A bicycle book mobile, a community garden, museum tours for underprivileged youth, public art; these are the types of projects you’ll see funded through The Awesome Foundation.
The Awesome Foundation was founded in Boston in 2009. The group gives out $1,000 each month to a new project. A branch of the foundation has recently opened on the South Shore and even given away money to its first project.
Andrew Button, a trustee with the foundation say that Awesome creates a different way to get funding for things not normally covered in grants and other venues.
“It’s just people who want to see good things happen and make it as simple and as easy as possible to facilitate,” says Button.
Button first heard of the Awesome Foundation through the Halifax based group. He liked the idea so much he had to bring it to the South Shore.
The idea is simple. Ten trustees pledge $1,200 a year each so that they can give out $1,000 a month to a pitch of their choice. Ideas are submitted through the Awesome website and then the trustees choose four finalists.
The four finalists will then be invited to make their pitch in person to the trustees during a special event at a South Shore venue. This month’s event will be held at White Point Beach Resort.
The South Shore branch is a little different in their trustee set up. Instead of 10, they have 30. That way each trustee only has to commit to $400 a year as opposed to $1,200. They also rotate the trustees so the in-person pitches are heard by a fresh group of trustees who have not heard any of the pitches yet.
“It gets more people involved in the process,” says Button.
The Foundation tries to find new and unique ideas to improve communities as opposed to funding a pre-existing group.
“It has to affect the wider community, it has to be memorable, somewhat random or unexpected,” says Button. “We’re not an organization that necessarily looks to supplement the funding of existing not for profits or charities.”
There are no strings attached to the money, just the promise to create a memorable project.
The first project to be funded by the South Shore Awesome Foundation was a community garden for Lunenburg. The pitch event was held at the Fisheries Museum in Lunenburg. Over 80 people attended the event.
The next event to hear the finalists pitch their ideas will be held at White Point Beach Resort on June 25 at 7 p.m. Button says one of the finalists is a group from Queens County.
The Awesome Foundation can be found online at http://www.awesomesouthshore.ca/