Washington, DC

About Us

Next grant submission deadline: Sunday, December 1st

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

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 skateboarding Santa Clauses to recycled flower arrangements for senior centers, community groups and low-income housing to community hackathons to literacy programs at local laundrymats to community gardens to DC community youth literacy projects to Floor Charts tracking Congressional charts (so DC!). Our group and grant winners have been featured on The BBC, NPR, WAMU, 730DC, Fox 5, Brightest Young Things, PBS Newshour, Huffington Post, The Washington Post, DCist, Washington City Paper, DCist more, CBS WUSA 9, Washingtonian, Washington City Paper (again), Advancing Philanthropy Magazine, DC Inno, Washington Post (again), 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:

  • #1 - Is it awesome? (Is it unique? Interesting? Impactful? There's all sorts of types of awesome.)
  • #2 - Does it directly benefit the city of Washington DC? (We put heavy weight on supporting our tiny city/state and the awesomeness within. Fyi, there are Awesome North Virginia and Baltimore chapters, so if your project is focused on those regions you might consider applying there.)
  • #3 - Will $1,000 make an actual impact? (Some organizations are super-well funded so we focus 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, we heavily prefer projects that are a month or two away, so that the money can create immediate awesome impact in the community. If your project is a year away, wait to apply for a better chance at getting the grant.)

Have a project that meets those 4 criteria? Apply now! We award grants every month!

Background Information, Grant & Trustee Guides and Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Awesome DC Grant Applicant Guide, Pro Tips & FAQ
  • Awesome DC Trustee Guide & FAQ
  • Tax Deductible Donation Guide & FAQ
  • Awesome Foundation DC Press Information
  • Have a question or is something missing in these guides? Email awesomefoundationdc [at] gmail [dot] com

  • 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 previous years, we've run audit's 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:
    • Buy some Awesome DC gear
    • We can take anonymous donations to help fund our projects if you'd prefer that: Check or tax-deductible donations: Contact AwesomeFoundationDC [at] gmail [dot] com for a mailing address to send your check
    • Venmo: Send funds to AwesomeFoundationDC [at] gmail [dot] com or @AwesomeFoundationDC
    • Paypal: Send funds to AwesomeFoundationDC [at] gmail [dot] com

    • Connect with us on social media to learn more about grant deadlines, awards & Awesome projects in DC:

      Get Awesome Foundation DC's monthly newsletter

      Background info on The Awesome Foundation & the DC chapter:

      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 $4 million in grants through 95 chapters in 19 countries.

      The DC Chapter of the Awesome Foundation was founded in 2010 and has given more than $80,000 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:

      Diversity & Inclusion:

      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 can be to represent DC at the moment and are looking to find new, diverse Trustees who can commit and contribute regularly their time and energy 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.

      Stupendous Sponsors:

      Sascha Meinrath, Founder of the Open Tech Institute and Awesome DC Floater Trustee who's Acorn Active Media Foundation is our fiscal sponsor allowing for tax-deductible donations.

      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.

      DC Chapter Shout Outs:

      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:

      • Alex Barth
      • Steph Bloch Newman
      • Rob Bole
      • Brad Bosserman
      • Todd Bowers
      • Austin Clemens
      • Claire Corbett
      • Peter Corbett
      • Joel Daly
      • Mark Drapeau
      • Johann Ducharme
      • Nick Farina
      • Whitney Fisler
      • Vanessa French
      • Abigail Friedman
      • Dan Gordon
      • Kate Gorman
      • Garlin Gilchrist
      • Shana Glickfield
      • Danny Harris
      • Joanna Hoffschneider
      • Julie Hord
      • Max Horwitz
      • Alex Howard
      • Philippa Hughes
      • Gene Keselman
      • Jon Long
      • Miriam Magdieli
      • Adam Martin
      • Caroline Martin
      • Laurenellen McCann
      • Sean McDonald
      • Sascha Meinrath
      • Erik Moe
      • Amy Morse
      • Ellen Miller
      • Eric Mill
      • Barbara Mullinex
      • Yantee Neufville
      • Akiba Perry
      • Marty Ringlein
      • Krystal Thomas
      • Frank Tobia
      • Sarah Wald
      • Kevin Webb
      • Erica Williams

Meet the Trustees