Our Model of Grantee Engagement

At The Pollination Project, we seek to unleash goodness and expand compassion all over the world, and we believe in the power of individuals to best effect that change. That’s why every day we make small grants to people who are bringing their dream for a better world to fruition. That’s why we walk beside them on their journeys, providing ongoing financial support, encouragement, and connections to multiple forms of capital. That’s why we provide non-financial help as well, such as mentorship, trainings, and peer-to-peer networking opportunities that are designed to support their own personal growth and resilience, which in turn boosts their ability to make a direct impact in the world and helps them to sustain their work.

To these ends, we provide resources to social changemakers the world over through:

  • Our Daily Grants

  • Our Impact Grants

  • Our Ladder (or collaborative) Funding

  • Our Non-Financial Support

Our Resources for Social Changemakers:

Our Daily Grants

Our pioneering Daily Grant program makes $1,000 micro grants 365 days a year to grassroots global change agents who seek to spread compassion in their communities and in the world for the benefit of all. Our daily grant making began on January 1, 2013 and since then, we have funded a different project every single day.

Because we believe change happens most effectively at the local level, our goals for this program include supporting community-driven grassroots initiatives that empower individuals and inspire others.

Through our focus on individuals working at the grassroots level, we gain the
chance to uplift the voices of diverse and often marginalized leaders whose initiatives are commonly overlooked by larger institutional funders, thus adding to the breadth of the range of solutions available and increasing local ownership of the work.

Impact Grants

Each year, TPP invites eligible grantees–-who, through the Daily Grant program. have produced outsized returns of compassion from relatively small initial investments and are ready to take their work to the next level–-to apply for up to $5,000 in an Impact Grant.

We believe that this program is vital because we know how important second-round funding can be to early-stage projects and because it serves as a means of deepening our relationships with our grantees. Through this program, we wish to demonstrate to the world the power of individual changemakers to recognize and realize the power that they hold as agents of change.

We believe that when individuals recognize this power, they typically continue striving for good, and their impact ripples out into the world in a myriad of positive ways.

Ladder (or collaborative) Funding

As our grantee network grows and the projects we support bloom and reach maturity, the need for grantees to be able to access financial capital beyond the scope of our initial micro grants and subsequent Impact Grants becomes ever more clear. In response to this need, TPP develops collaborative efforts with other funders, which we call Ladder Funding.

In this model, eligible grantees are assessed by the strength of their work and/or strong alignment with the values of TPP and/or our partner groups. If the eligible grantees meet our partners funding criteria, they are connected directly to our partners to obtain additional funding to support them in achieving their long-term goals.

This structure allows for grantees to connect directly with other funders, diversifying their base of funding and building relationships that support the long-term growth of their work and thus deepening their social capital, shifting their relationship with TPP to one of “partner” rather than solely “funder.”

By building our grantees’ capacity in this way, we deepen relationships and foster collaboration so that grantees are better resourced to carry out their work in effective and efficient ways. This, in turn, opens up opportunities for grantees to better engage with our mission and values, resulting in greater and broader impact that is more deeply aligned with our vision for a more just world and that has great potential to create ripples outward.

Non-Financial Support

TPP also aims to deepen relationships and foster collaboration as grantees’ partner by offering non-financial support in the form of mentorships, training, hubs, peer-to-peer networking, and grantee resources.

Providing these tangible, valuable, and much-desired resources has a number of purposes.

Firstly, grantees’ capacity to act effectively in their work is increased as they acquire skills, form connections to others working towards similar goals, and gain access to more financial capital.

Secondly, as we provide these trainings and support the framework for interpersonal connections, our relationship and mutual trust with grantees grows and we are better able to support their connections to each other. Participation in these opportunities thus facilitates their engagement in group activities that are the precursor to the emergence of self-organized communities of practice that serve a greater purpose than simply the development of one’s own work.

How Our Model of Engagement Effects Change

Through this four-tiered model of grantee engagement, TPP aims to support grantees in their efforts to deepen their own contemplative practices. Through facilitating authentic and vulnerable connection to others around the world and modeling the importance of process over outcome in our own work, we enable grantees to do their work from a place that is more deeply rooted in compassion, with greater resilience, and with more capacity for self-compassion and equanimity.

In turn, our grantees are provided with opportunities to see our shared humanity made visible; to empathize and see good across the planet; to question their own assumptions, position, and perspective; and to gain increased understanding of the interconnectedness of all life.

By leveraging these opportunities, TPP and our grantees are able to break down barriers, reduce othering, and join in the power of our shared capacity for good – no matter where that takes place, what that looks like, or in what language the work is done.

Our Vision & Values
Our Theory of Change