Awesome Foundation provides grants for charitable groups

Local News

The Birmingham chapter of an international organization is hosting an event Wednesday to give grant money to a group that hopes to do good.

The Awesome Foundation will hold its Grand Idea event Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Carrigan’s Pub. It’s a monthly event the organization holds to offer financial assistance to groups trying to help their community. Max Rykov, dean of the Awesome Foundation Birmingham, says about 20 to 30 organization apply each month. Then leaders narrow the list to five finalists, who pitch their ideas during the Grand Idea event. A panel chooses the winner, and gives that group $1,000 to help their cause.

“These are people who are not doing anything for personal gain,” Rykov said of the groups that win the grants. “But they just know that they can make their community, the world around them, a better place. And even if it’s just $1,000, it doesn’t seem like much, but you can actually do a whole lot and affect a lot of people’s lives with that amount of money.”

The Awesome Foundation’s grants are different from others in that any organization, group or individual can apply. A teenage girl won a grant to build a bus shelter in Woodlawn. The YWCA won one to send kids from homeless shelters to space camp. 

“You do not have to be a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to apply,” Rykov said. “If you’re just a person or a group of individuals, a group of friends who wants to do good things in their community, we can actually fund you.”

Rykov and other foundation leaders hope to fund more organizations and give them more money in the future.

“We’re actually trying to eventually get to giving out five, separate, $1,000 grants,” he said. “Our goal for 2020, for the beginning of the year, is to give out $2,000.”

If they’re able to reach that goal, they would split the money between three groups – one would get $1,000; two others would get $500.

The grants are funded by the organization’s Giving Circle, a group of trustees who each donate $100 per month. The Awesome Foundation is looking for more donors. If you’re interested in donating to the cause or applying for a grant, you can find more information by visiting the Awesome Foundation Birmingham Chapter’s website.

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