The Awesome Foundation

Feb 24, 2011

At Kindle Project we love to stay connected and learn about interesting projects happening within the  foundation and giving world, this helps feed our inspiration and continuously find ways to bring creativity to the funding we do. In that spirit we are taking a closer look at The Awesome Foundation, a project that is currently gaining a lot of momentum.

Created in the long hot summer days of 2009 in Boston, the Foundation distributes a series of monthly $1,000 grants to projects and their creators. The money is given upfront in cash, check, or gold doubloons by groups of ten or so self-organizing “micro-trustees,” who form autonomous chapters around geographic areas or topics of interest. (To read more from their About section please click here.)

In browsing the foundation’s blog, we liked the array of ideas, creative projects, and truly bizarre and wonderful concepts that were being funded. When times are tough, money can be tight, and many creators with brilliant ideas need some encouragement and they also need cash. These kinds of micro-financing projects have the potential to make a real difference, not only in the life of the individual but also in the building of community. They also change the way we think about access to money and the relationship between funders and recipients. The video below of an attendee of the San Francisco’s chapter one year anniversary party describes a little of what we’re talking about:

The Toronto chapter is announcing it’s first recipient this evening! Kindle staff member, Arianne will be there and will be sure to keep you posted about which project won this first round.  If you’re interested in seeing what people are pitching to the Toronto chapter you can read the shortlist here. They had over 250 applicants!

Below you’ll find some our favorite projects that were funded by The Awesome Foundation in various parts of the world.

Big Dipper ProjectThis project was funded by The Awesome Foundation’s London chapter last May. Oscar Lhermitte has been recreating the missing stars from the London skyline…watch below to see what he did with his $1000.

The Hip Hop Word Count
Tahir Hemphill was awarded an Awesome Foundation grant from the New York chapter in July 2010. The Hip-Hop Word Count (HHWC) is a searchable ethnographic database built from the lyrics of over 40,000 Hip-Hop songs from 1979 to present day. Watch the video on his Kickstarter site to learn more or visit his personal site. Below is an example of some of what HHWC does. Pretty rad…

Read the State of Awesome Report from 2010 here:

What would you do with $1000?
What are your thoughts about progressive philanthropy and micro-financing?
We’d love to hear what you think…