Giving back to the local community is dear to my heart. Time is very precious to me, so the time that I spend to give back has to be worth the investment. I am truly passionate about the DC metropolitan area, so I search for ways to contribute to causes that makes the most impact on the city and it’s community. Recently, I had the pleasure of being invited as a guest trustee for Awesome DC, an amazing local philanthropy–worth the time.
Awesome DC is the local chapter of The Awesome Foundation, a foundation that gives away a $1,000 microgrant every month to causes and charities in the area. These causes support the arts, the local community, the environment, and much more! The DC chapter was founded in 2010 and has already given more than $43,000 to the community. Also, 96.7% of all funds paid to Awesome DC in 2015 went directly to grants funding!
The meeting was comprised of 12 board members who volunteer their time every month to finding a recipient for the microgrant. The board reviews applications and votes each month on the recipient. Each board member also graciously donates $100 every month, which contributes to the microgrant fund — meaning the nonprofit is entirely self-funded by the trustees.
While looking through applications, the board used four simple questions to find a recipient:
#1- Is it awesome?
#2- Does it directly benefit the DC area?
#3- Will $1,000 make an actual impact?
#4- Is it immediately actionable?
I was amazed to see how many creative and inspiring causes exist in the D.C. area. Some past recipients include Funk Parade, The DC Wheels, Comedy Hackathon and DC Youth to Flint. One organization that was awarded an Awesome DC microgrant is Code+Yoga. The organization teaches kids digital literacy and technology while incorporating the teachings of mindfulness and meditation! How cool is that? I’m always mindful about screen time with my kids. Another recipient is Uptop Acres, an organization that is rethinking farming. Uptop Acres is building sustainable rooftop gardens around D.C. for teaching, events, and eating.
I have to say that it was such an honor to be able to sit in on an Awesome DC meeting and contribute to such a worthy cause. There are so many ways to give back in D.C., but Awesome DC really stands out from the rest. It was a great opportunity to give back to the community I am so passionate about!
If you want to learn more about Awesome DC or want to learn how to contribute, visit www.awesomefoundation.org/en/chapters/dc