Welcome to the 2024 GCC Application Process
You must read and fill out the entire online form below to be considered an entry of the Great Charity Challenge, sponsored by Fidelity Investments®. IMPORTANT: Our board has instilled a new policy regarding recurring grants. If your organization received funding from the 2023 GCC main event, where you were paired with a team of riders/competitors, please note that you are not be eligible to receive funding from the 2024 event. If this is your case, we look forward to you applying the 2025 edition. This does not apply to non-profits who received grants.
We recommend submitting applications through firefox web browser.
Please download the following application to fill in all of your answers first, which can then be copy/pasted into the form below once you have compiled all necessary information:
CLICK TO DOWNLOAD
The Great Charity Challenge sponsored by Fidelity Investments® (GCC), was created in 2009 for the purpose of assisting not-for-profit organizations located in and serving Palm Beach County, FL. The GCC receives most of its contributions from the equestrian community in Wellington, Florida, more specifically through individuals, families, and corporations involved in the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF.) The annual distribution of this money occurs at the GCC competition held during the WEF, on Saturday, February 3, 2024.
Each year, the GCC transforms the Wellington International (Wellington, Florida) into a field of dreams for more than 30 local charities eligible to receive money via the GCC fundraising effort through the application and selection process.
The GCC is an exciting Pro-Amateur show jumping event that features 20+ teams of three riders ranging in age from 11 to 70. Each team is randomly assigned to a charity to compete for the prize money. The GCC, founded by Paige and Mark Bellissimo, has distributed more than $19.4 million
to 318 non-profits in Palm Beach County. One hundred percent of the money raised gets distributed to local non-profits
every year, with first-place receiving a minimum of $100,000 and all participating charities being guaranteed a minimum amount of $15,000. Up to 2 additional wildcards, as well as additional grants, will be randomly drawn leading up to the event on Saturday, February 3, 2024. For reference purposes, a total of 78 non-profit organizations benefited from the event in 2023.
Each team is generously sponsored by an equestrian family/farm/foundation, with additional funds coming from corporate and individual donors. Wellington International, producer of the event takes on all costs, including staff time and venue.
In addition to fund disbursements, our strategy involves capacity building, enabling and bouldering invaluable partnerships, as well as concentrating on amplifying the event’s impact.
We will achieve this through the following actions:
- By partnering with local experts in non-profit management
- Promoting grant accountability throughout the reporting cycle and supporting communication strategies
- By facilitating relationships between donors, non-profits and the community at large (such as through our Conversations and Conversations Roundtable Event as well as the connections made during the event’s pre-party)
- By focusing on supporting charitable and philanthropic organizations. While this has naturally been occurring since the inception of the event, we are dedicated to ensuring that 50% of the funding will go towards meeting immediate needs in our community (charitable) while the balance will be invested in organizations who work towards long-term, sustainable change, addressing root causes of social issues (philanthropy).
- As an applicant, we kindly request that you identify as either charity of philanthropy. Here are examples of immediate needs (classified as charity): a food pantry, an emergency shelter, supporting cancer patients, etc. Here are examples of long-lasting solutions (classified as philanthropy): educational programs, wrap around programs fighting poverty, working towards access to healthcare for all, etc.
Drawings for these two pools will be done in a lottery style, random format, with 50% of participants pulled from these categories. Our drawing event on Saturday, December 16th, 2023 will be shared in real-time via our social media channels to ensure transparency.
APPLICATION AND SELECTION PROCESS
To qualify for the 2024 GCC, fully completed applications must be received by 5 PM on Monday, October 30, 2023.
**Please note that applications MUST be submitted all at once (there is no editing allowed after submission).
Applicants must demonstrate they are:
- a 501c3 not-for-profit
- have a presence in Palm Beach County (physical location)
- will spend the money directly on service delivery
- commit to spending a minimum of 75% of funding received in PBC
- have a non-discrimination statement and/or policy (including non-discrimination of services on the basis of race, age, color, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, or religion.
**Please note that Wellington International and Global Equestrian Group reserves the right to donate excess funds to a charity or charities of their choice, including those with a nationwide presence.
Drawings: Up to four organizations are pre-qualified to participate each year. The remaining additional charities will be randomly selected on the evening of Saturday, December 16th, 2023. The selection of non-profits will be done 100% on a random basis, with all qualifying charities assigned a "lottery ball" that is thrown into a raffle drum. The event will be live-streamed and we welcome sponsors, donors as well as locally elected officials to participate in the process. Charities should NOT attend this drawing event but are welcome to turn in online. If selected, you will have 48 hours to reply; the information will be shared via social media and an email will be sent to the designated contact given below.
Unless otherwise communicated leading up to the event, ALL APPLICANTS will be required to have a minimum of 2 representatives present on the day of the event, to be held on Saturday, February 3rd, 2024 (Gates open at 6 pm).
Organizations eligible for ALL drawings will be pre-qualified by a review committee and a thorough vetting process. Should you not meet the requirements, we will reach out to you individually.
You must read and FULLY fill out the online form below to Enter the Great Charity Challenge, sponsored by Fidelity Investments®. All questions related to the application process are answered in the Word version of the application provided below.
PLEASE CLICK TO DOWNLOAD and SAVE the following Application to fill in all your answers prior to your final submission. Doing so will enable you to work on your application while compiling all documents. To guarantee a smooth experience, we recommend you create a separate file on your computer that includes all your information in one location.
CLICK TO DOWNLOAD
Entries will NOT SUPPORT BULLET POINTS or any type of specific punctuation within the file names