Starting January 2014, every month, the Nairobi chapter of The Awesome Foundation are giving away KES 100,000 for “awesome projects” in Nairobi. Application deadline is the second Friday of each month. The foundation describes their mission and objectives as,
…an ever-growing, worldwide network of people devoted to forwarding the interest of awesomeness in the universe. Created in…Boston, the Foundation distributes a series of monthly $1,000 grants to projects and their creators. The money is pooled together from the coffers of ten or so self-organizing “micro-trustees” and given upfront in cash, check, or gold doubloons.
The chapters are autonomous and organized by the trustees around geographic areas or topics of interest. The Foundation provides these grants with no strings attached and claims no ownership over the projects it supports. It is, in the words of one of our trustees, a micro-genius grant for flashes of micro-brilliance.
Since the foundation’s inception, many Awesome Foundation chapters have sprung up globally co-ordinated by Awesome Without Borders, to conserve, sustain, and support the worldwide ecosystem of awesomeness. Projects have included efforts in a wide range of areas including technology, arts, social good, and beyond. The Awesome Foundation Nairobi is one of these 87 worldwide Awesome Foundation Chapters.
How does it work?
The trustees of the Nairobi Chapter are just regular people living in Nairobi. Every month they individually contribute the equivalent of US$1000 that goes into a pot to fund a project by an individual or group or organization that has “a brilliant idea that brings awesomeness to Nairobi.” They do not charge any fees so don’t be deceived by anyone into paying anything.
What do they look for?
There are no set rules about what they will fund or not fund. Here are some basic guidelines:
- They like local projects: This means projects and ideas being implemented in Nairobi. If you’re doing something outside Nairobi County, they are encouraging people to set up their own local chapters to fund those ideas because you know what’s best for your county.
- They like inclusive projects: The more people get to benefit from your project or idea, the more attractive it is. Bring the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people. Most importantly, the benefits to the community should be visible and clear.
- They like things that are possible: Although they encourage radical or unconventional ideas; they also want to know that you can achieve what you’re setting out to do. If a project fails, they would rather it to be due to the inherent risks of the idea, not the implementation.
- They like their money to move the needle: Meaning that they want to see that the money has impact on what you want to achieve. Will the KES 100,000 enable you complete the project, or at least put you in a position where the project can take off? The money should actually make a difference to whether the idea takes-off or not, and that it is not just a small drop in the ocean.
- Credible people behind the ideas: Many are looking for easy money so they need you to show them that you have the capacity, credibility and passion to achieve what you claim you want to achieve.
- Projects that are AWESOME: These aren’t rules, they’re guidelines. They are more than happy to throw away everything mentioned above for any project that makes them stop in our tracks and say “Whoah! That’s awesome!”
If you have a crazy brilliant idea that you want them to consider, apply for a grant and submit your project before the second friday of every month (except December). The Trustees will meet the last Saturday of every month (except December) to consider and decide on the project to fund.
If you would like to become a Trustee of the Nairobi Chapter, you must:
- Be over 18 years
- Be living in Nairobi
- Be ready to contribute Kshs. 8,500 every month to fund the projects
- Be ready to volunteer some time to assist with project admin work
If you would like to become a Trustee, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org