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:
- Support passionate, committed people with a social change vision.
- 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.
- Help ensure sustainability of your work – during review, we often ask: “what happens once the grant runs out?”
- Cover costs such as supplies, program materials, direct travel expenses, website fees, discounted professional services, printing, copying, promotional costs, technical support.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cover costs similar to these examples.
We are unable to fund the following:
- We cannot support projects which directly conflict with our mission and values, such as those which involve the farming of any animals.
- We do not make grants to projects that have well established funding sources, or that have any paid staff.
- We do not make grants to projects where the primary benefit is to the grantee or to any one individual.
- 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.
- We do not award grants that require grant payments via Moneygram, Western Union or any other cash-based payment system.
- 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
- Food for meetings, training sessions, or gatherings
- 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
When starting a new social change venture, it can be overwhelming to think about how to use $500-$1000 in a strategic way that benefits your project. Our goal is to provide you with a little seed funding that can really make a difference to your project over the long term.
To help you brainstorm, here’s some things we’ve funded in the past:
- Renting or purchasing equipment necessary to do a project. Some items that we’ve funded in this category include yoga mats and props, a projector, a bike trailer, tools.
- Outreach materials. We have funded recycled-content promotional postcards, videos, graphic design, flyers and website fees.
- Infrastructure development. Any project that is seeking to do long term work needs infrastructure. We have funded corporate/nonprofit filing fees (in some cases), technological support, database development, business planning, fundraising and strategic planning support.
- Expert support to help with the project launch. We don’t fund grantee time, but we do fund discounted services including graphic design, website programming, technological support, video editing, legal, accounting set up, business planning, fundraising support and program evaluation.
- Program launch costs. In some instances we have funded travel, lodging and other travel/conference expenses if they are crucially important to launching a project.
We hope this list of ideas helps gets you thinking about how a small seed grant could help you launch your project! Good luck!