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 Starts With Communities

The Pollination Project has funded grantees in over 110 countries working on almost any kind of project you can imagine (that almost is important - there’s always room for your idea as well!). And with that broad scope comes the question - what do they have in common? We think there are many answers to that question. But, for now, here’s a big one: community. The 14 projects below all represent efforts that are by community members, serve communities, and build community. They show us what can [...]

What is Your Unique Contribution to the World?

Though we are bound together by our shared humanity, each of us see the world from a unique perspective that is shaped by our experience– we feel joy for different reasons, we live through different challenges, and, in turn, we dream of changing the world in different ways and for different reasons. Though the 14 projects below address different issues in different ways, they each represent dreams of a better world becoming action. And for us they represent inspiration – it is never too late to make [...]

7 Activists on Community Outreach as a Means of Changing the World

Breaking the Stigma and Discrimination project is working to mitigate discrimination based on sexual orientation, identity, and gender expression within the LGBTI community in the Dominican Republic. They make visible the violations of human rights that often affect this base population, and collaborate with the formation of vulnerable groups. The group carries out training courses in the field of human rights of the educators and target population, serving as multipliers and replicating this information to other people in different vulnerable groups of the LGBT population, with special [...]

Movement is Healing, Especially for the Black Body

Dance and movement have been one of the main sources of release for me. As I examine the themes of the collection of grantees I’ve supported, a common throughline is that they all are rooted in expanding opportunities and spaces where bodies, young and old, agile and frail, male and female, can move.

The Power of Introducing Youth to Supplementary Learning Experiences

Under-represented youth are many times underserved in school because of the lack of resources their schools and communities have available. The lack of resources not only affect their traditional learning experience, but commonly lead to the nonexistence of supplementary educational experiences such as STEM, art, and etiquette programs.

Philanthropy Through Youth Eyes

I was 20 years old when I received my first Pollination Project (TPP) grant. As a sophomore in college, I had recently applied to the Clinton Global Initiative Conference and submitted a commitment to action for Get Them to the Green. The project? A week-long summer camp to engage young people in Chicago with topics related to environmental science, climate change, and sustainability. My vision was grand; we’d debate the causes behind climate change, visit urban gardens in Chicago and hear from various organizations in the city working [...]

Every Piece Has It’s Part: Our Message to [YOU]th Applying for a TPP Seed Grant

You’re HERE. Reading this blog. Trying to figure out - “should I go for a Pollination Project seed grant?” [Hopefully] You’ve checked out the website to see the photos and videos of people doing the things they love, working with and for the people they truly care about: and in this case, you’re seeing the smiling/inquisitive/accomplished/supported faces of kids, teens, youth, and young adults from around the world. And the world as we know it is … well, a large place to be. The earth is over [...]

Kindness…In All Shapes and Sizes

Global Kindness and Youth Leadership Team Members Happiness Sprinkling in Fairfax, CA. I believe in Kindness. Not just in acting kindly, but that kindness can save our world. Unfortunately, it seems to me we’ve become so busy and sometimes too greedy to take the time to help others. I say this is unfortunate because being kind makes us feel good and its contagious spreading ripples of joy. The beautiful thing is kindness comes in all shapes and sizes making it easy to be kind every day. [...]

Signs, Inspiration, and Responsibility: My Path Toward Youth Advocacy

Recently, I found myself watching a video by a veteran named Richard Pimentel. His speech on being a leader resonated with me. He said “responsibility is a word made up of two words, the word ‘response’ and the word ‘ability’.” Responsibility isn’t what someone puts on you. Responsibility isn’t your job description.” He went on to say, “we all find ourselves looking at situations and we all find ourselves with abilities and what we have to ask is: given my abilities what then will be my response to [...]

Second Annual Meditation Retreat for Farm Animal Advocates

During a highly stressful week while LA apartment shopping and managing a full schedule, I called to notify the retreat staff I would no longer be able to participate in their most generous offer. “I am so sorry but I just don’t have the luxury of taking time off” I explained. Ari Nessel calmly replied that I would never feel I have the time to take a week off and there will always be something we are dealing with in this life. He talked me through my [...]

How Can Engaging Youth Bring Them Purpose?

What a fun morning on a beautiful sunny day in San Diego County visiting with Craig Williams, a teacher at Sunset High School, a continuation school designed to give extensive help to students in need of flexibility and individualized attention. Craig received a grant from the Pollination Project back in 2013 to support his “garden pass” program and he invited us to catch up with him. The garden idea started when Craig wondered one day, how to bring his “Happy Place” from home to school. His happy [...]

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 staff and a shred of infrastructure to run it all.  But the applications were coming and media wanted to talk about us, so the day chose us-- January 1, 2013-- the day that The Pollination Project made [...]

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 philanthropic wall that keeps funders separate from hardworking local activists. This wall is built upon language barriers, limited access to technology, bureaucratic aversion, and the effects of centuries of colonization. And now my passion is tearing it down! My path [...]

Leadership With a Listening Heart Led to My Transformation

Leadership and connecting with the community is valuable. We all have a place in our community, and it is up to each of us to seek that place. Our community can grow as much as we can grow personally. Our community can transform as much as we can transform. Our community can speak as much as we speak. Our community can connect, as much as we connect. My experiences with The Pollination Project as a Grantee and Fellow (aka Flow Funder) with the Youth Development Hub has helped [...]

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 applied for my first grant in 2014, my second grant (for another project) in 2015 and received an Impact Grant in 2016. So when I was approached about becoming a Flow Fund Fellow, it seemed too good to be true! Me, receiving a stipend [...]

Youth Leadership in Compton

Have you ever imagined that you were a millionaire and had lots of money to donate to charities and people in need? Well, Im not a millionaire, not yet at least, but I was given the opportunity to serve as a Flow Funder for The Pollination Project's Youth Leadership Hub where I was able to give local organizations and individuals who are committed to positively impacting their community a "seed" grant. Theses grants were a thousand dollars and gave grass roots organizations the much needed support to launch [...]

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