Council of Finnish Foundations (CoFF)

The Builders of the Century challenge competition


Finnish grantmaking foundations and funds wanted to give Finland something really impressive for its centennial of independence and at the same time shape people’s ideas about the role of foundations in society.


We were the communication partner of the Builders of the Century challenge competition, in close cooperation with the Council of Finnish Foundations and think tank Demos Helsinki who ran the competition. The challenge competition sought new ideas for promoting young people’s wellbeing. We designed and implemented the competition’s communication during the more than one-year-long process. In addition to strategic planning, the project included producing communication, from social media and video production to strengthening the competitors’ own communication skills and presentation training. We also handled the concept development and implementation of the competition’s multilingual web platform. The competition grew to be Finland’s largest challenge competition. It received over 326 applications and the winners were awarded 2.45 million euros in total.

The goals of communication change many times during a year-long challenge competition, as do the means of achieving them. Firstly, you get as many of the best applications possible as you can for the competition, then communicate about the competition’s progress. The ideas and abilities of the teams involved in the final stage are so strong that their own stories attract more attention than the competition’s framework itself. We succeeded in every goal together with the client. The competition attracted considerable media attention, making it all the way to Yle’s main newscast and the editorial of Helsingin Sanomat. The 44 Finnish foundations that organised it became inspired by the new way of doing collaboration and solving societal problems.

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