Hi World! We are the San Francisco chapter. We love sparking discussion, action, participation (particularly in our local region).
Those ⤴ are the projects we've funded. Scroll through the image strip! (This is the best way to understand what we fund, so until we get it set up for mobile, use a desktop or laptop browser.) Click on the images to read full descriptions.
WHO SHOULD APPLY for our no-strings-attached grants? Anyone passionate who has looked at this page carefully. If you are an organization already steaming ahead, we probably are not your best backing source. But it depends. See HINTs below.
We like projects that attempt something important or strange using methods others haven't tried lately. You've got a scheme. Brainstorm, then narrow it down. Think about the wider public. Think playful, ambitious. When you explain it to people outside your usual bubble, do they respond with a delighted little dance?
We fund beginners, small projects and experimenters more readily than most other grant-makers can and we give preference to those projects. Will $1,000 make all the difference for your project to get started?
When you apply, describe a specific idea. We'll decide about funding based on your personal, creative ambition. That's what we most love knowing. Be informal.
HINT for NONPROFIT STAFF: Specific remarkable or experimental side project matched in scale to our cherished $1000 gift. If you ask us to fund what you're already doing, that's not likely to happen.
HINT for INDIVIDUALS: Short, raw and personal. Phrase clearly about possibility rather than nailing down every detail. Credentials unimportant. Your inspired self will be great at making your point.
HINT for ARTISTS: Have public elements. Speak to us as people who don't share your familiar aesthetic. Your training in proposal writing can fall away. Be daring. Let loose. Be you.
We view whimsy as an essential antidote in a serious and polarized world. Encountering something unexpected helps de-polarize. Especially in grassroots politics, which we need more than ever.
Suggestion: Read this page again just before you apply.
The Awesome Foundation is a DIY operation—clusters of people all around the world, each group pooling and giving a monthly gift. We're not some stuffy organization. Ask us questions or advice. Now. Whenever. Use firstname.lastname@example.org to reach Joel, SF's 5th Dean of Awesome.
Proposals are welcome any time during any month. The grant is decided at our monthly meeting where we look through your ideas that came during the previous calendar month. For example, apply in May and it'll be considered and announced in June.
If you like, you may follow us on social media (icons above) for news, events, and projects happening here in the Bay Area. We also have a friends-of email discussion list. Want to be on it?
Thank you for creating a more awesome world!