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.

Renee Gardiner, Growing Change, Fremantle, Australia

The TPP was the first grant I ever received when starting Growing Change. It gave me hope and encouragement for the future of our organisation, and kick started the journey and current success of our social enterprise.

Purity Wanjohi, Mazingira Safi Initiative: Community Based Litter Management System, Nairobi, Kenya

The TPP grant was the first grant I had ever applied for and to have it approved for funding showed me that other people do believe in my idea and it was worth working hard for. As a result, I have been applying for grants where I can because I have faith in my work. As for the team, it inspired trust and the need for hard work among us. It also enabled us to start thinking of other ways to improve our work.

Jason Maas, Artist Volunteer Center, New York, New York

This grant allowed us to begin to fully realize our vision, and the knowledge that The Pollination Project was believing in us consistently gave us inspiration to keep going— I can’t express how powerful this is when starting something from nothing to know that there is support. Monetarily support is so vital, but the feeling that The Pollination Project had the vision to invest in us kept us going even when the going got tough.

Thomas Ponce, Lobby for Animals, New York, New York

When you receive a grant from The Pollination Project you become part of a community, an extended family, and the support they give beyond the monetary award, means more to me than I could ever express. Their continued support is like having your very own personal cheering squad behind you, and it encourages you to keep moving forward, expand your mind and try new things. I am proud to say I am a two time grantee of such an amazing organization, that has helped so many, make their dreams and ambitions a reality.

Shelly Dusic, Vandalia-Con, Parkersburg, West Virginia

Getting this grant and the recognition that comes with it, gave credibility to what I thought was once just an impossible dream. Not only did this grant help me to tilt with the windmills, but it allowed me to open doors, of communication, of friendship, of partnership, and create a community of wellness that is dedicated to serving others. It inspired me to try new things and do further outreach and in return other projects that I took on this year were more successful as well. I was even invited to attend an event at the United Nations for World Cancer Day. When one person invests in your dreams, it enables you to dream bigger, do better and become more than you ever thought possible.

Zachary Lager, Access to Water and Community Reforestation Project, Nguineia, Mozambique

Often times the most difficult part of starting or building a project is the getting over the feeling of being powerless to affect change. Apart from the direct financial support that the Pollination Project has given me, the TPP impact grant represented a larger feeling of being empowered to affect change. The realm of develop is often times reserved for the experts but in reality any truly meaningful change starts with an individual and a belief in helping foster change. Receiving a TPP grant for our community development work in Mozambique validates the idea that at the heart of development is our individual human values to create a better future. Just as Gandhi suggest so many years ago, the TPP impact grant has helped me to be the change I want to see!

David Omondi, Girls for Girls Digital Skills Project, Kisumu, Kenya

TPP is amazing and what really stands out for me is how much you value grantees and see them as collaborators that you can work with at the eye level, without making us feel inferior or incapable. Whether it is the 10 year old Kirsten Chavis or the 63 year old Fransiska Ogone, TPP believes that everyone has the potential to change the world.

Carin Steen Community Mural Chimachoy, Chimachoy, Chimaltenango, Guatemala

The TPP grant was the kick-off for this community mural, the biggest I’ve done so far. Once I was rewarded the grant, there was no way back and I had find the other $1500 necessary to complete the project. The fact that I already had the TPP grant made this easier and by the end of June, fundraising was completed. This mural has literally transformed the village of Chimachoy. The grey and drab village centre is now brightly coloured and the centre of attention. Cars stop and its drivers get out to watch or ask questions. I heard from the teachers that people from other village come to Chimachoy to see the already famous mural for themselves. The locals are proud of it, it has beautified the village and it is educational as well in the sense that it represents Maya Kaqchikel culture in many of its facets. Without the TPP grant, I’d never even considered starting such a big project!

Lindsey and Nicholas Jarrett, Strings for Uganda, Kajjansi, Uganda

We took a huge leap of faith when we started this program in 2013. A leap that most people only dream about, but take little action in making it a reality. With that leap of faith we have learned that we are not alone. There are people out there, such as you at TPP, that believe in creating a space of action for those who dream of a world where people can give to one another, share joy and create opportunities for education. In that space that is created we can find a different tomorrow for each of us where we can all grow together. We are forever grateful to you for believing in us.

Sean Russell, Stow it Don’t Throw It, Florida

 Your support of this project has been critical to its continued growth over the past year, and my ability to train new student leaders to drive and expand this effort in regions across Florida and the country. The application and reporting process was very well organized, and I appreciate the continued reminders and check-in’s throughout the grant period. Additionally, I’d like to thank your team for highlighting my work and raising awareness about this program through your web and social media platforms.

Wendy Baker, Garden to Grinds Community Outreach Project, Pahoa, Hawaii

This grant was a vital component in continuing my work with Garden to Grinds in this community. Previously, I had limited success with donated items, operated without a budget, nor had I been awarded any grants. Tired of forging this difficult path on my own, I was at a turning point. Receiving The Pollination Project grant infused me with a sense of pride and purpose to continue my work. I am honored and humbled to be included in a group of individuals who care deeply about humanity and the planet. The integrity and compassion of the group has helped me maintain high standards of organic practices when growing good food for our community.

Moses Seenarine, Meat Climate Change, Long Beach, California

The granting of this award by The Pollination Project arrived at a most critical time in my life and for my project. As my first ever award, it was instrumental in many ways. First of all, The Pollination Project award gave me the funds and validation I desperately needed to complete several years of work. This grant gave me the confidence that my project is meaningful and worthy of outside support. The award itself motivated me to finish the manuscript since I now had the funds to publish it. The grant also encouraged me to apply to other sources to improve and expand this project in ways beyond publishing.

Dave Wylie Khanyisani, Through Music our Communities Grow Stronger, Kwabombo, South Africa

Our dreams, goals and aspirations are really easy to have on a piece of paper. It is an entirely different situation when these three fundamentals are shared by someone you have never met before. On a personal level we have gained invaluable confidence through TPP believing in what we are achieving. This has permeated through to our students who have shared our dream from the very beginning and have learnt a valuable life lesson that these dreams can be achieved through hard work, dedication, patience and perseverance. With TPP we are 2 years ahead of where we aimed to be and that was with a third of the grant money. TPP proves that a huge amount can be achieved with very little and I reiterate that our students have shared this experience with us and continue to do so as we grow, together.

Precious Stroud, Black Female Project, Berkeley, California

When it gets hard, I am reminded that TPP believed in us and I have to keep going. When I consider the financial burden and labor of love that the BlackFemaleProject has become, I am reassured by the demonstration of support from organizations like TPP. I know that you would not have invested if you did not believe in me and the project. If it had not been for securing a seed grant without being a 501(c)(3) and the vote of confidence that it created, I may not have continued to work on the BlackFemaleProject. When I think about scaling back because of financial limitations someone reaches out from our TPP funded social investment and says something like, “Hey, I heard about you on Facebook and I’d like to support!

Yash and Sachi Maniar, Shunya Alternatives, Mumbai, India

What we love most about the pollination project was how aligned it is to our values. It’s hard to find support of people who believe in your idea when you are starting out. Most people we spoke to in India were quite pessimistic about our idealistic dream of replacing every piece of disposable plate in India. The pollination project grant made us confident and feel like there were people out there in the world who believed in us. Secondly, they gave us support for things that otherwise would be hard to find support for.

Amanda Bernal Carlo, One Million Trees to Rescue Water of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Pueblo Bello, Cesear, Colombia

The TPP grant offered strong emotional support and hope to the community of indigenous women of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (SNSM), to The Great Balance (TGB), to the Bunchanawin Indigenous Women’s Center and to myself as the coordinator of the project. You were our first grantor allowing us to initiate a critical program, the One Million Trees Project. This project is focused on reforestation and watershed preservation in the SNSM. This seed money was a cause for celebration in the SNSM, known as the Heart of the World by the indigenous tribes who live there. Your seed grant gave us confidence in our ability to bring in additional resources. Several indigenous women, accompanied by members of the community, established the first plant nursery and started growing the selected species of trees. Most of these trees were planted as seeds and a few as seedlings. In addition to the TPP grant, our team at The Great Balance raised additional funds to plant a total of 1500 trees by the end of January 2016.

Abby Hylton, Queer Youth Circus, North Carolina

When I first talked about this idea many people told me was far-fetched, didn't make sense logistically, and would be too expensive. When I received the grant, the support that I got was not just financial. The award made me feel like others believed in my idea and believed in my ability to carry out this dream, and this gave me the confidence I needed to say that I was going to go through with my project anyway. And I am so glad that I did because now I am so lucky to see every day the impact that this program has on the lives of the individual queer and trans youth who participate and also see the conversations and changes in our community that are coming from bringing awareness of queer and trans youth issues to more people. This has been so powerful to see, especially with the passage of HB2 in North Carolina that enables discrimination against queer and trans people.

Yaminah Childress, JD, Dream it Forward Foundation, Atlanta, Georgia

Wow, sums up the accomplishments I have made since getting the TPP grant. When I was awarded the grant I served about 15 children in Atlanta, GA. Now, I serve hundreds of children in Hampton, GA. I have expanded to offer free food to food insecure children, serving supper and late night snacks before they go home at night. I am finalizing plans to open mentoring programs in Dekalb County, Fulton County, and Gwinnett County, GA for the upcoming academic year starting in August. Keep in mind that it has been less than a year since receiving the grant. TPP has allowed me to share my passion, and has given me the platform for others to see my work and want to be a part of it.

Aaron Kitchens, Bikes for Brazos, Brazos Valley, Texas

Receiving the TPP grant spurred myself and other community members to action! We used the momentum from receiving the award to gain community support, as well as additionally sponsorship. Before receiving the grant, I did not believe that Bikes for Brazos would ever get off the ground.

Belamin Nkem, African Law Center, Inc., Houston, Texas

Your grant was the first we ever received. And because of that, many local organizations are now approaching us for partnerships. We have also been able to establish a positive relationship within our communities and all of this is thanks to the outreach we made through the TPP grant. We have reached out to thousands of residents in the Greater Houston area through flyers procured with the aid of the grant. We have also been able to serve at least 250 individuals and more who came in because they saw our flyers.