Apply for Grant & Make DC (Even) More Awesome

Local Organization Offers Two $1,000 Awards to Fund Projects Benefiting District

915
Guerrilla Gardeners of Washington DC won a grant in January 2020 for their project to transform highway access ramps into wildflower-lined "country roads". Photo: Courtesy Awesome DC

Do you have an idea to make DC more awesome? Apply for a $1,000 grant!

The Awesome Foundation DC is a giving circle collective of DC residents who help fund a wide spectrum of amazing arts, culture, and community experiences. They give away $1,000 microgrants each month to fast-forward arts, community, and cultural awesomeness in the city of Washington, DC –and they’re looking for new projects to fund!

You can apply for on of the two $1,000 grants available this month by Sunday, April 19.

Local Awesome Foundation Leader Will Sullivan said that the micro-philanthropic group seeks out diverse and unique grants and tries to spread the money throughout DC.

“We’re looking for awesome projects that will spark joy and build community in these uncertain times,” he said. “We relish funding a wild assortment of projects, it just has to feel awesome, be executable with $1,000, and help lift up The District.”

Sullivan said projects will be required to be executed with safe social distances, ideally in the next month or so in order to have the greatest and most immediate impact during the period when the community needs it most.

“In general, we’ve funded projects that impact or support the arts, public safety, local culture and communities, public mobility and transit, or even just cabin-fever-busting-weirdness in the public space to brighten the day,” he said.

Previous projects that received funding include, The Rebuilding Re-Entry Hackathon, the DC Wheels Summer Santa, the U Street Funk Parade the Right Rides and the Kingsman Park Community Garden and many more.

The Awesome Foundation uses four criteria to evaluate projects:

  1. Is it awesome? Is it unique? Interesting? Impactful? There are many types of awesome.
  2. Does it directly benefit the city of Washington DC? The organization puts heavy weight on supporting this tiny city/state and the awesomeness within. There are Awesome North Virginia and Baltimore chapters, so if a project is focused on those regions support is available there.
  3. Will $1,000 make an actual impact? Some organizations are already well-funded so the Awesome Foundation focuses on helping individuals and small groups to fund new, small but mighty projects that $1,000 will actually make a difference.
  4. Is it immediately actionable? Similar to the actual impact, projects will be heavily preferred that can become reality within a month or two, so that the money can create immediate awesome impact in the community. If your project is a year away, the organization suggests you wait to apply for a better chance at getting the grant.

Get more information about the Awesome Foundation, FAQs and a guide to applying, or apply today by visiting https://www.awesomefoundation.org/en/chapters/dc/

While winners usually attend an Awesome DC meeting to get a large, novelty check, Sullivan said the organization is doing virtual meetings until the lockdown is over. However, winners will still be invited to participate.
“We always offer and encourage each month’s grant winner to attend the meetings and help us discuss and vote on the next grant winner as a way to kind of ‘pay it forward,’ talk more about their project, learn about our process –since we’re kind of a different, non-traditional philanthropic group– and have more diverse voices participate in our grant making decisions,” said Sullivan.

The Awesome Foundation is an international organization with nearly one hundred chapters around the world. Awesome Foundation chapters are entirely volunteer-run and self-funded through trustee donations.

The DC Chapter of the Awesome Foundation was founded in 2010 and has given more than $100,000 to the local community for awesome projects. They typically select monthly grant winners at the end of each month and notify all applicants after the selection has been made. Winners

Apply online today. Follow the Awesome Foundation DC on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram or visit www.awesomefoundation.org/en/chapters/dc/.