Ten people each contribute $100 a month into a pool. They meet once a month and discuss possible projects to support. Each month, they give a grant of $1000 to a project that meets a simple criterion: it’s awesome.
That’s the logic behind the Awesome Foundation, founded by Tim Hwang and friends, brilliantly built and managed by Christia Xu. Awesome Foundation now has 50 chapters in 10 countries and has given 252 grants, sponsoring awesome projects like Float, which attaches air pollution sensors to kites to report on air quality, and Free the Billboards, which invites people to visualize alternatives to unsightly billboards by photobombing them. (Full disclosure – I’m on the board of Institute for Higher Awesome Studies, the shadowy organization that acts as an umbrella organization for the individual Awesome chapters.)