The Pollination Project: Small Grants Combine to Make Real Change

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We’ve heard of the big dogs in global philanthropy, those monster pocketbooks that shell out millions and billions of dollars to worthy causes around the world. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Warren Buffet Foundation, to name the top two, do a wonderful job of sponsoring efforts in the fight against global poverty every day. Their contributions to these important efforts are what make large organizations capable of taking on significant, long-term programs that aim to have deep impact for large communities, if not entire countries or international regions.

What we hear much less about, though this is changing, are the many micro-projects that focus on single community issues or even something as small as building a single school house. Perhaps, we are encouraged by mass media to hold attention only for those efforts that move mountains. But what is it that we are missing when we over look the “little” people, seeking to change the world for a mere few people or village?

The Pollination Project, a non-profit organization that funds small project across the globe, offers individual grants of $1,000 every day to applicants who have a mission to change the world, even if it is in a small way. These grants, small though they may be, have been used to help build schools in Swaziland and give women the tools to tell their stories and empower their minds in Rwanda. The interests funded by the Pollination Project are diverse and far-reaching, as recipients often continue their projects well beyond the initial focus or time period.

One recipient, Ayla Schlosser of California, will be using the Pollination seed money as merely one source of funding for her pilot project that will operate over the course of six months. The project, Resonate, aims to build a future generation of women and girls who have the tools and support they need to live happily, safely, and prosperously through confidence building by narrative and microloan investment. As a pilot project, the program may take a whole different shape, depending on its early success.

That projects such as Resonate seek funding from many sources is testament to the growing network of micro-philanthropists worldwide. As crowd-sourcing sites like Indigogo and Crowdrise become more popular, at least this author takes solace in seeing a Louis Armstrong vision of this wonderful world.

– Herman Watson

Sources: Huffington Post, The Pollination Project, Give Hope, Fight Poverty, Resonate

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