San Francisco, CA

About Us

Hi World! We're the San Francisco chapter. We love sparking discussion, action, participation (particularly in our local region).

Those ⤴ are the projects we've funded. Click (or side-scroll) through the image strip! This is the best way to understand what we fund. Poke an image to read about that project.


We try to balance our support among a variety of projects and people. We encourage applications that address the specific challenges of our day, as well as ones that help us be inspired in general. Your creative voice, whoever you are, is far more important to us than how polished your words or ideas seem.

Who should apply for our no-strings-attached grants? Anyone passionate who has read through this text carefully. Yes, carefully.

We generally give one grant per month. Beginners, small projects and experimenters get preferential treatment. Will $1,000 make all the difference for your project to get started? If you represent an established organization, we probably are not your best backing source. But it depends.

Hint for organizations, nonprofits & ensembles: Describe a highly specific idea that's an experimental side trip and is not whatever you are normally focused on. [more]

Hint for individuals: Short, raw and personal. Rave about possibility rather than nailing down every detail. Credentials are unimportant. Your inspired self will be great at making your point.

Hint for artists: We love public interactive elements. Be you trying something new. No skill in proposal writing needed. Let loose. Be awkward. Be daring. Be odd.

Hint for events: Apply more than seven weeks ahead to give us time to discuss before your event. If time gets away from you, apply anyway. We may decide to support it, depending on what else we review that month.

Hint for folks outside our region: Please state clearly if you aren't in the Bay Area. Tell us how your project is connected to our region, if it in fact is.

Be playfully ambitious. We like projects that attempt something strange or something important using methods others haven't tried lately. You've got a scheme. Brainstorm, then narrow it down. Think about the wider public. When you explain it to people outside your usual bubble, do they respond with a delighted little dance?

Be informal. We'll fund based on our personal reactions to your creative ambition. That's what we most love knowing.

Be unexpectedly political or wtf fanciful. Tap the mischievous genius of the unsuspecting public. Jostle patterns. Stimulate quaint solutions. Clarify or muddy, as necessary.

We view whimsy as an essential hacking tool and life as a wake-up call.

Break out! The world is serious and polarized. Grassroots political creativity is in short supply. It's time for ideas that tickle us free. As long as anyone is in danger from injustice, violence or ecological crash, as long as short-term wealth priorities push sanity aside, as long as we're trained to fear, fit in and stifle creative urges, more awesome is desperately needed around here.

Hey, let's make some!

. . . ✂ . . . ⚗ . . . ♬. . . ♨ . . . ⚡ . . . ☂ . . . ∰ . . . ⦿ . . . ⦕ . . . ⥹ . . . ⎌ . . . ↉ . . . ⨳ . . . ⏢ . . . ⊱ . . . ⇅ . . . ⟁ . . . ➰ . . . ❓ . . . ⫸⫸

Humble suggestion: Contemplate, then, before you submit your proposal, reread this page.

Who are we? The Awesome Foundation is a DIY operation—small clusters of people all around the world, each group pooling small personal donations to give one collective, monthly gift. We're not some stuffy organization. Ask us questions or advice. Now. Whenever. Use to reach Joel, SF's 5th Dean of Awesome.

When to apply: Proposals are welcome any time. The grant is decided at our monthly meeting where we look through ideas that came during the previous calendar month. For example, apply in May and it'll be considered and announced some time in June.

If you like, you may follow us on social media (icons above) but more intimately, the SF chapter also has a "friends of" email discussion list. Want to be on it?

Thank you for creating a more awesome world!

More hints for organizations, ensembles and nonprofits: Match the scale to our cherished $1000 gift. Ignore your past competence and success and focus on this one tiny future unusual project that is unlikely to occur without our $1000. If your project can't fit that description easily, you don't exactly fit our realm. But as you see from past winners, we sometimes break our pattern, have no rules, and have a short application form…so it doesn't hurt to apply. Continue above

Meet the Trustees