Is this for real?
How does it work?
Awesome Tampa Bay is the Tampa Bay area chapter of the Awesome Foundation. The Awesome Foundation has chapters that are divided by geography and more recently by topic of interest.
Submissions are made through our application form. The Trustees of Awesomeness meet monthly to select project finalists and invite them to pitch their ideas at a “Shark Tank” style pitch session the following month. By consensus, trustees determine which project to fund at each “Shark Tank,” and a $1,000 grant is distributed on the spot.
Is this a loan/investment?
No. It is a grant with no strings attached. We do not claim any ownership or future claims on your project, nor do we wish for the funds to be repaid.
Great! Who can apply?
Awesome Tampa Bay is open to all people and organizations who want to do awesome things in the Tampa Bay area. There are no prerequisites to apply (beyond, of course, being awesome).
How do I apply?
You can apply online here. The application is straightforward and will require around 15 minutes to complete. Because of the volume of applications, we cannot personally respond to each application individually. But you will receive a super friendly autoreply in your inbox that lets you know the application was accepted by our system.
What have you funded in the past?
You can find descriptions of our previous grant recipients on this website.
Is there anything you don’t typically fund?
While Awesome Tampa Bay keeps an open mind about projects, we have found that there are generally a few types of submissions that we are less willing to fund. However, these are just guidelines. If you think we would be interested in your awesome project even if it flirts with one of these types, there’s no penalty for submitting anyway!
1) Purchases for personal use. We think you’re really awesome, but we’re probably not going to just give you $1000 for a car/vacation/rent payment/pony/website/business expense… Unless it’s the crucial component of a bigger project that also benefits others!
2) Maintenance fees for established charities and foundations. While we may support the goals of your established organization, we are primarily interested in funding projects or new ventures and not the continuation of an existing organization. If your organization/foundation/charity still wants to apply, think of a specific, creative ~$1000 project that our money could go directly towards!
3) Vague causes and applications. The more specific you are in your application about what you’ll use the money for and why, the more likely we are to fund it!
Okay, so, what’s awesome?
Awesome projects are not strictly defined but tend to challenge and expand our understanding of our individual and communal potentials. They bring communities together, casting aside social inhibitions and boundaries for a moment. They spark an instant of joy and delight and inspire a long-term hope for a more awesome future.
Rich Cooper, from AF Toronto, has put together a phenomenal list that we think helps define what is awesome:
1. Newness – Is this idea totally new?
2. Niceness – Is this idea one that makes people happy or helps people?
3. Bigness/Inclusion – Potential to reach many people – Can anybody join?
4. Hilarity – Does it make us laugh?
5. Wow-ness – Does it make us say “Holy crap, that’s awesome”?
6. Utility – Does the $1000 make the difference between the project happening or not?
7. Value – Is the Awesome Foundation getting real “Bang for its buck”?
8. Staying Power – Can the project endure? Will it start a movement, an annual event?
9. Environmental Impact – Needless waste is not awesome.
Can I be a trustee?
We currently have all the Trustees we need but if you are interested in participating should a position become available, please send us an email at awesometampabay [at] gmail [dot] com.
Contribution: Commit $500 annually in the interest of Awesome.
Participation: To play an active role in accepting applications and collectively deciding who receives grants at our monthly meetings. Succession: To commit to finding a replacement trustee, should you need to back out of the obligation of being a trustee of Awesome Tampa Bay. Trustees serve life terms until they resign, lapse in participation or are otherwise incapacitated.
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE AWESOME FOUNDATION
What is the Awesome Foundation?
“The Awesome Foundation for the Arts and Sciences is an ever-growing, worldwide network of people devoted to forwarding the interest of awesomeness in the universe.
Created in the long hot summer days of 2009 in Boston, the Foundation distributes a series of monthly $1,000 grants to projects and their creators. The money is given upfront in cash, check, or gold doubloons by groups of ten or so self-organizing “micro-trustees,” who form autonomous chapters around geographic areas or topics of interest.The Foundation provides these grants with no strings attached and claims no ownership over the projects it supports. It is, in the words of one of our trustees, a micro-genius grant for flashes of micro-brilliance. Since its humble beginnings, many Awesome Foundation chapters have sprung up globally to conserve, sustain, and support the worldwide ecosystem of awesomeness. Projects have included efforts in a wide range of areas including technology, arts, social good, and beyond.”
How are you guys funded?
The Awesome Foundation is an entirely independent and self-funded community. Each group of trustees forms a chapter of the Awesome Foundation. Each trustee within those chapters agrees to personally commit to contributing $100 each month to form the single $1,000 grant.
Who are you, and how are chapters organized?
Awesome Foundation trustees are a diverse bunch from a variety of different fields and backgrounds, linked by a common purpose to foster a dynamic of ecosystem of awesomeness. Most chapters also have an appointed “Dean of Awesome,” who serves as a trustee and is responsible for the logistical needs of the chapter. That person will typically be your local point of contact if you want to know more about the Foundation, events or proposals. Since each chapter operates autonomously, local rules will also affect the timing, award amounts, requirements, and other logistics of individual chapters.