The Pollination Project

As of March of 2020, The Pollination Project has redirected all of our focus, support, and seed funding to uplifting the selfless actions of frontline grassroots volunteers working in response to COVID-19 (aka coronavirus) in their communities.

Who are these everyday heroes?

They are community groups organizing grocery drives and supply delivery for elderly neighbors in New York City, or chefs converting their restaurants to community kitchens for children & families who are food insecure.

They are high school students using their school’s 3-D printer to make masks for healthcare workers, or villagers in India who are synthesizing alcohol-based hand sanitizer to supply empty hospital shelves.

They are groups of friends in Uganda and Kenya who are building handwashing stations in crowded areas of urban poverty, and working around the clock to offer accurate information to those who might not otherwise receive it, such as those who are illiterate, deaf, or living in areas that lack internet access.

They are social justice activists working to safeguard refugee camps, flood settlements, and crowded prisons where people are especially vulnerable.

These acts of kindness and compassion are a bright light. They evidence our shared humanity, even at a time when our physical togetherness isn’t possible.

The Pollination Project has been dedicated to grassroots leadership, global kindness, and uplifting individual action since 2013. In fact, we have built a network of changemakers that is over 3,750 strong and operating in 115 countries. We use the money we raise to offer each of these leaders $1,000 in seed funding, belief, capacity-building support, and connectivity with others in their community or issue area.

We are activating this network, and inviting new participation, to serve our world in fighting this global pandemic. We have announced new flexibility for current grantees, along with a new effort to respond directly to COVID-19. Now until it is no longer needed, The Pollination Project will accept applications for volunteer community projects that address:

  • Direct needs around water, sanitation, and hygiene;
  • Community & emotional resilience;
  • Virtualization and adaptation of existing grassroots projects.

The response we have seen in a short time is incredible. In only the first 10 days of opening these applications, we received 780 responses- far more than we can fund. We have created the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund for those who want to join us, donate, and #helpthehelpers. Our administrative costs are covered by private donations, which allows us to quickly deploy 100% of your gift directly to the field. Donate securely online here, and we will offer regular updates of the impact of your gifts in action.

We know that many organizations are asking for support right now. We believe our approach is unique because:

  • We believe in the power of ordinary people to do extraordinary things. We fund individuals directly, believing that individual action is as necessary as that of large organizations or institutions. Individuals are uniquely placed to fill the gaps that larger bodies inevitably miss. They operate with efficiency, and with the support of deep networks that can only come from local connectivity;
  • We believe small is beautiful, and are committed to the $1,000 seed funding model;
  • We use a participatory grantmaking process, with funding decisions made by a diverse panel of volunteer advisors who are themselves grassroots community leaders;
  • We are committed to long-term relationships, personal support, and the inner growth & transformation of all of our changemakers as they grow in service to the world.

In many ways, The Pollination Project was made for this moment.

The word “corona” itself simply means a circle, like a crown, wreath, or the circle of light that surrounds the sun. Funny enough, we typically only see the sun’s corona in an eclipse, yet it is always there. Kindness, compassion, and empathy surround us all the time. One blessing in a dark time is our ability to see this, and our interconnection, more clearly.

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