Do you have an awesome project? Maybe you need an Awesome Foundation grant to help you?

Every month I meet with nine generous, wonderful Sydney people and we grant $1,000 no strings attached to one person to help them do something awesome.

But our little Awesome Foundation Sydney is just one city’s chapter in a global movement which just hit an amazing milestone, reaching USD2 million in awesome projects funded since inception.

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On the one hand, $2M isn’t a whole lot of money. Many charities raise more in a single week than Awesome Foundation has ever raised.

But looking at it another way, it’s absolutely massive. Because Awesome Foundation isn’t a charity. It isn’t registered as a tax deductible charity so nobody who contributes to the $1,000 monthly grants in each chapter gets a tax deduction.

And the $1,000 is comprised of 10 contributions of $100 from the ten trustees of each chapter. There’s no fund raising outside the chapter’s trustees. Which means a couple of great things:

  • We always know where the money goes; at the beginning of the monthly meeting we review the applications together, at the end of the meeting we agree on a winner and call them up on the spot to let them know we think they’re awesome and we need their bank account details to transfer the money;
  • Between reviewing the applications and making the decision, each meeting is a sometimes hilarious, sometimes heated, always intelligent and often inspiring debate over a wine/beer or two;
  • Absolutely zero percent of the money goes to admin or operations or marketing or salaries. No overheads. Absolutely 100% goes straight from the savings of Awesome Foundation chapter trustees and direct to people doing awesome things in arts, entertainment, social enterprise, charity, community and education. With no strings attached.

So yay for us, as a lean, distributed, zero-overheads organisation we’ve made a real difference to the outcomes of awesome people with more than 2,000 awesome ideas.

And now my back has been patted, if there’s something awesome you can achieve in your local community which will inspire, surprise, educate or bring joy, and it can be done with $1,000 or less, apply for an Awesome Foundation Grant at http://www.awesomefoundation.org

I’m Alan Jones, an EiR for startup accelerators, GP at M8 Ventures. Previously investor, founder, and early Yahoo PM. Opinions mine (but should also be yours).

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