Awesome Poughkeepsie is a community-driven, micro-grant program that gives out $1,000 grants to selected applicants (community groups and neighbors with great ideas that will positively impact our community). The funds come from a pool created by neighbors and local businesses/institutions and a "Board" meets monthly to vote on who gets the grant.
We're currently on schedule to start accepting applications in July 2022 for an August 2022 grant
I'm Gina McCann (Ward 4) and have been a guest Trustee at Awesome Newburgh for the last six months where I've had the privilege to help fund two community fridges, free period-related hygiene products to schools and shelters, free fitness classes with childcare included, a Flamenco festival, and other projects. People apply on a simple form through the AF website. The thing I love the most about Awesome Foundation is that it removes the main barrier for traditional grant funding: a long, complicated application.
I'm joined by my co-Dean, Isis Benitez, and a diverse board residents that are so excited to get more resources into the community.
Here are ways to be a part of this project:
1. Become a Trustee - Each chapter of the Awesome Foundation is powered by 10 (or more) Trustees who put in $100 each month. We will meet monthly (with a Zoom option) to review submissions and vote on who receives the grant. If there are additional funds, we will discuss options for that money as a group.
If you're enthusiastic about this project, but can't afford the monthly dues (and there's still room on the Board), please reach out so we can find a way to get you included.
2. Sponsor a Seat – make a donation toward a guest Trustee seat. I understand that $100/month might be out of reach for some who are interested joining us and I hope to get many voices from the community in the room. If you, your business, or a person/professional organization you know might like to sponsor a seat, please give me an intro. If you want a sponsored seat or want to nominate someone for a sponsored seat, please introduce yourself.
I'll be reaching out to some of the bigger companies in the area to explain how they can get involved. Newburgh has been particularly excellent at getting sponsored seats paid for (or for additional/matched funding from businesses and organizations,) in part due to its -
3. Fiscal Sponsor - if you know of a non-profit that might want to host our little group under its umbrella 501(c)(3), I'd love to chat with them. Awesome Newburgh is housed under an arts organization which allows it to offer tax deductions to donors and Trustees. I am prepared to act as Treasurer for Year 1 and will maintain any accounting and bookkeeping under the directions of the fiscal sponsor. In the event that we don't connect with a fiscal sponsor, we will proceed without the tax deduction component and I'll just make the Paypal account (or similar) available to Trustees if/when review is needed.
4. Help get the word out - Once we collect our Trustees, I'll need help getting the word out to the dreamers and doers of City of Poughkeepsie! More on that once we get the admin side set up. I know there are so many people who work hard to support the community and I'm very excited to get additional resources into their hands.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions or if you want to get involved.
P.S. There was a chapter here in City of Poughkeepsie that funded some excellent projects before 2019. We're grateful for the groundwork they've laid, but we are a separate group of neighbors and we can't wait to get out in the community!
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