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We believe in you.

The Pollination Project exists to uplift grassroots changemakers whose work helps build a kinder, more compassionate world. We don’t have narrowly defined criteria for projects we fund, preferring to be led by our community and applicants like you. So long as your work fits our general guidelines, our team will consider any effort that moves us towards a better world. Funding decisions are made on a rolling basis by 100+ volunteer grant advisors, most of whom have previously received seed funding from The Pollination Project.

We are honored to learn about your project and vision. We hope this is the beginning of a meaningful relationship with you, one that starts with seed funding but expands as you connect and engage with our global community of 5,000+ changemakers.

Who we fund:

We fund individuals, informally organized groups and organizations, and formally registered or incorporated not for profit organizations based anywhere in the world.

We make our application process open to as many people as possible. That said, we do have a few guidelines that help us stay in alignment with our core values. 

We support:


Early-stage ideas

the annual budget for your group or organization must be less than $50,000, and the total cost for the project must be less than $10,000


Practical dreamers

we look for evidence that you have started some level of work on your project


New People & Projects

if you, anyone in your group, or your organization has previously received funding from us for this project or for any other work, we ask that you leave the opportunity to apply for seed funding open for others rather than reapply. Similarly, no other representative of your group or organization should currently have a proposal actively under our review at the time that you apply


Grassroots volunteerism

your group or organization must not have paid staff. Your project shouldn’t be designed to generate personal profit for you or anyone else. Note: If you sometimes contract for web design, accounting, or other professional services, that is allowed. If you do generate profit, it must be reinvested in a non-profit effort.


Compassion consciousness

we will not fund any person or organization carrying out work promoting or advocating for animal agriculture, even if that work is not part of your proposal to TPP


Freedom of all kinds, including religious freedom

we can’t support projects or groups who seek to proselytize, evangelize, or require those served to participate in faith-based practices


Equality & Inclusion

you and your group/organization must not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, age, or faith


Legal Compliance

legally, we can’t support work that seeks to influence the outcome of elections for specific candidates, or work that induces or encourages violations of law or public policy, or work that causes any improper private benefit to occur.
Lastly, to receive a grant, you or your group/organization must be able to receive a wire transfer or Paypal payment in US dollars

What we can’t fund:

We believe you are the best person to decide how your seed funding should be used, and we support most project-related costs that fall within the guidelines above.

There are a few costs we can’t support, and those include:


Payments to a grantee or a member of the grantee’s family for time or services


Purchase of animal products, including but not limited to meat, honey, milk, and leather


Work that promotes consumption of animal products, or projects which include nutrition recommendations other than adoption of a plant based diet or elimination/reduction of meat consumption


Any event at which animal products will be served


Beekeeping projects which produce honey for human consumption


Any projects using synthetic/chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other products which harm the environment and/or human health


Research projects without a tangible plan for how that research will create real world change. We do not fund academic coursework


Donations on your behalf to a project that you are not affiliated with

What do grant advisors look for?

Our grantmaking team evaluates grant proposals based on their own experience working in a similar geographic or issue area.

They also consider:

Impact of the project itself

How meaningfully seed funding of $1,000 will move the project forward, and how likely it is that the applicant can bridge any gaps between total funding needed versus what has currently been raised

The strength of the applicant’s connection to the community they want to serve

What efforts the applicant has taken to maximize non-financial resources, such as recruiting volunteers or seeking in-kind donations

What opportunities are available to me if I am funded by TPP?

We value relationship over transaction, and hope to walk beside you on your path long after your initial grant funding has been spent. In addition to one-time seed funding of up to $1000, joining our global community of changemakers offers:

The opportunity to apply for other one-time funding opportunities that TPP may offer existing grantees

Capacity-building support and connectivity with other changemakers within our global network

Opportunities to have your work showcased to the broader TPP community through articles, social media, and/or video

After initial grant reporting, the opportunity to request that TPP serve as a fiscal sponsor on a per project basis.This allows individuals and informal groups to accept charitable donations from other donors outside of TPP

Support in connecting with other funders and donors upon completion of initial grant reporting


Can I or my group/organization receive more than one seed grant from TPP?

No. Because our goal is to support as many grassroots changemakers as possible, we restrict the number of seed funding awards that any person, group, or project can receive. We no longer award multiple seed grants to any person or group even if the proposed work is completely distinct from their previously funded project.

If someone else in my group or organization has been funded by TPP for a project, can I or another member of that group or organization also request funding for the same project or for another project that we are working on together?

No. Even if you were not the original applicant for a previously funded project, if the work you seek funding for is operated by that same group you should not apply. This is the case whether it is for the same project as that which was originally funded OR if the work is different from the previous project.

Is it appropriate for my co-leader, a volunteer, or another member of my group to request funding from TPP for different parts of the same project at the same time?

No. We can only accept a single application for any work, even if the applicants are different people. If a previous application was declined by TPP, then you or someone else may reapply. Still, you must tell us that a previous application was submitted for this work.

My proposal was not funded by TPP. Can I apply for funding more than once?

Yes, if your project design has changed and/or if you have made significant revisions to the original application. Please do not resubmit a proposal if you have not incorporated feedback the advisor team provided for your project design.

My project involves distributing food that contains animal products (e.g. a food bank), can I apply for a TPP grant so long as the grant does not pay for animal products?

Yes. We believe animal agriculture is cruel and environmentally destructive. However, we recognize that food banks and other groups are reliant on donations and can’t always choose the items they are able to distribute. We can pay for infrastructure costs such as shelving in projects of this kind.

We cannot pay directly for animal products, any activity which promotes the consumption of animal products, for projects focused on health and nutrition which include recommendations to consume animal products, or for any event at which animal products will be served.

Will I have to pay taxes on the grant money?

We cannot advise on your personal tax situation, but as long as grant money is used for qualified project purposes and no funds are used to pay the grantee or any member of a grantee’s family, we will not issue a 1099 or report grant income to the IRS.

If you are a U.S. based grantee and you do not submit receipts and reporting for your grant, we are required to issue a 1099 form and report your grant as taxable income to the IRS.

What is expected of me if I receive a grant?

If your project is selected for funding, you agree to:

  • Follow through with the project as you have laid it out to the best of your ability. Submit reporting which includes what you achieved, what you learned and how you spend the grant funds. Go to Reporting Requirements for details on what to include.
  • Take photos or videos showcasing your project in action, and include these photos and videos in your project report.
  • Track your expenses and submit all receipts with your final report to show how you spent the grant funds.
  • Allow your project to be highlighted, publicized and shared by The Pollination Project.
  • Make your best effort to spend the money as you proposed. Follow the restrictions listed in your contract when spending the funds, and contact us before making any changes.

If you are a U.S. based grantee and you do not submit receipts and reporting for your grant, we are required to issue a 1099 form and report your grant as taxable income to the IRS.

When is the grant application due and how long before I get a response?

We welcome applications on a rolling basis. Applications which are received in full before the final day of the month will be reviewed by our team during the following month and decisions will be shared with all applicants at the end of that month. For instance, if you submitted an application in full at any point in January, our team would review your application during the month of February and you would receive our grant decisions at the end of February/the first days of March.

Please note: by ‘received in full’ we include the successful submission of a reference for international applicants. Your application will be counted as received in the month in which your referee submits their reference.

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