ShiftHappens: Our Blog:

The stories behind the grants

Beyond the horizon

Beyond the horizon

Recently, I was looking out over the horizon of the San Francisco bay. This is usually a view that inspires; the shimmering water, the blue sky, and the spectacular outline of the mountains can captivate even the most cynical of hearts. Right now, all this beauty is...

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Embracing the Pause

Embracing the Pause

When I was a monk, my days began with four hours of meditation. Today, my life looks very different and the demands on my time have increased; I have my team at The Pollination Project to think of, and I am also a husband, father, and community volunteer. Even still,...

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Jim Rivett: Guardian of the Worthwhile

Jim Rivett: Guardian of the Worthwhile

This week, Jim Rivett would have turned 62. Although I never met him, I continue to be inspired by him. Jim died in 2018, but he packed so much life and love into his years on earth that the reverberations of his legacy continue to ripple out. Jim was a boundless...

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“Embrace Her:” Microfinance in Zambia

“Embrace Her:” Microfinance in Zambia

One day, Chimwemwe Chitambala heard a knock on her door. She was living in a student hostel, studying business and economics at the University of Zambia. Chimwemwe opened the door, and found a woman selling fruits and vegetables. These traders, known as “UNZA Veg” in...

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We believe in you

We believe in you

Perhaps you have dreamed of a project that would make the world a better place, but worried you needed to wait for large donations to make it happen. I am here to release you from that misconception. I am here to tell you that you can have an indelible impact in your...

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Darel Scott Sees an “Earth in Color”

Darel Scott Sees an “Earth in Color”

From Darel Scott’s desire to make both nature and the environmental movement more inclusive, Earth in Color was born. Earth in Color started as an art festival on a farm to celebrate people of color and their cultural connections to the natural world. That day under the spring sun—filled with art, food, music, and connection—highlighted the importance of people of color being able to see themselves through this lens of health and sustainability.

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Miracle Adesina: COVID-19 Public Health Information for Indigenous People

Miracle Adesina: COVID-19 Public Health Information for Indigenous People

Like many of us, Miracle Adesina watched the COVID-19 pandemic spread through the lens of social media. As a healthcare professional, what he saw coming through his social feeds gave him great cause for concern. Part of the problem, Miracle felt, was that critical health messages were not available in many of the 70+ indigenous languages throughout Africa. The Pollination Project supported Miracle’s translation project with a seed grant.

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Theory of Change #3: Inner Transformation

Theory of Change #3: Inner Transformation

As grassroots service and individual action bloom in the world, we believe it is important that each changemaker cultivates a lush and verdant inner garden, too. This is why we advance the ideas of #heartivism, which is the intersection of heart and activism.

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The New Normal

The New Normal

Life before COVID was hurried; overcrowded with overwork, overeating, overscheduling, overthinking… “over” just about everything for a great many people. Perhaps in this great collective pause, we have a moment without those distractions to think about what it would mean to build the kind of “normal” that was worth returning to.

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Jennifer Myers Has a “Way With Words”

Jennifer Myers Has a “Way With Words”

Jennifer Rae Myers learned the power of words from her father, Raymond Banks. A writer himself, Raymond raised Jennifer to value the art of communication. He took her to the library after school, encouraged her to read, and showed her through example how to advocate for historically disadvantaged people through language. In third grade, her essay on Harriet Tubman won a writing contest on American heroes, a moment she still recalls as the point in which she realized the gift her father’s encouragement had offered her.

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Assi Flaviurs’ Health and WASH Project Creates a Safer Future for the Children of Cameroon

Assi Flaviurs’ Health and WASH Project Creates a Safer Future for the Children of Cameroon

For the 180 children and 10 staff members who constitute Bome Primary School in Bamenda in the North West Region of Cameroon, going to the bathroom safely and privately is a luxury. As they do not have access to safe and private toilets, for the past 5 years, they instead have had to rely on an old, open dilapidated tent next to their school.

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A Heart of Compassion: Donatella Gelli’s Wildlife Sanctuary Takes in Animals Abandoned Due to COVID-19

A Heart of Compassion: Donatella Gelli’s Wildlife Sanctuary Takes in Animals Abandoned Due to COVID-19

The force that moves me is compassion,” said Gelli, a TPP changemaker whose sanctuary—which, in part, rescues domestic animals who were abandoned because their owners feared they could carry the coronavirus–was awarded funding by TPP’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund. “I cannot see any living thing suffering. I cannot. I’m not able to pass by if I see someone or an animal suffering.

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Foundation Giving, or “The Human Anthill”

Foundation Giving, or “The Human Anthill”

Ants can assemble themselves into living bridges or rafts to escape a flood. Although they are small, they accomplish a lot by focusing on different things and dividing jobs within the colony. But who decides what job each ant does? Who organizes foraging, or mobilizes defense against predators? Who is in charge? In short, nobody.

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Flowing it Forward

Flowing it Forward

To understand flow funding, it first helps to know who makes our funding decisions. Each application we receive is reviewed by at least three “advisors,” which is our term for members of our participatory grantmaking team. The majority of these 100+ volunteers are changemakers whose own work was funded by The Pollination Project in the past.

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