No-Strings Cash Grants for Awesome Ideas

awesomefoundationThe BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) has just published a short film about the Awesome Foundation, an international network of philanthropists that provides no-strings attached cash to “awesome” ideas and projects.

Christina Xu, the Chancellor of the Institute on Higher Awesome Studies refers to Awesome as “a distributed network of guerrilla philanthropists.”

The trustees of the foundation each contribute $100 per month and meet to read grant applications. The criteria for submissions are that they must be awesome and contribute something to the community. The process is quick and simple and grants of $1,000 are made every month.

The Awesome Foundation was founded in 2009 by a group of students and friends at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  There are now awesome chapters in 12 countries across the world.

Cool and Crazy Ideas

Among the projects that have received funding are an experimental aquaponics farm and a free library system in Chicago using birdhouses.

Some of the ideas are a bit left of field including reenactments of scenes from Indiana Jones movies and a spy-like shoe telephone. The wacky nature of these concepts is fully supported by Christina.

In the BBC film she said: “If you look at people who are wildly successful any of those biographies do not say they spent their entire childhood reading books and memorizing formulas.

“Almost invariably they were getting into trouble, doing stupid stuff and having this room to experiment and try crazy things.”

To date $615,000 has been granted to 615 awesome projects.

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One Comment

James Garden

I like the intent of The Awesome Foundation. Unfortunately, my projects could not be made without huge investments. My self-sustaining instant steam engine would require substantial funding, as would my accelerated photosynthesis concept. My gravity-powered machine would require at least $100,000 to build a proof-of-concept machine.
At age 86, I probably will not see them built.
WWII U.S. Navy veteran


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