia. Examples: exercise, nutrition and diet, new or more accessible health protocols. One of the recipients in the Cultivating Health category is individual winner Trang Tu.

Supporting Care Partners: Awarded annually to the individual or organization that has provided impactful education, training or support for care partners of persons living with dementia Examples: respite and/or emotional support educational tools, ease of access to medical care and social services. Some of our past recipients in the Supporting Care partners category include organization winner Duet and individual winner Hailey Richman.

If you’re truly unsure which category you might fall under, please still go ahead and submit under one category. Our Advisory Board will get in touch if they genuinely feel that your innovation might be a better fit for a different category.

Specificity is everything.

Our Advisory Board has crafted the application questions very intentionally. The more specifically you can answer each question, the better we can learn about your innovation. That said, we’re not looking for a novel, and we appreciate answers that respect our time and the answer length limits. 

Please do be careful about repurposing grant application text intended for other funding organizations. While those grant applications may focus more on the future, we really want to hear about how your innovation is working so far, and the specific benefits and impacts you’ve seen to yourself, your loved one, or the community you’re working with, since we are focused on rewarding the work you’ve already done, rather than your plans for the future.

Lived experience with dementia is important to us.

If you are someone living with dementia who is coming up with innovations that are improving your life, or the lives of other people with dementia, we encourage you to apply. Your insights and lived experience are valuable and we welcome your application.

No innovation is too small.

As our Advisory Board member Marigrace Becker mentioned in her recent interview, no innovation is too small. While we’re always thrilled to see the vast programs and practices being built in the dementia community, we also want to hear from family care partners and people living with dementia. Is there something small that you have begun implementing for yourself or a loved one with dementia? Is there a way to replicate and share your new practice or development with other people? Again, it doesn’t have to be complicated– it just needs to be having a positive impact. 

If you’re re-applying, consider what has changed since your last application. 

We encourage both individuals and organizations who haven’t won to re-apply in subsequent years (in fact, some of our past winners have applied more than once before winning!). That said, we’d rather not see a carbon-copy of your previous application. If you’re a previous applicant, please let us know how your innovation or program has continued to develop or make an impact since the last time you applied for a Maude’s Award.

Get inspired by the book.

Every year, we publish a “handbook of innovations” featuring winners and other notable innovations from that year’s applicants. It’s a wonderful way to get an idea of the kinds of innovations that should apply, see what categories others have applied in, or even to get inspired to apply with your innovation in the future. And most of all, you can see what an incredible impact your dementia community peers and colleagues are having. You can find free digital and print editions of previous years’ books here

We are excited about every application that comes in.

Truly. Every year we are blown away by the amount of wonderful work that is being done for dementia care, dementia caregiver support, and dementia-friendly communities. If you choose to apply (and we hope you do), we’ll be thrilled to hear from you!

Have a question that we didn’t answer? You can apply and learn more about the awards here and read our FAQ here. We look forward to receiving your application!

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