Frequently Asked Questions 2017-08-18T16:34:53+00:00

Frequently Asked Questions About Our Grant Process

We make initial grants of up to $1,000. Successful grantees become eligible for larger impact grants of up to $5000 and other support.
First, please complete our prescreen questionnaire. If you meet our basic guidelines, you will receive a link to our online application. We cannot accept applications via Facebook, snail mail or cut and pasted into the body of an email.
In order to apply, we require:

  • That your project meets our funding guidelines.
  • That your organization or group does not have any paid staff.
  • That this grant would not be used for ongoing operating expenses for an established project or group.
  • For grants outside the US we require that the applicant has either:
    • a bank account that can receive payments in US dollars in their name or the name of their organization
    • OR a Paypal account in their own name or in the name of their organization .
    • We cannot complete payment for grants where the applicant or organization does not have either a Paypal or bank account in their name, and we cannot make payments via any other persons’ account.

We hope this list is useful to you as you prepare your application! Applications which do not meet these criteria will automatically be declined, so please take the time to ensure your application matches our guidelines.

The Purpose of a Pollination Project Seed Grant is to support passionate, committed people with an early-stage social change vision. We fund individuals and community groups, and you do not need to be a registered or established organization to apply.

Our Grants are designed to:

  1. Support passionate, committed people with a social change vision.
  2. Support projects in their early stage of development and where a small amount of money will go a very long way – we want to kick start your dreams for a better world.
  3. Help ensure sustainability of your work – during review, we often ask: “what happens once the grant runs out?”
  4. Cover costs such as supplies, program materials, direct travel expenses for program implementation, website fees, discounted professional services, printing, copying, promotional costs, technical support.
  5. Pay for 501(c)(3) filing fees and expenses only if your project meets our specific conditions. Please read more about the funding conditions here.
  6. Support projects with a clear target audience, and a compelling plan to reach and impact that target audience in a positive way. If your project involves video or other media production, then this element of your plan will receive particularly careful attention from our team.
  7. Support projects that do not expect to earn profit, or where any income will be used for a purely charitable effort. We do also offer Pay it forward loans to support for-profit social benefit projects.
  8. Cover costs similar to these examples.

We are unable to fund the following:

  1. We cannot support projects which directly conflict with our mission and values, such as those which involve the farming of any animals.
  2. We do not make grants to projects that have well established funding sources, or that have any paid staff working on the specific project or other work for the organization.
  3. We do not make grants to projects where the primary benefit is to the grantee or to any one individual.
  4. We cannot support projects that influence the outcome of any specific election for candidates to public office, inducing or encouraging violations of law or public policy or causing any improper private benefit to occur.
  5. We do not award grants that require grant payments via Moneygram, Western Union or any other cash-based payment system and can only make payments outside the USA using bank wire transfer or Paypal to the account of the person or organization applying for funding.
  6. We cannot fund the following specific costs:
    • Scholarships, training fees or travel fees for one person to attend a training
    • Computers, tablets, or other technology where the primary benefit is for one person, or where the project only needs the equipment for short term use
    • Animal products of any kind – including, but not limited to, meat, dairy, leather, and wool
    • T-shirts which are to be given away or donated (shirts to be sold to raise money and uniforms for team members are okay)
    • Items which are to be donated to others on a one time basis (such as clothing, medical supplies, and textbooks)
    • Payments to the grantee or a member of the grantee’s family for their time or services
    • One time use or disposable items
    • Paper products which do not make use of either 100% recycled materials, or the most ecologically sound alternative if recycled is not available
    • GMO seeds, synthetic/chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, and other similar products which are harmful to the environment and to those who use them
In addition to the written application form, we encourage all applicants to create an informal, short (2-3 minute) video explaining your project. For example, you could have a friend interview you about the project and film it. The video helps us learn more about who you are, but it is not mandatory. Please upload your video to a sharing website, create whatever privacy settings are appropriate for you, and send us the link with your application materials.
This is not mandatory, but people who have a recommendation from a community partner are twice as likely to get funded as someone who doesn’t. Please see our current list of community partners.

If you would like a nomination from a community partner who knows you and your work well, please ask them to send a recommendation to us at [email protected]

Once you submit your application, it takes a minimum of 6-8 weeks to get an answer (the process may take 12 weeks or more if we have follow up questions and there is a delay in sending supporting materials). For detailed information on the process (and to learn where your application is in this process), click here.

We try to provide specific feedback on all applications that we receive. However, due to the volume of applications, we cannot always provide specific feedback about applications. If you want to see common reasons that we don’t fund applications, please click here.
As long as you think you fit within our funding guidelines and you have significantly revised your application, then absolutely!

Please check your spam folder after waiting at least 5 minutes. If you still do not get it, please feel free to contact us here.
We do not fund ongoing operations of projects and rarely fund the same project twice. However, we sometimes fund people twice. If a grantee proposes an entirely new second project, and has completed the reporting requirements on their first project, we will consider the new project for funding. However, we always prioritize new projects and new grantees.
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 for working on the project, then we will not need to issue a 1099 or report your grant income to the IRS.

We do fund projects outside the US. In order to facilitate payment to international grantees, grants made outside the US require a bank account or verified paypal account for payment. International grants must be for projects that are conducted entirely outside of the US. We will require a W8 form from all foreign taxpayers, and we carry out screening through the US Department of Treasury’s SDN list. Please note: We are unable to issue grant payments via Western Union, Moneygram or any other cash-based system.
We will pay you after we receive your signed grant agreement letter, project photo(s) and any other material requested. If you do not have a US social security number or pay taxes in the US, we will need additional paperwork including a photo ID. In some cases, we may split grants into more than one installment.

We do not fund well-established nonprofit organizations with paid staff, and only accept applications for seed funding, as opposed to ongoing operational or program costs of a nonprofit organization. If your organization is eligible and we choose to award funding in support of your work, then you will have the opportunity to specify how you would like to receive your payment .
If your project is selected for funding, you agree to:

  1. 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.
  2. Take photos or videos showcasing your project in action, and include these photos and videos in your project report.
  3. Track your expenses and submit all receipts with your final report to show how you spent the grant funds.
  4. Allow your project to be highlighted, publicized and shared by The Pollination Project.
  5. 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.
Here are the most common reasons we are unable to fund projects. Remember, we receive far more applications than grants available and we unfortunately can’t fund everything. To make your application more competitive, please read our guidelines carefully!

Please email us at [email protected] and we will do our best to get back to you quickly.