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Friday, January 18, 2013

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.