How Small Seed Grants Make a Difference 2017-03-03T16:21:17+00:00

How Does $1000 Make a Difference?

Ask Our Grantees!

Our grantees share how their Pollination Project seed grant helped them build and expand their startup projects.

Christy Evers, Everybody Eats: Community Food and Pollinator Gardens, New Jersey, USA

This grant gave me the confidence to organize volunteers and plant gardens in land that I did not have access to before. The food garden grew at least 60 pounds of vegetables and herbs in only a 10' x 10' space. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to work with this group. Simply put, without this funding and support I would not have been able to afford to begin this project at all. I also feel like people took me more seriously knowing I was being supported by another foundation.

Chelsey Everest, The Writing Sangha, Philadelphia, USA

The Writing Sangha is based on community-building, and I realized the workshop itself needed to live in a physical space suited for the kind of powerful healing work it was designed to promote. The more I looked for this space, and the more I talked about the workshop's evolution with my Trust advisors, the more I became empowered to create this space myself. With the help of Trust personnel, I've become the owner of a women's art space called The Common Room, which will feature a storefront offering fine art and functional wares by local women artists, as well as workshop space for The Writing Sangha and other groups focused on healing and wellness. Because of the work that has sprouted from this one seed grant, I'm now able to offer an actual space for women to express themselves and grow together. This seed grant empowered me to believe in myself and my passion and seek out others who could help me grow. I've felt so validated by this process, and can't believe how far I've come in less than a year since receiving the grant: I've gained fiscal sponsorship, been through an intensive business-planning course through my sponsor, become the owner of a B-Corp LLC, and will be opening the doors to a women's community space in less than a month. All it takes is one seed for something beautiful to grow.

Joseph Knight, StandUP, Cambridge, UK

Often it is hard to see how your actions are helping achieve social justice, however the grant made us feel that our work is valued and makes a difference. It gave us fresh energy to expand and grow the realms of youth advocacy and we discovered a force within ourselves to do everything we can to end animal exploitation. The Pollination Project gives me hope that our world will one day be free from hate and full of compassion, it is so inspiring to part of such an extensive global network of social change leaders. We could not be more thankful for being part of this movement, together we will achieve social justice. Thank you so much for all your support, what seemed like a daunting process was made simple by your lovely staff. It has been amazing to be part of a global community for fighting for social change. It has been a brilliant experience and we can't wait to develop our project further!

Ivy Nyawira Wahito, Using IT for Sexual and Reproductive Rights awareness, Machakos, Kenya

On a personal level, the grant has enabled us to take the lead and be bold enough to explore opportunities and territories we feel that are not meant for us. To break barriers and cycles that continue viewing women as second class citizens and to take advantage of any opportunities that come our way to personally develop ourselves.

Apio Josephine, Mushroom growing and Peanut butter Machine for the elderly, Tororo, Uganda

In most cases we have ideas but we are limited by resource to achieve our goals. It takes personal commitment to take a step and do something. Teamwork, record keeping, willingness, integrity, transparency, monitoring and evaluation can determine our success to our set goals. I am humbled and thankful to The Pollination Project for entrusting me with the grant. My team has learnt to treasure and embrace small beginning. They all learnt that through dedication and love for others, they can begin small and grow big in the long run.

Murthy Kantimahanti, Community-based Conservation of King Cobras in the Eastern Ghats of South India, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India

Snakes have always been largely misunderstood and neglected animals in India. Getting support from the Pollination Project to initiate community-based conservation of king cobras in a largely underappreciated landscape like the Eastern Ghats made a huge difference to us as a team on a personal level. It enabled us to reach out to the rural communities living in remote areas in a more efficient way than ever before and work with them to pave way for establishing a harmonious relationship between human and snakes. More importantly, the grant enabled us to start "Save The Snakes" Initiative! It highly motivated us to work more intensively considering this initiative as a major stride towards long-term conservation of native snake populations and protections of their habitats in the Eastern Ghats of South India.

Keagan Anfuso, The Grey Area, Jacksonville, FL, USA

As the director and main subject of the film, this project is deeply personal and passionate for me. I knew going into this project that it was going to require an immense amount of resilience in response to rejection when reaching out for support which I have encountered many times throughout the fight to keep us moving forward. When you are in that fight, every small show of support revitalizes your momentum and reminds everyone involved that someone out there really believes in what you're doing and sees the importance in your work. Receiving the TPP grant and seeing our project on the same list as so many other phenomenal projects that were chosen really lifted us up and pushed us to the next obstacle to overcome with confidence. The TPP team have been wonderful to us. We are very proud to attach the TPP name to our project both along the way and in the final crediting of our film to be seen by every audience we can reach.

Holly Feral, Driftwood Magazine, Portland, OR, USA

Growing a print publication from scratch in this day and age is already a massive feat that few are willing to take on. Doing it within the niche of veganism can seem even more daunting. Getting the grant from Pollination gave myself and my team the confidence that there are people who believe in our project and that is invaluable. It is incredibly difficult to keep morale up during the rough years of start-up and these supportive acts keep us going. Thank you. There are a lot of preconceived notions about the contents of a vegan magazine that we have struggled to thrive inside of. We're not only working to create a beautiful magazine, we also find ourselves doing the extra work of changing people's expectations when confronted with a vegan magazine because we focus on culture rather than food. It has been an incredible undertaking and your support and faith in us was and is invaluable. It is our belief that it is social pressure more than food preferences that keep people from going vegan. And so, as we undertake the effort of pushing a paradigm shift, it is organizations like yours investing in the community that keep our engines going. So, once again, thank you. We truly couldn't have done this without your support.

Amy Bramlett Turner, HSMS and HSHS Dance Program, Hot Springs, AR, USA

This grant was a prayer answered. In my first year of teaching, I refused to send students on stage in t-shirts or without shoes just because the student could not afford to buy it or the parent did not see the value in the dance experience. Because of the faith and support of The Pollination Project, I was able to provide all 150 students with the inclusive experience and prove to the students, parents, administration, and community, that these students are capable of commitment, dedication, emotional focus, and cognitive problem solving skills. They deserve the chance to experience all that the dance world has to offer, and with The Pollination Project Grant, I was able to provide that. The shoes, costumes, and tights still live in the HSMS/HSHS Dance Program Closet and has grown immensely. The students also see the support you have given and will hopefully learn by example to become a strong, supportive and generous member of his/her community.

Michelle Carrera, Chilis on Wheels, Brooklyn NY, USA

The Pollination Project has always been a source of personal validation, that our efforts really do matter to people outside our immediate community. When we received this grant, we were close to ending the program because the cost of keeping up the meals was too great for us, and all our efforts were concentrated on day to day surviving. Receiving the help from The Pollination Project meant allowing us to breathe and focus on ways to making it sustainable for upcoming years. To say we are grateful is an understatement. Your grants, your support, your belief in us has made the different in the lives of so many people. 11,239 people received a vegan meal in large part because of you. And a community that takes care of each other, a space that was not there before but that now allows people to e human, to talk, to laugh, to breathe is now there. It's hard to put a price on that, but that is the difference. This is how we change the world. Thank you for your part in that.

Adam Starr, Adam Brick Guy, Houston, TX, USA

The grant impacted the community at Santa Maria Bonita House (hostel for mothers recovering from chemical dependencies with children). The grant enabled Adam Brick Guy to bring kids, mothers and volunteers together, provide opportunities for mothers to encourage their kids toward healthy ends, and bring the facility together through the City Themed Great Build Day. Everyone there saw mothers playing with their kids, laughing at their behaviors, and encouraging them. We saw administrators and supervisors playing with the moms and kids. Adam Brick Guy saw this as an event that everyone was able to say yes to and build rapport with one another. Further, it brought professional and careered people from other parts of the community together with these kids and mothers. The mothers were very encouraged to see how supportive these other members of the community were toward their kids Lego building. Everyone, especially the mothers, got a taste of something fun that is healthy. With this grant, Adam Brick Guy was not only able to host that City Build, but has now enough Lego to host that again at other places in the community.

Kehli Berry, 1-Shine Youth Services, Compton, CA, USA

The TPP Grant has helped me to realize that it is always better to give than to receive. Metaphorically speaking, if we plant small seeds and water them, we can reap a plentiful harvest that is able to feed the community. The funds used from the TPP grant helped us to initiate programs, and workshops for youth in the community and open doors for more youth to participate and receive wonderful opportunities for leadership and positive personal development.

John J B Lavalie, Producing Gari as an Alternative Food Supply in Taiama Community, Sierra Leone

The Pollination Project Seed Grant has immensely made a difference for the people in Taiama community in Moyamba District especially for the women who were part of the project implementation.. The grant made it possible for us to support vulnerable women by providing them with a means to earn money. Through the Pollination Project I have been able to provide an alternative food supply for my community and also supported women in accessing livelihood structure which could not have been possible without the grant. This work has opened my eyes to the suffering of other members of the community especially women. With the help of this grant I have been able to provide a mean of livelihood. I have realized how important it is to make a livelihood for people and to serve the community. During this first part of the implement brought me so much joy to be able to help others.

Sara Vasquez, Yoga Belly Project, Vallejo, CA, USA

The TPP grant has allowed us to further our advertising which has helped us to gain new students. It has also helped us to purchase yoga equipment so that we are able to offer classes outside of Yoga Studios which gives us much more access to the community. It has helped motivate us to continue to increase our offerings to reach more students in the community. Since the TPP grant we have added an ongoing Mom & Baby Yoga class as well as 2 ongoing kids and family Community Yoga Classes. We have also added a kids Yoga series at one of the local elementary schools in Vallejo. I encourage other applicants to utilize the wonderful support and resources of the TPP team.

Erica Fugger, Wake Up Oral History Project, New York, NY

The Pollination Project has provided a wonderful community of inspiration, encouragement, and support. I was warmly welcomed to a TTP salon while I was meeting with Wake Up groups in California and have recently been invited to local gatherings in New York. These opportunities to connect with other grantees have been grounding for our project and allowed us to envision new ways of sharing resources. TTP has also helped me develop foundational tools in order to scale up the Wake Up Oral History Project and apply for additional funding. I am currently waiting to hear back about new applications—like the Spiritual Ecology Fellowship through the Kalliopeia Foundation—that would help expand our work. Our Pollination Project grant allowed me to hone essential skillsets like project management, compassionate dialogue, and harmonious collaboration.

Marie-Claire Kuja, KujaPads Initiative, Bamenda, Cameroon

What I wish you know is that you have not only changed my life but that of so many poor rural women and girls who would have been left to continue to suffer in poor conditions.). If my company doesn’t exist, they will continue to use rags, menstruation related diseases will continue, they will have no income, academic performance will remain poor, school dropout rate/early marriages will remain high and they will continue to wallow in myths and taboos associated with menstruation.

Hannah Testa, Plastic Pollution Awareness, Cumming, GA

The TPP seed grant made a big difference to my project. Because of our restricted household funds, which had been used to fund limited work on plastic pollution education, we were able to dream big and have the funds to make a significant impact. To provide a couple of examples, without the seed grant we probably wouldn’t have been able to travel around the state to talk to citizens and businesses about plastic pollution, and we probably wouldn’t have been able to attend a plastic pollution conference in CA, either. Additionally, two of the eye-catching things we showcased on plastic pollution awareness day at the Georgia State Capitol involved expenditures that I am sure we wouldn’t have been able to fund without the seed grant. This included artwork from ocean scientist Bonnie Monteleone from North Carolina as well as a “traveling quilt” that involved material and labor expenses. These two items, which comprised 50% of the total seed grant, helped to make the event on February 15th extra special and were instrumental in attracting public and media attention.

Linelly Olmeda Santos, Building Community Through Movement and Dance, Holland, MI

Receiving this grant has empowered me to develop new projects for people in the community that might be voiceless or neglected. There are numerous needs in different communities and areas of the world. In this case, seeing how these children came week after week and shared about their lives while engaging in movement, games and dance and seeing how valuable it became for them gave me a deeper understanding of the value of my work. This also gave me the opportunity to learn that it is not only about me voicing out the needs of a community, but about giving the tools so that as a community we can voice together our needs.

Deanna MacCormac, Carolina Conscious, Chapel Hill, NC

Being involved with Carolina Conscious has been an incredible learning and leading experience for me and my team. We have learned so much about how to work together to align our ideas into impactful action, especially as we all have different backgrounds, priorities, and passions. If you had asked us a few years ago how we would spend our time at college, none of us would have said that we would be working on a startup, let alone our own startup. Yet, this organization has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had. I have loved being a part of all of it - the big picture ideas, the tiny details, the sales, marketing, operations, logistics, leadership, and most of all knowing we are having a positive impact on our community.