Seeds: Our Blog2019-12-09T11:06:04-08:00

Seeds: Our Blog

Welcome to our blog! We use it to tell our grantees’ stories and to share more about what we are learning here at The Pollination Project.

It’s the little things

If you consider the events that changed your life, how many are moments that may not seem greatly impactful to anyone else? The everyday examples of compassion and small acts of kindness impact each of us differently; sometimes, in ways that can redirect the entire course of our existence. The ordinary moments can mean everything.

The Direction of the River

It has been said that a person cannot step in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and you are not the same person. In case we needed a reminder, 2020 has shown us the relentless constancy of change. In theory, change is a hopeful thing that many of us profess to welcome. In practice, change is something we more frequently resist.

Direct Giving Promotes Diversity

For much of history, giving happened directly. Our model of direct giving to early-stage changemakers acts as an antidote to civic apathy. In truth, we all have a place in this ecosystem of philanthropy: organizations of all sizes, individual grassroots volunteers, and everyone in between. As in any ecosystem, diversity will be our strength.

Beyond the horizon

Human perception is reductive by nature. When we approach the world with humility and curiosity and meditate, without judgment or stereotype, on the unique paths of those whose shoes we may never walk in-- this is empathy. 

Embracing the Pause

To many in the modern world, particularly those in business, dedicating any regular time to meditation may seem impossible given the pace of life [...] Yet this worldview doesn’t align with my own experiences of leadership and growth. I continue to embrace meditative practice because I believe that pressing “pause” is actually more productive than constantly living in “fast-forward.” 

Jim Rivett: Guardian of the Worthwhile

The Canary Fund brings the Pollination Project’s model of heartivism and pollination philanthropy to Northeast Wisconsin. Founded in memory of community leader Jim Rivett, The Canary Fund ensures that his heart for service lives on in the work of local activists, dreamers, visionaries, and doers. Canary Fund grantees are early-stage changemakers whose work likely wouldn’t qualify for other institutional funding; grant decisions are made by a participatory team of volunteer advisors who are close to the issues and communities the projects hail from.

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 tell you that you can have an indelible impact in your community right now, just as you are. Whatever your vision, you already have the most important elements to see it through. In the words of Rumi, “What you seek is seeking you"...

Theory of Change #5: Shifting the Field

Supporting the microgrant model. We chose to invest in grassroots work and now we know that a small grant placed in the right hands can have tremendous impact.

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.

Theory of Change #1: The Power of the Individual

The Pollination Project exists out of this belief in the power and beauty of individuals. Every day, our community chooses an individual whose passion project we collectively uplift with seed funding, capacity-building support, and connectivity.

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.

Divorce Your Ego: The Heartivist Response to Racism

What would it mean if we could express our hearts for service in the most authentic way possible? If we could hear truths about our world and heritage without it undermining our self-efficacy? If when we looked at others, we saw a reflection of ourselves?

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.

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.

On being essential, and being “other”

To be essential means to be absolutely necessary and extremely important. Before COVID-19, a list of “essential” people today might not have included grocery store cashiers, sanitation workers, or truck drivers; yet now, many are realizing the vital role they play in keeping us healthy, fed, and safe. I’ve been thinking about this idea of “essentialism,” how it is evolving, and why. The nature of the roles I described above hasn’t changed. The only shift that has occurred is within our own awareness.

Load More Posts