Money, Money, Money (a roundup of grants, prizes, and fellowships for social impact)

There is money and support available from a wide variety of sources for aspiring social entrepreneurs and changemakers, but it’s not always easy to find these resources. Following is a round-up of grants, prizes, and fellowships that Patricelli Center team member Luciana Contreras ’16 has been reading about recently. Some are available only to current undergraduates, some are available only to Wesleyan students, 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.


Arthur Guinness Projects and Ashoka Changemakers
Arthur Guinness Projects and Ashoka Changemakers have partnered to launch Makers of More: Your Idea, Your Community, Your Action, an initiative that seeks to find people whose innovative ideas and inspirational work go beyond the ordinary to help unlock their community’s potential.
Deadline: December 19, 2014
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: up to $30,000

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.
Deadline: TBA
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: TBA

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
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: $1,000

Ben and Jerry’s Foundation Grassroots Organizing for Social Change Program
Supports non-profit, grassroots, constituent-led organizations 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.
Deadline: February 2-April 15
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: up to $20,000

Business Insider Startup
Startup is New York’s top entrepreneurship event and business-plan competition. To compete, you apply to pitch your business model onstage alongside six other ambitious founders at the event. All innovators can purchase event tickets.
Deadline: February 2-April 15
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: $75,000

Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards
An international business plan competition created in 2006 by Cartier, the Women’s Forum, McKinsey & Company and INSEAD business school to identify, support and encourage projects by women entrepreneurs.
Deadline: Spring 2015
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: $20,000

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: Spring 2015
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: up to $3,000

Collegiate Inventors Competition (Focused on technology and science)
Since 1990, the Collegiate Inventors Competition has recognized and rewarded undergraduate and graduate students who are committed to research, discovery, invention and innovation. Entries from all fields of sudy are encouraged.
Deadline: TBA
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: up to $15,000

D-Prize Grant
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: December 30, 2014
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: up to $20,000

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: $100,000

Echoing Green Fellowship
A two-year fellowship program providing start-up capital and technical assistance to help new leaders launch their organizations and build capacity of their social enterprise.
Deadline: January 2014
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: $80,000 plus mentoring and more

Ella T Grasso Leadership in Action Grant
Grants for young women enrolled at Connecticut colleges to fund community action or public service projects.
Deadline: Summer 2015
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: $2,500

Generous U
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 13, 2015
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: $10,000 and the Generous U title for the winner, and $2,500 for the runner-up

Haymarket Urgent Response Grant
Grants for grassroots, social change organizations. Funding both start-up groups and groups that are more established.
Deadline: December 3, 2014
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: up to $1,000

Hult Prize
The Hult Prize Foundation is a start-up accelerator for budding young social entrepreneurs emerging from the world’s universities. Winners receive USD 1 million in seed capital, as well as mentorship and advice from the international business community.
Deadline: December 21, 2014
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: $1,000,000

JW Saxe Memorial Fund
For students involved in public service who want to gain practical experience by taking a no-pay or low-pay job or internship.
Deadline: rolling application
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: $2,000

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 25, 2015
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: $5,000

Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship Student Enrichment Grant
Small stipends to subsidize experiences for motivated students who seek to build their own skills, experience, and aptitude for social change by attending off-campus workshops, conferences, or other personal development opportunities.
Deadline: rolling application
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: average $250

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 25, 2015
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: $10,000

Samuel Huntington Public Service Award
The Samuel Huntington Public Service Award provides a $10,000 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 19, 2015
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: $10,000

SEED Awards for Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development
The SEED Awards supports “locally-led, innovative, entrepreneurial partnerships in developing countries, which have the potential to make real improvements in poverty eradication and environmental sustainability.”
Deadline: TBA
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: $40,000

Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Award
Entrepreneurs aged 30 or under are invited to submit inspiring initiatives that tackle the challenge of sustainable living. Entries must fall within one or more of the following categories: Water, Sanitation and Hygiene; Nutrition; Water scarcity; Greenhouse Gases; Waste; and Sustainable Agriculture.
Deadline: Summer 2015
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: €200,000 plus mentoring

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.
Deadline: March 3, 2015
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: $4,000

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: June 2015
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: $6,000

Zipcar’s Students With Drive Competition
Awards ZipCar credit and cash awards to college community service groups.
Deadline: Summer 2015
Stipend/Prize/Compensation: up to $10,000