Are you an aspiring social entrepreneur or changemaker looking for funding or financial support? There are a lot of resources available from numerous organizations, but it can be difficult to know where to look. The following is a round-up of grants, prizes, and fellowships that Patricelli Center team member Rebecca Jacobsen ‘16 has compiled, based off past work by Luciana Contreras ’16 and Jennifer Roach ‘14. Some are super competitive, some are available only to current undergraduates, and all focus on social entrepreneurship or civic engagement work. A more extensive list of funding sources is available in the PCSE Resource Center. If you know of any others, please tell us.
Aetna Foundation Prize for Health Equity Innovation Seed Stage Grants
Two $10,000 seed awards to develop technological solutions to address health challenges that disproportionately impact low-income communities. Solutions which employ mobile technology are actively encouraged, but the prize is open to any proposed improvement involving a technological solution. One seed award will be given to a team of students from Yale; and one to a team from one or more other colleges in CT. Winning teams must agree to compete in the $25,000 Aetna Foundation Prize for Health Equity Innovation (below). Awardees will receive mentoring to help prepare for the $25,000 Aetna prize.
Deadline: 5 pm on December 6, 2016
Aetna Foundation Prize for Health Equity Innovation
The Aetna Foundation Prize for Health Equity Innovation is a $25,000 cash prize awarded to the best student-led venture focused on developing a technology solution to address a health disparity challenge. Examples of challenges include higher rates of health conditions, worse health outcomes and less access to care. Solutions which involve mobile technology are actively encouraged, but the prize is open to any solution involving a technological solution. The winner of the Aetna Prize receives legal services from Whithers Worldwide, consulting from Make Good, preferential consideration for the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute Fellowship (a summer program that provides a $15,000 stipend), and continued support from Yale faculty.
Deadline: TBA; check back 12/6
Ashoka’s Venture and Fellowship Program
Venture is the mechanism through which Ashoka finds and supports the world’s leading social entrepreneurs with project grants and mentorship. Nominate a fellow by following this link.
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: Living stipend for 3 years
Awesome Foundation Grant for Projects
An “ever-growing, worldwide network of people devoted to forwarding the interest of awesomeness in the universe.” The Foundation distributes a series of monthly $1,000 grants.
Deadline: rolling application
Ben and Jerry’s Foundation Grassroots Organizing for Social Change Program
Supports non-profit, grassroots, constituent-led organizations (must have 501(c)3 status) across the country that are using direct action, community-organizing strategies to accomplish their goals. They consider proposals that are aligned with the Foundation’s broad interests in social justice, environmental justice and sustainable food systems. Check out their website to read the full list of requirements.
Deadline: October 14, 2016 for Cycle A and April 2017 (exact date TBA) for Cycle B
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: Up to $25,000 for a one-year grant
Brower Youth Awards
The Brower Youth Award recognizes the work of six young leaders who are making strides in the environmental movement. Brower Youth Award winners demonstrate excellent leadership as well as a commitment to the communities their work serves.
Deadline: Check back in early 2017
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: $3,000, professionally-produced film about your work, trip to SF Bay Area
Kate Weiner ’14 won in 2015
CartoDB Grants Program
CartoDB Grants Program funds funds nonprofit organizations seeking the means to create meaningful data-driven visualizations that facilitate efforts to achieve social progress, environmental protection, technological innovation, data science, and economic growth.
Deadline: rolling application
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: up to $5,500 in CartoDB software
Christopher Brodigan Award
Students from any discipline are encouraged to submit applications proposing a public service or research project. Service projects should be carefully designed to provide some form of valuable assistance to people in Africa.
Deadline: Check back Spring 2017
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: up to $3,000
The Classy Awards
The Classy Awards ceremony is an opportunity for your organization to be recognized as one of the most innovative social programs worldwide. Classy Awards Finalists receive exposure to the top leaders across the social sector, including funders and media. Classy Award Winners have gone on to receive press coverage through the recognition, and many have increased their funding within a year of receiving the award.
Deadline: January 22, 2017
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: Press coverage and increased recognition/visibility, conference attendance
D-Prize is for anyone who can start a new social enterprise in the developing world and solve one of the D-Prize distribution problems. You must be committed, highly skilled, and ready to scale for the long term.
Deadline: October 3, 2016 (regular deadline) or October 16, 2016 (limited extension deadline)
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: up to $20,000 to launch a pilot in India, Africa, or another developing region.
Kathryn W. Davis Projects for Peace Grants
Davis Projects for Peace is an initiative for all students at the Davis United World College Scholars Program schools (including Wesleyan) to design their own grassroots projects to promote peace or conflict resolution in the broadest sense.
Deadline: January 29, 2017
Dorm Room Fund
Dorm Room Fund invests in student-run companies. Your founding team must include at least one full-time student (undergraduate or graduate) — if you are a recent grad, you may still be eligible.
Deadline: rolling application
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: average of $20,000, in addition to PR, mentorship, and discounts with service providers
Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs
The competition is designed to give undergraduate entrepreneurs an experience that will help them hone their business plans and elevator pitches. The goal of the Draper Competition is to provide the best educational and entrepreneurial experience of any undergraduate business competition.
Deadline: March 1, 2017
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: $10k for first place, $7.5k for second place, $5k for third place, and more
Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation
The funds are specifically and solely for entrepreneurs starting new non-profit organizations. The idea must be sustainable and scalable. The founder must have the skills to manage a national or global organization.
Deadline: rolling application
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: Multi-year funding
Echoing Green Fellowships
The Echoing Green Fellowship is a two-year program that provides seed-stage funding and strategic assistance to emerging leaders driving positive social change around the globe. Successful applicants will not only present an innovative way of addressing social issues, but also explain why they as individuals have what it takes to succeed.
Deadline: Applications open September 27, 2016 and close October 25, 2016
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: $80,000 for individuals ($90,000 for two-person partnerships) plus mentoring and more
Ford College Community Challenge
Launched in 2008, the Ford College Community Challenge is designed to empower college students to inspire community-building projects addressing pressing local needs.
Deadline: Check back in Fall 2017
A national contest to increase awareness and involvement of students on college campuses about the importance and impact of philanthropy and philanthropic values.
Deadline: March 17, 2017
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: $10,000 and the Generous U title for the winner, and $2,500 for the runner-up
The #GIRLBOSS® Foundation awards one grant biannually to female entrepreneurs pursuing creative endeavors. Grants are exclusive to female creative business owners in the worlds of design, fashion, music, and the arts.
Deadline: December 31, 2016 for Fall/Winter cycle; June 30, 2017 for Spring/Summer cycle
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: $15,000, in addition to exposure through the #GIRLBOSS® digital channels.
Global Health and Innovation Conference Innovation Prize
This is the world’s leading and largest global health conference as well as the largest social entrepreneurship conference, hosted at Yale University. They are accepting social impact pitches for programs in early stages and established stages from both students and professionals.
Deadline: August 31, 2016 (priority round review) and September 30, 2016 (second round review)
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: $10,000 for first place and $5,000 for runner up
Social justice leaders who are less than 15 years of out of a bachelor program who demonstrate leadership in their fields are eligible to be nominated for the Grinnell Prize. Winners will receive $100,000, split between a personal award and an organizational grant.
Deadline: October 9, 2016
Haymarket Sustaining and Urgent Response Grant
They are committed to supporting both urban and rural organizing across the region, and to funding start up and emerging organizations as well as groups that have a long history of grassroots organizing. They make grants for both general operating support and project work.
Deadline: November 30, 2016
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: up to $10,000; $1,000 Urgent Response Grants are also available to support organizations facing unforeseen and urgent financial crisis.
Kurt Giessler Foundation for Youth Achievement
The Foundation was formed specifically to provide grants to individuals ages 12 through 20 to fund self-directed educational projects. Initiatives can be of various natures, including inventive, entrepreneurial, charitable, or explorative research but cannot be school related.
Deadline: January 31, 2017
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: between $1k and $2.5k
The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award
The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award is the Nation’s highest honor for out-of-school arts and humanities programs that celebrate the creativity of America’s young people, particularly those from underserved communities. This award recognizes and supports excellence in programs that open new pathways to learning, self-discovery, and achievement. Each of the 12 award-winning programs will receive $10,000 and an invitation to accept their award at a ceremony at the White House. In addition, all of the winners will receive an award plaque; will have the opportunity to attend the Annual Awardee Conference in Washington, DC, in the summer of 2017; and will be featured on the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program website, as a 2017 Awardee.
Deadline: February 8, 2017
The OZY Genius Awards
The OZY Genius Awards aims to support the next Albert Einstein or Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey or Wendy Kopp, as they write a book, film a documentary, launch a new company or create the next Teach For America over the summer. With academic and technological resources like never before, students today are doing the unimaginable and the unbelievable. Young learners have ideas that can change the world, and OZY wants to help them get there.
Deadline: January 20, 2017
Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship Seed Grant Challenge
For Wesleyan students looking to launch, scale, or build capacity for a social impact venture, enterprise, program, or project of any kind.
Deadline: January 29, 2017 for Round 1
Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship Sponsorship Fund
Small co-sponsorship grants of $50-300 are designed to subsidize workshops, conferences, subscriptions, and other initiatives that benefit undergraduates and contribute to the entrepreneurship ecosystem at Wesleyan (formerly known as the Enrichment Grants).
Deadline: Rolling applications are now open
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: average $250
Samuel Huntington Public Service Award
The Samuel Huntington Public Service Award provides a $15,000 stipend for a graduating college senior to pursue one year of public service anywhere in the world. The award allows recipients to engage in a meaningful public service activity for one year before proceeding on to graduate school or a career.
Deadline: January 17, 2017
SeedMoney is a Maine-based 501(c)3 nonprofit that is helping public food gardens to start and thrive by offering them grants, access to crowdfunding, and technical assistance with garden planning.
Deadline: November 12, 2016
The Social Venture Fund
This student-led fund at the University of Michigan invests in and supports innovative, for-profit companies that place social and environmental impact at the heart of their business model.
Deadline: October 2016 (exact date TBA)
The Sparkplug Foundation
The Sparkplug Foundation offers funding for start-up organization and new projects of existing organizations in music, education, and community organizing.
Deadline: Fall 2016 cycle deadline is September 23, 2016; Spring 2017 cycle deadline is April 10, 2017
Venture Well E-Team Program (for STEM)
Venture Well funds and train student inventors and entrepreneurs in the STEM fields who want to address important problems in the world through new technology-based ventures.
Deadline: October 5, 2016 (winter cohort), January 25, 2017 (spring cohort), May 3, 2017 (summer cohort)
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: up to $25,000, plus workshops and coaching
Wesleyan Green Fund
Offers funding to Wesleyan students, faculty, and staff for projects related to environmental sustainability and conservation.
Deadline: rolling applications are now open
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: Between $50 – $20,000
Wesleyan Summer Experience Grant
For Wesleyan sophomores and juniors currently receiving need-based financial aid who plan to do socially innovative or socially responsible work during summer break. Grants are given for all types of summer experiences that are career focused, ranging from the corporate world to non-profit; in the U.S. and abroad.
Deadline: TBA; March 3, 2017
Young Activist Award: Mario Savio Memorial Lecture Fund
This award, which carries a cash prize of $6000, is presented each year to a young person (or persons) with a deep commitment to human rights and social justice and a proven ability to transform this commitment into effective action.
Deadline: July 1, 2017 for the 2017 cycle
What are we missing? Tell us, please!