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A Propos

We are the Downtown Northampton, Massachusetts chapter of the Awesome Foundation!

We all know how awesome it is to work, live and play in Downtown Northampton. Our mission is to make Downtown Northampton an even more awesome place to be! If you have an idea that could help keep Downtown Northampton awesome, we hope you'll apply for one of our monthly $1,000 grants.

What does "awesome" mean?

Awesome is independent and new, risky and brave, creative and exciting. It will make the world a better place. It will make Northampton a better place. And it will be other things - things we don't even know yet. And that itself is pretty awesome!

The founding members of the Downtown Northampton chapter of the Awesome Foundation are dedicated to projects that will take place in or affect Downtown Northampton. That doesn't mean you have to live or work in Downtown Northampton to get a grant - it just means that those are the threads we are looking to connect. A successful grant will show that it involves downtown Northampton or has an impact on downtown Northampton in a meaningful way.

Why are we doing this?

We share a common vision of making Northampton better.

There are a lot of new ideas that could benefit tremendously from what seems like a relatively small injection of money. They probably won't all be amazing, but some of them will. Awesome things happen when you have faith in people..

We want to support the work of people that make our community better. It benefits everyone in the community to do that. We also want to make it easy for people to pitch their idea, in a non-intimidating, straight-forward way.

This is a low-barrier, risk-taking but relatively inexpensive, flexible, agile, high-reward, awesome adventure!

Who are we?

We are a group of trustees who represent different organizations and businesses in the Downtown Northampton community: Northampton Community Television, the Downtown Northampton Association, Thornes Marketplace, A2Z Science & Learning Store, Hampshire Council of Governments, the Northampton Brewery, Northampton Center for the Arts, the Chamber of Commerce, Sylvester's Restaurant, Roberto's and the Northampton Radio Group (including WHMP, Hits 94.3 and 93.9 the River).

How does it work?

  • Anyone can apply for a grant - an individual, or a group or an organization. The grants are no-strings-attached, except that they must take place in or affect Downtown Northampton, and the entire project must be able to be completed with this $1,000 grant.

  • There is no requirement that your project fall within a particular subject-matter. We would like to fund awesome projects in a wide range of areas: arts, science, technology, social good and much more!

  • If your grant involves the use of a private space or public space where a permit is required, we ask that you reach out to the appropriate person or city department before submitting your application, to ensure that the space will be available to you and accessible by you.

  • Our grant cycle ends on the 20th of every month, with an awardee selected by the end of the month. We reserve the right to hold money over to the next month if there is not enough Awesome ready in any given month.

  • We have limited funds. We give about twelve grants per year, and generally $1,000 per month. If we don't fund your proposal, it's not necessarily a rejection! Every month there are sure to be proposals advancing awesome in the universe that will have to be implemented without our grant. If you're contemplating applying again, reach out to us and we will try to offer some useful feedback!

  • PLEASE NOTE: these grants are not designed to typically fund bills, travel or living expenses.

Thank you for helping make Downtown Northampton even more awesome!

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