For those of you who didn’t catch the announcement on AnnArbor.com today, I’ve got some potentially good news to share. Thanks to the efforts of Neutral Zone founder Lisa Dengiz, and a small but active group of community-minded individuals, Ann Arbor is, as of today, home to a branch of the Boston-based micro-philanthropic organization – The Awesome Foundation. Called A2Awesome, the group will be meeting once a month for the foreseeable future to dole out cash grants in the amount of $1,000 each for projects they consider to be extraordinarily awesome. My role within the organization is that of Dean, which basically means that I handle communications, the coordination of grant applications, etc. (In exchange for that, I don’t have to contribute financially toward the $1,000. I do, however, get to vote, just like everyone else.)
All you have to do, if you have an idea that you think is awesome, is fill out an on-line form letting us know what you’ve got in mind. It’s super easy.
And I should have mentioned this earlier, but these aren’t loans. They’re grants, and, as such, they don’t have to be paid back. All that we ask is that you use the money in the way you’ve indicated, and make something incredible happen. And, as far as we’re concerned, everything is on the table, from the creation of community gardens to the production of public art. If you have an idea for a community clean up project, we’d love to hear about. We’d also like to know if you’ve got an idea for a way to teach disadvantaged kids about entrepreneurship, or a technology that you think, with a little work, could make the world a better place. When I say that everything is on the table, I really mean it. The big thing as far as the trustees are concerned, is that there’s positive impact. We’re particularly keen on funding projects where $1,000 could be creatively leveraged to produce a disproportionate amount of awesome. And, geography doesn’t matter. Although the groups is called A2Awesome, and almost everyone on the committee is from Ann Arbor, that doesn’t mean that we won’t be awarding funds to people in Ypsilanti, or elsewhere in Washtenaw County.
Those with creative, inspired ideas are encouraged to fapply for the grant online. The first grant deadline for participation is November 30… If your project is selected, you could have $1,000 to work with in just a few short weeks.
Oh, and before I let you go, here’s a great little video about the Awesome Foundation, and how it came to be. If this is the first time you’ve heard of the group, I’d suggest watching it.
About the Awesome Foundation: Created in 2009 in Boston, the Awesome Foundation now has chapters in over 20 cities across the globe. In addition to the new Ann Arbor / Ypsilanti chapter, there are Awesome Foundation outposts in both Detroit and Grad Rapids. Projects funded have included efforts in a wide range of areas including technology, arts, social good, and beyond.