Selection process

What are the MANDIs?

The Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation pay tribute to the people and organizations working tirelessly to make the city of Milwaukee a great place to live, learn, work and grow. The MANDIs were introduced by LISC Milwaukee in 1999 to acknowledge and promote the accomplishments of the community development industry in the city of Milwaukee. The MANDI ceremony highlights a variety of community work with video profiles of each MANDI finalist.

Two (2) finalists* are selected in each award category and announced prior to the event. The winner in each category is announced at a virtual celebration on August 19th, 2021.

Who or what is eligible?

All individuals, organizations, and projects seeking nomination must be located or operate a program or project in the city of Milwaukee and the beneficiaries of the project/program/person must be low to moderate income neighborhoods within the city of Milwaukee (see individual award criteria). Former MANDI finalists or nominees are eligible to apply; however, they must showcase a new or different aspect of their work in the nomination.

Nominations will be accepted through midnight on April 12th, 2021. All nominations must be received via the nomination website by midnight, April 12th, 2021. Nominations that are hand-delivered, mailed or emailed will not be accepted.

Who can nominate?

Individuals, nonprofits, corporations, and projects can be nominated by a third party or self-nominate. Nominators are strongly encouraged to work with the nominee or self-nominate to ensure that the application is the best representation of current and past work.

How are the finalists selected?

The finalist selection is a two-part process:

  1. All nominations are reviewed by an independent MANDI Review Committee based on the criteria. The MANDI Review Committee is a volunteer committee comprised of representatives from community development that include: financial institutions, foundations, real estate development, for-profit organizations, education facilities, the arts, media outlets and County and City government.

    Nominations that receive a score higher than the threshold determined by the MANDI Review Committee will move on to the Finalist Selection round.

  2. Finalist selection

    Nominations that pass the Nomination Review round are reviewed by an independent MANDI Jury based on the criteria. The MANDI Jury is a second volunteer committee comprised of representatives from community development.

    Two (2) finalists* in each award category will be selected by the MANDI Jury in each category.

    In May 2021, finalists will be contacted to schedule a virtual site visit by the MANDI Jury during the week of June 21st, 2021.

How are the winners selected?

One winner among the finalists in each category will be selected by the MANDI Jury after all site visits are completed. Winners will be announced at the MANDI ceremony on Thursday, August 19th, 2021 virtually.

How are the finalists and winners promoted?

Each finalist* is highlighted in a two-minute video aired during the awards ceremony. These video profiles are posted on YouTube and after the event, and given to finalists for their own usage. Local media typically cover the event and publish the names of finalists and winners.

*Important information regarding finalist selection: All finalists are required to participate in an in-person interview and site visit the week of June 21st, 2021 and provide material that will be used to produce the two minute video. MANDI Selection Staff will send preparation materials, scheduling options, etc. about site visits in advance of visits.

What do finalists receive?

Each finalist receives a professionally produced two-minute video highlighting their work, and a personalized award plaque.

What do winners receive?

In addition to the benefits received by all finalists, winners receive a $1,000 contribution to keep or donate as they wish. Winners will also be asked to make 1 minute of remarks at event after their award is announced.


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