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.

Melanie Gilbert, Street Mutts, Nicaragua

On a personal level, our grant from The Pollination Project meant so much more than "just" receiving funding for our first international partnership. It meant that there was an organization out there who could see value in the work we are doing and was willing to take a chance in funding our young nonprofit; in fact, this grant was the first that we were awarded! It further deepened our belief that with the right partners, we truly can make a difference in the communities in which we work.

Lynn Douglas, The Visionary Institute Summer Camp for Girls, Greensboro, NC, USA

Our program serves underserved populations of students (most attend Title-I high schools) that would not otherwise have the opportunity to receive college preparation at no cost to them. Two of our main goals for this program was assist the girls in creating a tangible resource guide that they could take home with them at the end of camp, and use to assist them in applying to college; and to take them on campus tours that their families may not have been able to afford. Having the seed grant allowed us to completely meet both of these goals. Our girls learned so much through their hands-on experience during camp, and many were able to solidify their college options because they were able to get out of the city and actually see the campuses of their choice. Our organization would not have had the means to accomplish this without The Pollination Project! Although I've been facilitating college access camps for years, our organization is only a year old and people can be skeptical about your abilities when they haven't physically seen what you can do. Having this grant has increased the overall interest in our organization's programs and for that, we are forever grateful. Thank you to The Pollination Project for seeing something in us. We couldn't have done it without you!

Nora Ramirez, Oaxaqueño Youth Encuentro, SCICON – Tulare County, CA

With the support of the TPP, the organizing committee was able to invite a larger number of youths to the conference. This grant allowed us to invite youths from other regions that never before have been invited. Providing a safe space were youths can come together to reconnect with their ancestral ways and to dialog on the issues that affects them and there entire communities is helping build power and change within themselves and among their community.

Carly Wilson, Rubber Jellyfish – The movie, Mermaid Beach, Gold Coast, Australia

Receiving a seed grant from the Pollination Project made me realise in a deeper way than I had before that there are people out there who believe in what I am doing and want to support me. Film making can be a lonely exercise. A lot of time is spent behind a computer, quietly researching your topic, setting up interviews, and editing materials. It is not always easy to have faith that your project will have a meaningful impact on the world. The Pollination Project and their friendly team gave me not only the financial boost that I needed to take my documentary to the next level but also the encouragement that I didn't even realise that I needed.

Priscilla Umutashya Ruzibuka, Ki-pepeo kids clothing, Kigali, Rwanda

The $1000 grant from the pollination project was entirely used to buy high quality fabric and purchasing a finishing machine. To me the grant added my confidence knowing that people and organizations like The Pollination Project are ready to support young entrepreneurs working to change the lives of people in our communities. after receiving the grant, it opened me to many more opportunities for funding which I have all used to grow Ki-pepeo Kids clothing. To my team, this grant gave hope of what we can achieve. The team was exposed to better sewing materials and this not only improved their work but also motivated them to work more due to availability machinery.

Vasanthi Kumar, Compassionate Classrooms, New Delhi, India

The Pollination Project grant has been one of the most encouraging things that has happened to my project "Compassionate Classrooms" in India. It was my first seed grant and I shall always remember it with warmth. Meeting Ariel Nessel, the founder of TPP, at the Pune (INDIA) retreat, two weeks back has been a step forward to a lasting relationship with TPP.

Mariia Kalashnik, The Strawberry Project, Nógrád, Nagylóc, Hungary

The grant made an great impact on me and my work as well as on the team of local and international volunteers who were involved in the project. At first it gave the empowerment, and the feeling of the importance of what we are doing. At second it united many people around one goal and increased the level of communication and involvement into the project.

Kasolo Sheilla Elizabeth, Charity Initiative Eastern Region Book Drive, Bulandya, Uganda

The grant has allowed us to reach out and provide the much needed support to the Bulundhya Community in Kaliro. Being able to see the joy and positive feed back from the community on opening of the library has encouraged us to work harder and set up many more of these libraries elsewhere in the country. Participating in setting up the project and receiving positive feed back from the community has opened up our eyes and hearts about the need to supporting these communities and most importantly it serves as a reminder that we as individuals are capable of making the changes in society that we want to see. Every little effort put in to help support those that are less privileged counts to building this country.

Tzirou Georgia, Permaculture garden, Neapoli, Lesvos, Greece

We worked all together, refugees, locals and volunteers and this created strong bonds between of us. The sense of community was created and this effected the whole life in the camp. Especially for the refugees, residents of the camp, the project helped a lot to be creative and feel important members of the community. It helped them to live in conditions that were close to their life in their country and also that they live a normal life, not a life under the identity of a refugee. Working in such a project has also been therapeutic. We believe that the work in such a program gave them back part of their dignity.

Leslie Mestman, Off the Sideline Outreach Support, Portland, OR, USA

It is so hard to be a start-up organization. Every dollar is gained through hours of effort. Pollination Project came through as one of our very first funders. Not only did this grant provide money to assist in our outreach efforts, it represented a belief in us as an official organization. By putting the Pollination Project logo on our website, getting mentioned in the Huffington Post, and getting financial support - it showed others that they could believe in us too. We have raised over $20,000 since getting our grant and I'm confident that the Pollination Project grant was the catalyst.

Micheal Ssemwogerere, Making Ethanol Fuel and Cookers in Communities, Kalanga Islands, Uganda

The grant offered us the opportunity to acquire new machines and begin on the new journey of accelerating the manufacturing, selling and distributing Stoves and ethanol. Every big dream begins small, the grant has helped us to begin on our big dream by starting small. Though the funds look small, we have utilized it well to start realizing the clean energy accessibility in Uganda.

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!

Rory Townsley, Fresh Food And Veggies For The Community Of Imperial Beach, Jamul, CA, USA

Thank you with all my heart to The Pollination Project for providing me a grant which will be used to expand my garden to provide fresh food to the community of Imperial Beach. How amazing you are and seeing all the other projects people have done with the grants around the world is admiring.

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.