Small seed loans and grants for social change work (Pollination Project)

The Pollination Project offers small grants and small no-interest loans for social enterprise projects. They are designed for small-scale ventures who are at such an early stage that they do not yet have paid staff. They aim to seed costs which will allow projects to really thrive and grow in the coming years, and to help them achieve a self-sustaining project. They fund in various issue areas including but not limited to social justice, environmental justice, animal rights and welfare, and projects which promote compassion for all life… more info below. 

I would emphasise that only serious, well thought out applications from people who are already actively working on really cool projects will be effective. The project is currently developing their programming in East Africa quite heavily, so their next round is a great time to apply.

A shoutout to J. Mulwa for finding and identifying this opportunity, and encouraging others to apply. And Justus recently was the recipient of a Pollination Project grant!!! Congratulations. Justus has been teaching photography to kids in slums in the Githurai-Zimmerman area, alongside various efforts. Check out the group Gizzim on Facebook for lots of updates. Volunteers are encouraged: “people who are photographers can come and volunteer to teach the children photography as a way of telling stories through the lens of a camera.” You can reach Justus through that page, or email him at gizzim22 (at) gmail (dot) com.

Pollination Project

“We Give Seed Grants to Social Change Projects

The Pollination Project provides small startup grants to individual change makers. Since we started on January 1, 2013, we’ve provided funding to over 1,200 seed grants in 60 countries. Our grantees have gone on to win prestigious awards, be featured in international news outlets, and gain additional financial support.Many of them say that it was our belief in them
that helped their project grow.”

Funding Guidelines for Grants

Before applying for a grant or loan, please read our funding guidelines.
We will only consider projects that clearly fit our guidelines.
Our main goal is to support, as Ingrid Newkirk put it: practical dreamers.

We fund in the following categories:

A sunflower– Youth Environmentalists
– Compassion towards all life
– Environmental sustainability
– Justice in all of its forms
– Community health and wellness
– Putting consciousness into action
– Social change-oriented arts and culture

We seek compassion-driven visionaries who are ready to launch a new social change effort and just need some seed capital to get started.
We encourage applications from people who can envision and lead projects that will grow, blossom and truly change the world. We love to fund the infrastructure, outreach and other tangible things that you need to get started.

The Pollination Project FUNDS:

Passionate, committed people with a social change vision that fits within one or more of our categories above.
Projects in their early stage of development and where a small amount of money will go a very long way. Our grants are designed to kick start your efforts and give you the support you need to truly flourish.
Supplies, program materials, direct travel expenses, website fees, discounted professional services, printing, copying, promotional costs, technical support.
501©(3) filing fees and expenses only if your project meets our specific conditions. Please read more about the funding conditions here.
Projects with a clear target audience, and a compelling plan to reach and impact that target audience in a positive way. If your project involves video or other media production, then this element of your plan will receive particularly careful attention from our team.
Projects that do not expect to earn profit, or where any income will be used for a purely charitable effort.
Pay it forward loans to support for-profit social benefit projects. Please see pay it forward loans for more information on this program.

The Pollination Project does NOT fund

Established organizations or corporations with any paid staff.
Payment to the grantee or a member of the grantee’s family for their time or services.
Projects that have well-established funding sources.
Scholarships, training fees or travel fees for one person to attend a training.
Projects where the primary benefit is to the grantee or to any one individual.
One-off needs such as training fees or participation in a one-time event or activity unless there’s a clear, long term purpose to that participation.
Anything that directly conflicts with our values such as products or activities that harm animals or products that directly harm the environment and/or people (including events or meetings where animal products are consumed, food that uses animal products including pet food, books or other materials not printed on recycled paper, disposable items that are only used once and then thrown away).
Projects that influence the outcome of any specific election for candidates to public office, inducing or encouraging violations of law or public policy or causing any improper private benefit to occur.
Computer, video, tablets or other technology where the primary benefit is for one person, or where the project only needs the equipment for short term use. (If you are requesting funding for one of these items, be sure to very clearly explain why it is necessary for achieving your project goals).
Projects that require grant payments via Moneygram, Western Union or any other cash-based payment system.