There are several particularly interesting things about The Awesome Foundation.
First, it’s not a Foundation. It’s 30+ self-organized chapters around the world of individuals kicking in $100/month to get behind ideas they think are cool.
Second, the grants that Awesome Foundation recipients get are $1000.
And for all the variety to be found in the funded projects a common denominator is that $1000 made a difference. In other words, a principle of the Awesome Foundation’s philanthropy (as decentralized and informal as it is) is that proposals are ‘right-sized’ if they can make the case that $1000 will tip the project into being successful.
As a former arts program officer at a major foundation I think that’s beautiful and also a simple concept to hang on to as one contemplates increasingly complex (and confusing) methodologies for understanding the impact the arts make.
The topic is definitely hot, and there has been really interesting work from those seeking to measure arts’ intrinsic impact This includes the work from Theatre Bay Area and others adding to the catalog of studies on arts’ instrumental impact. Read the rest of this entry »