What if you want to do a small-scale project in the community and you need some money to make it happen?
You could take 15 minutes (really, the application is very brief) to apply for a grant from the Awesome Foundation for the Arts and Sciences, which gives out $1000 every month!
The foundation has chapters all over the world! Each chapter usually has 10 members who contribute $100 each month to bring the grand total to (drum roll….) $1000. So that means in a calendar year, there are TWELVE grants of $1000 being given out! How…can you guess what’s coming….awesome is that?
He wrote in a blog post: [Suzanne] told me that winning traditional arts project grants can be tricky. “Foundations won’t often fund your project until it’s nearly completed,” making the start-up process challenging, especially for new artists like herself. A little recognition and a $1,000 grant for supplies could be a very meaningful first step for a new project….I want to spend more of my days inspired. And, if I’m lucky, I want to inspire more people to spend more of their days inspired. Inspired by people like Suzanne, by more color for trees, by new friends and new ideas.
I chatted with a member from the Seattle chapter, Malory Graham, former Executive Director of Reel Grrls and who is now making her own films and running an Aikido martial arts studio.
IP: What inspired you to become a member?
MG: I have been involved in nonprofits and philanthropy for the last 30 years of my life. The Awesome Foundation seemed like a fresh approach. It didn’t seem cumbersome, and it seemed like a fun way to engage with community projects.
IP: What do you personally get out of doing this?
MG: It is wonderful and inspiring to learn about very small scale, quirky arts projects that can be accomplished easily.
IP: What is your favorite project that was funded?
MG: The first project we funded which I loved was offering free sandwiches for anyone downtown in return for them telling a personal story. The stories were later collected into a book. (Check out the Seattle chapter blog at the December 6 and October 25 entries, and you will find a description of this project and a video.)
IP: How do you all decide which awesome projects to fund?
MG: We usually have a group discussion and the projects that generally do well are ones that seem easy to achieve and are a little bit unusual. Decisions are easy to make, the only problem is wanting to fund more than one project!
IP: How can people participate if it is financially not feasible?
MG: The Awesome Foundation is still looking for trustees and people don’t have to commit to a full year of giving. You can be a guest trustee. This is less firm of a commitment but it is a fun way to learn about the group and its projects.
Hey, it’s not much money, but what a great opportunity for individuals to team up with a few others and do an inspiring project that benefits the community. Check out the “Awesome Indicators” to get a sense of what makes a project awesome. Some cool examples of projects: