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 release you from that misconception. I am here to tell you that you can have an indelible impact in your community right now, just as you are. Every day at The Pollination Project reaffirms this essential truth.
We have now gotten reports from roughly a third of the grassroots leaders whose projects were supported through our COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund. Even after two years of leading this inspirational community of global changemakers, I never stop feeling amazed at their efficiency, creativity, and impact.
One data point stood out to me in particular.
Each changemaker was able to serve, on average, roughly 1,049 humans or non-human animals through their project. With just $1,000, and in some cases just $500, this means they delivered food aid, offered vital hygiene supplies, provided community health education, made face masks, or built handwashing facilities, among many other unique projects, that benefitted more individuals than they had dollars.
This highlights my belief that in many cases, the thing that makes a project successful is not funding alone. Certainly, in many cases, funding is a necessary element. Yet the component that truly catalyzes a project to expand beyond the sum of its parts is the affirmation that the funding represents. I hear often from grassroots leaders who cite how much it meant that someone believed in their work and in their individual capacity to see it through.
When given seed funding and belief, changemakers activate those gifts along with their sincere love of community, deep connections with neighbors, and creativity. It isn’t uncommon to see additional support pour in, motivated by the authenticity of these community-led responses. For example, we know from other analysis that, on average, our project leaders leverage an additional 125 hours of volunteer support in service to their work.
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.”
We need not wait for a grant award to tell you!