We are a giving circle collective of DC residents who help fund a wide specrtrum of amazing arts, culture and community experiences, ranging from the founding Funk Parade to the Indiana Jones and The Alley of Doom to DC Bike Party's Sound Bike to Hand-Dancing, a DC-originated style of Swing dancing to community hackathons to skateboarding Santa Clauses to community gardens to Floor Charts tracking Congressional charts (so DC!). Our group and grant winners have been featured on The BBC, NPR, WAMU, Brightest Young Things, The Washington Post, DCist and at Creative Mornings DC.
We are entirely volunteer-run and self-funded from Trustees and use the following four evaluation criteria for funding projects that help the city of Washington DC be more awesome:
Have a project that meets those 4 criteria? Apply now! We award grants every month!
Love what we are doing and want to support the group?
We are an entirely volunteer-driven organization and completely self-funded by trustee's own money. In 2015, we ran an audit of all of our finances and grants and found that our operating expenses are a mere 3.3% overhead (mainly spend on bank fees, our domain name and a batch of stickers we ordered to promote the group). That means 96.7% of all money that comes into the Awesome Foundation DC goes directly to funding grants in the community. This is pretty much unheard of in the nonprofit world. Want to help us fund more grants? There's many ways you can participate:
The Awesome Foundation is an international organization with hundred of chapters around the world helping fund community, culture and arts projects that make the world more awesome and unique. Awesome Foundation chapters are entirely volunteer-run and self-funded through trustee donations with independent chapters around the world that have have funded more than $2 million in grants through 87 chapters in 19 countries.
The DC Chapter of the Awesome Foundation was founded in 2010 and has given more than $50,000 to the local community for awesome projects. We pick our monthly grant winners usually at the end of each month and notify all applicants after the selection has been made.
Learn more about the Awesome Foundation DC, from the Founding Dean, Bonnie Shaw (who is now spreading Awesomeness in Australia):
Founded first in Boston in 2009, each Awesome Foundation local chapter distributes monthly $1,000 microgrants, no strings attached, to projects and creators. At each fully autonomous and local chapter, the money is pooled together from the coffers of ten or so self-organizing, volunteer “Trustees” and given in cash to the grant winner each month.
Learn more about the Awesome Foundation vision from the New York trustees on CCTV:
The trustees of the Awesome Foundation DC are committed to supporting and embracing the diversity of the vibrant DC community. We acknowledge we are not as diverse as we should be to represent DC at the moment and we are seeking new, diverse Full Time Trustees that can commit and contribute to the group. If you or someone you know is interested, please read more about the Trustee experience and different roles and contact us at awesomefoundationdc [at] gmail [dot] com.
We also seek to fund diverse grant proposals and try to fund different projects that will affect large groups from different communities and spread awesome experiences to the diverse populous of Washington D.C. We try to not fund too many of any of the same type of event (for instance, community gardens or several book proposals, etc.) and are working to seek out and identify new grant opportunities in all of DC’s wards. For more grant applicant advice, please see our guide.
Special thanks to these special people who help our organization be more awesome:
Marty Ringlein, CEO and Founder of Nvite and former Full Trustee, and while he's moved out of DC for his company, he funds one of our Sponsored Trustee positions because he loves DC and awesomeness.
Are you interested in helping support Awesome DC as a Behind the Scenes Trustee? Learn more in the Trustee guide or contact us at awesomefoundationdc [at] gmail [dot] com.
Sascha Meinrath, Founder of the Open Tech Institute and Awesome DC Floater Trustee who's Acord Active Media Foundation is our fiscal sponsor allowing for tax-deductible donations.
We'd like to send out a special thank you to Bonnie Shaw, our chapter founder and founding Dean, and Shana Glickfield, our most recent former Dean. Also, thanks go to recent past trustees and contributors for their awesome service! We continue to fund and celebrate awesomeness following their example: