Awesome Foundation

One of my goals this year is to do more planned charitable giving, and one of the ways I’ll be achieving this goal is by taking part in the local chapter of the Awesome Foundation.
If you’ve never heard of this, the basic premiss is a group of people get together, put their own money into a pot, and give it away to someone who has a really cool idea…no strings attached. 
Our group first heard about it at a cross-sector community workshop a few months ago. A woman in the Awesome Toronto group spoke about what they did and the really cool projects they funded – like making a giant connect the dots using Toronto landmarks and Google satellite maps. 
A bunch of us immediately loved the idea, and now we have 40 trustees in our local group, split into 4 groups of 10. This means each trustee takes part in 3 rounds a year, so it’s not an insane amount of money to invest. Each month there will be a call for proposals. Then, one of the groups of 10 trustees will choose their top three, hear those pitches live, and make their top choice. That person will walk away with $1000 that night to do something awesome!
Our first “call for proposals” was at the beginning of this month, and we received 41! There are a lot of really cool/amazing/touching ideas. The first award night is on Jan. 28th, and all 40 trustees are invited to attend (though only the 10 for the month can vote).
I fell in love with this idea because I think it’s “awesome” for someone to get $1000, no strings, to do something really cool and interesting – things that probably would have a difficult time getting more formal funding. I also like that I’ll be able to meet and work with the other trustees, who I probably would never meet otherwise.
Check out if there is an Awesome Foundation chapter in your area – if not, consider starting one up! It’s a low cost way to do something truly awesome for your community.

Comments on: "Awesome Foundation" (3)

  1. Anonymous said:

    interesting idea… thinking of finding somewhere else to volunteer (and meet more people in this new town) now that I'm not working in a university where it's easier to find a committee to join.

    I've looked up the foundation but not sure I fully understand- how much money are we talking about each trustee giving? Halifax seems to have a group but not sure how they take in trustees. I realize it could be different for each chapter but how do you guys do this? can anyone become a trustee?


    A Green Monster.


  2. Green Monster – each group has its own rules. Outr group gives away $1000 every month, which means each of the 10 trustees voting that month bring $100. Since our chapter has 40 trustees, we only pay in 3 times a year ($300 total per year). Other sites only have ten people, so they pay $1200 a year. I would contact the Dean of the group you're interested in joining and see if there is a waiting list to get in (there is for our group). Hope that helps!


  3. Oh, this sounds really cool! Off to look for a Vancouver chapter… although it depends on how much the annual commitment is 🙂


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