ChangeX, an international nonprofit with teams based across Europe and the Americas, announced Tuesday it has launched a $55,000 fund to help community groups, schools or organizations start or expand community projects in the Greater Des Moines region.

This is the third year that ChangeX has run a Community Challenge in Des Moines with support from Microsoft's Community Empowerment Fund.

According to a news release, the Community Challenge initiative offers local groups up to $5,000 in seed funding to develop or expand a community project related to environmental sustainability, digital skills, or community prosperity. ChangeX supplies proven ideas to choose from for groups starting a new project, the release said.

Groups have 30 days after applying to build a small team and design an action plan before they are eligible for funding. Funding is subject to a review process and allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

The deadline to apply for funding is Jan. 18.

The previous two Community Challenges have allowed 40 local groups to start community projects, affecting more than 3,000 people in the region, according to impact data submitted by the local groups.

More information is available at