#Archive
Looking for Answers Through Being in the NOW

Looking for Answers Through Being in the NOW

It is well known that humanity is suffering from an alarming growth in the rates of mental health illnesses, especially related to activists (environmental, social, and animal defenders) who are constantly under risk situations or exposed to graphic violence. If we...

read more
Five Years of The Pollination Project

Five Years of The Pollination Project

It was almost exactly 5 years ago when we started. One $1000 grant a day to a good hearted person making positive change in their community or in the world. As the founding Executive Director, I really hadn’t planned for us to make the daily grants until we had a...

read more
Money Can Break Down Walls in Philanthropy

Money Can Break Down Walls in Philanthropy

I am an environmentalist and Mexican-American with dual citizenship, and in 2012 I relocated back to my native Mexico. There is a lot of talk these days about walls between my two countries- the US and Mexico. But the wall I’ve been most focused on lately is the...

read more
Reflections on Community Grantmaking as a TPP Fellow

Reflections on Community Grantmaking as a TPP Fellow

I must have received messages about the first announcements about the Pollination Project from about a dozen people. As a community organizer, I am constantly on the search for foundations who provide for grassroots projects, as they are so few and far between. I...

read more
Youth Are Rising in CA

Youth Are Rising in CA

In the midst of today's political turmoil, numerous California youth communities are taking action to generate community health, justice, and resilience. Through our newest program, Youth Rising, we are supporting powerful youth on the ground like the Semillas...

read more
Seeding Change in Kisumu, Kenya

Seeding Change in Kisumu, Kenya

It is 9 pm in Kenya, my phone rings and it is Franciska on the other end. She is one of the recipients of the 'flow fund' grants that I made through the Pollination Project's East Africa Hub. She asks how I am and proceeds to inform me that she is away for 3 days...

read more
Born Barefoot

Born Barefoot

The Summer Olympics are in full swing. American swimmers & gymnasts, Jamaican runners, and Irish rowers have all won gold. Eyes will be fixated on Rio until August 21st. The Olympic opening ceremonies were spectacular; could be the best ever. Of all the highlights...

read more
One Heart at a Time

One Heart at a Time

Jude Thaddeus Njikem is an advocate for women in Cameroon. He is an educator and activist who works to end violence against women in his country, and bring about conditions of equality for women.

read more
David Omondi, An Advocate for Girls in Kenya

David Omondi, An Advocate for Girls in Kenya

Born and raised in a Western Kenyan slum, grantee David Omondi knows first-hand what it’s like growing malnourished, how it feels living in a single room with his whole family, and the difficulties of trying focus on completing school work in a crowded and often...

read more
Made with a Dash of Love Always

Made with a Dash of Love Always

Shari Jones is a bright young lady with a good head on her shoulders and a passion for giving back to young children in her community. She is committed to her two young girls, and making sure they get their needs met, which motivates her to help other young girls in...

read more
Hayu Dyah: Back to the Roots – Community Health in Indonesia

Hayu Dyah: Back to the Roots – Community Health in Indonesia

Beginning in the 1970s, Hayu’s home country of Indonesia experienced great interest from multinational food producers. These firms sought to drastically increase food yields so they could supply a burgeoning global market. For example, genetically modified seeds for rice, known as I8 rice, were one of the experimental mechanisms that began during this time that led to 30% more rice yields.

read more
Keeping Girls in School:  Meet Lila Kiwelu and Mdada

Keeping Girls in School: Meet Lila Kiwelu and Mdada

How does a seed grant grow and sprout into sustainable, and fruitful impact? Travel with us to Kenya, where a lot of young girls are missing days, or months of school because they cannot afford it. Grantee Lila Kiwelu and her project Mdada, strives to keep girls in...

read more
Introducing Our Hub Team – Suzan Joy

Introducing Our Hub Team – Suzan Joy

Suzan Wilmot grew up straddling the line between poverty and privilege, a foot in each world as her father struggled to raise her single handedly while doing odd jobs for wealthier families. These contrasting experiences gave her the chance to determine what is truly meaningful in life. The history we go through shapes our future and determine what we can become in life, and Suzan didn’t let this situation stop her dreams.

read more
Introducing Our Hub Team – Jimmy Amone

Introducing Our Hub Team – Jimmy Amone

In 1994, when Jimmy Amone was about 7 years old, he and his parents left the village to settle in the City of Kampala due to the civil war in Northern Uganda. While living in the city, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Information Technology from Nkumba University. Upon completing his degree course, and with the spirit of volunteerism and compassion that he possessed towards life, he wanted to use his new acquired knowledge, skills and experiences gained in Information Communication Technology, leadership, debate, and sports to help his community. So, in 2010, he returned to Northern Uganda and settled in Kitgum village.

read more
Introducing Our Hub Team – Sitawa Wafula

Introducing Our Hub Team – Sitawa Wafula

Women never cease to amaze me. I am in awe of the superlative dedication they put in to whatever they do. Every time I read about people changing the world, I am introduced to strong-willed women who would give their life to make the world a better place. As a 2016 Fellow with the Pollination Project’s East Africa Hub, I have met an incredible woman who is transforming the world of mental health, one blog, video, or training session at a time.
Sitawa Wafula is a rare bird. As a rape survivor living with a dual diagnosis of epilepsy and bipolar disorder, she has dedicated her life to providing people in Kenya and Africa with the vital information and support that they need to handle mental health conditions and deal with everyday life.

read more
Introducing Our Hub Team – Vincent Atitwa

Introducing Our Hub Team – Vincent Atitwa

The story of the Pollination Project is one that is often best told through the stories of its grantees. This is certainly the case for Kenya, and a good place to start is with the story of Vincent Atitwa.
Born as the 11th child in a family that survived largely on subsistence farming in rural Western Kenya, Vincent grew up with little access to basic needs like food and education, and even suffered from malnutrition throughout his childhood. As a young man, Vincent realized that “for many people in the world, no matter how hard they choose to work, they cannot achieve the same level of security and access to resources.”

read more
Healthy Heart, Healthy Habits

Healthy Heart, Healthy Habits

Admit it: Sometimes as adults we are just not in the mood to eat our vegetables and become bored of the same old salads. In inner city Los Angeles, how do you get kids excited and willing to eat GREEN and healthy when there is a McDonald’s or other fast food option on...

read more
Listen Up, Parents!  The Keys to Developing a Rock Star Kid

Listen Up, Parents! The Keys to Developing a Rock Star Kid

At the age of 4, Kim Ponce’s son, Thomas, said to her that he wouldn’t eat anything with a face.  At age 5, Thomas would go online and google about his interest in animals – and he found Peta Kids. In Kindergarten, a teacher suggested to his mom that he start watching...

read more
Can You Be “Drawn to Help”?

Can You Be “Drawn to Help”?

Are you amazed when someone actually does something to help others? I mean, how many times do you wish you could help the world but you go back to your routine and forget about it?  Steve Barr lost several people he knew to cancer, watching as they struggled, and...

read more
The Ties that Bind Us:  Mary Justine Todd

The Ties that Bind Us: Mary Justine Todd

After nearly three years of thoughtfully and tirelessly working through regional, cultural and political challenges, Pollination Project grantee Mary-Justine Todd has just opened a full scale crisis center for victims of domestic and sexual abuse in the Middle East....

read more
If you feel like giving up

If you feel like giving up

Sometimes trying to see how we can make a positive impact in the world is daunting. It is easy to feel like we are too small, and that the problems facing our planet are too big and too many, for us to make a difference. It is at these times that we look to our...

read more
Adriana Bueno & The BiblioVan Part 2

Adriana Bueno & The BiblioVan Part 2

In Part 1 of this interview with Adriana Bueno, Founder of Habitat Sur, in the Colombia Amazon, she shared how the Bibliovan was born and what she had to overcome to be where she is. Here, she shares what breaks her heart (like tree cutting in the Amazon Rainforest),...

read more
Travis Hysell & Innovation/Design

Travis Hysell & Innovation/Design

I met with Travis Hysell on an overcast day in late May. We spent the afternoon talking about the various projects of the Legacy Initiative in the very coffee shop where many of the community enrichment ideas of the three year old, all volunteer run organization, have...

read more
The Choiceless Choice

The Choiceless Choice

Have you ever known you had to make a certain choice without knowing exactly why? Somewhere, somehow, in the middle of your stomach, you have a “gut” feeling that says you must act. As we listen to this deeper voice, we are listening to what some call intuition. It is...

read more
What is Wrong With What We Eat?  Healthy Food Heals!

What is Wrong With What We Eat? Healthy Food Heals!

Did you ever wonder what pushes people to start a non-profit whose primary purpose is to help others? I am in awe of the change makers like our grantees at TPP. I wonder who and what gives them the strength to get started, the energy to keep going, what inspires them, what scares them.
I spoke recently with Jenny Lowrey, founder of From the Ground Up, a young non-profit organization in Chico, CA, that is about growing and sharing healthy food as well as educating about it.

read more
Our Passion is You

Our Passion is You

The Pollination Project recently won a Passion Award for being one of the most passionate nonprofits in the Bay Area, CA! Want to know what we really passionate about?

read more
Planting Seeds

Planting Seeds

You know the “Be the Change You Wish to See in the World” quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi? At the Pollination Project, we loved it so much, at one point we considered naming ourselves the “Be the Change” Foundation. I come from a nonprofit background and have been...

read more
Applicant’s Bill of Rights

Applicant’s Bill of Rights

In early 2014, there was a breakdown. An applicant was waiting nearly 3 months to get a response from us about an application she submitted.  She was told by different people, "we'll let you know in 6 weeks," and "here's our last question" followed by three more...

read more
The 21-Day Kindness Challenge

The 21-Day Kindness Challenge

The 21-Day Kindness Challenge launched on September 11th. 98 countries. 6000 people. And a collective tidal wave of good that inspired many — including young rapper-activist “Nimo” Patel at the Gandhi Ashram in India. Nimo wasted no time channeling that inspiration into an infectious music video.

read more
Project Backlash:  YAY!

Project Backlash: YAY!

Imagine driving down a busy street in a bad mood and seeing a lighthearted happy flash mob holding signs that say, "It's going to be okay."  The Happiness Sprinkling Project, one of our most recent grantees, has taken place pop-up style in 20 cities all over the US....

read more
Report from the Plains:  A Keystone XL Pilgrimage

Report from the Plains: A Keystone XL Pilgrimage

This Spring, we funded Shodo Spring, a Zen monk, and a team of people walking from Hardisty, Alberta, Canada to Steele City, Nebraska (the route of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline/Great Plains section).  The Compassionate Earth Walk is in its 16th day and Shodo is...

read more
What it Means to Give Birth to a Dream

What it Means to Give Birth to a Dream

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. -Goethe Laura Weiss was awarded a Pollination Project grant his past winter to build a community garden for refugee populations in Omaha, Nebraska.  On her blog, Laura admits...

read more
Bérangère Maïa Parizeau & Noam Chomsky

Bérangère Maïa Parizeau & Noam Chomsky

We gave Maïa a Pollination Project grant to help her make a documentary about Professor Noam Chomsky and his commentary on our planetary environmental crisis.  See the original grant announcement.  We enjoyed her update so much, we wanted to share it! "Meeting...

read more
A Grantee Update from Nikki Myers

A Grantee Update from Nikki Myers

Pollination Project grantee, Nikki Meyers, recently wrote this post for Mind Body Green about her journey into addiction recovery through yoga.  Nikki is the founder of Yoga for 12 Step Recovery and we loved the humanity, authenticity and love that comes through in...

read more
Solutionaries!

Solutionaries!

Recently, grantee David Sidwell produced the first- ever Solutionaries Congress.  Building on the amazing work of Zoe Weil and the Institute for Humane Education, David explains, "Solutionaries are people who transform unjust, unsustainable, and inhumane systems into...

read more
Inspired by Jennie Kay, the Detroit Sanctuary Project

Inspired by Jennie Kay, the Detroit Sanctuary Project

Jennie Kay, a Detroit native, set out to do something really ambitious.  She is organizing an army of volunteers to photograph every single house of worship on every street of Detroit, Michigan.  By documenting spaces of "sanctuary" Jennie hopes to create a new kind...

read more
Wisdom 2.0, Marianne Williamson and Community

Wisdom 2.0, Marianne Williamson and Community

This past weekend I attended parts of the Wisdom 2.0 Conference in San Francisco.  The Conference, in its 4th year, is focused on the intersection of technology, wisdom and interconnection. It is a gathering of 1,500 people across the technology and "mindfulness"...

read more
What Can One Person Do to Change the World?

What Can One Person Do to Change the World?

The Highlander Center, credited with training Rosa Parks and some of the greatest social justice and civil rights leaders of our time, posted this photo on 2/1/13.  They reminded us that 53 years ago at 4:30pm, four brave students at A&T University sat down at a...

read more
Featured Grantee: Leah Lamb, My Planet

Featured Grantee: Leah Lamb, My Planet

By Peggy Hilden Watch the Trailer for "Seagulls" Each week we read through incredible applications and have an opportunity to share some of the enthusiasm, dedication and passion of the applicants – people with a deep desire to give something back to their...

read more
What is "The Pollination Model" of Philanthropy?

What is "The Pollination Model" of Philanthropy?

Want to learn more about why we do what we do?  Check out Alissa Hauser's article at Philanthrogeek.  Click here to go to the article.  And if you just can't wait to read the whole thing, here's a short excerpt: ....By any logical standard, it is grossly inefficient...

read more
Featured Grantee:  José Ramon

Featured Grantee: José Ramon

by Mark Morrison As a physical therapist, José Ramon Gonzales had always been interested in the benefits of a healthy lifestyle including fresh garden vegetables.  After several years as a physical therapist, he grew empty inside and began contemplating what inspired...

read more