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Awesome DC Example Application
Hey Awesome folks!
Below is an example of what we look for in an grant application and on the right side is some of the logic and explanation of what catches our eye and the reasoning. The application below is real and actually from our May 2020 grant winner, The Block Print Bike. We realize a lot of folks who are applying to AFDC are new to grant writing and we want to help you have the best chance of success with us and in the future if you choose to apply to other grants -- many of our winners do go on to grow their projects and win much larger grants. We consider ourselves the gateway to philanthropy and grant writing. This is a written guide to help you in your proposal. The example grant is on the left, and our advice and guidance is listed in the yellow blocks on the right side. We also have a video tutorial with more information and examples.

Best of luck and go be awesome!
The Awesome Foundation DC

Grant Proposal:

The Block Print Bike


Awesome Foundation DC Notes & Pro Tips:

Even if you're not a visual artist, including a sketch showing your vision can be helpful to convey the idea to us.

You can send us updated graphics and photos as the project progresses too, so we can keep your grant profile up to date.

Here's my idea:

My goal is to turn my bike into a mobile print studio and provide a free resource of handmade block prints and postcards as a way to help the D.C. community stay connected during socially distant and technology driven times.

In the midst of the pandemic there’s been a huge reliance on parks, green spaces, and community gardens. In between family Facetime dinners, phone calls, and Zoom birthday celebrations, the afternoon walk or physically distant outdoor meet-up with friends has become an important way to try to feel “normal”.

So where does The Block Print Bike fit in? With the basket packed with all necessary supplies, I’d set up a printmaking picnic in a designated park, make prints and postcards from carved rubber blocks on site, and hang them out for people to either grab and take home or send along to someone they love—ensuring a safe, physically distant way to share art. The Block Print Bike would therefore encourage people to escape from screens in the confines of the living room, and instead connect in a more tangible way again.

The bike itself will play an essential role in branding and marketing the project and reaching various locations around D.C.. Considering the fact that rules and regulations may change in the coming months, the project could potentially add more of a community engagement aspect in the future i.e. letting people make their own print and be more involved in the actual art making process or partnering with local farms and gardens to spread awareness of city resources.

This gets right to a quick summary of the project idea. Trustees review a lot of grant applications; a quick summary up front grabs our attention and sets the context for the rest of the application.

Ideas for future expansion are not required, but they show that you have considered what your project could like over the long term.

How I will use the money:

Mini Block Printing Press: $370

Printmaking supplies: $300

Carving blocks: 10 6x8” X $5, 5 8x10” X $10 = $100

Printmaking paper: $40

Any possible digital printing: $40

Lino Cutters: $30

Breyer and inking plate: $25

Barens: $15

Printmaking inks: $50 (dependent on # of colors)

Signage: $30

This is super important! An itemized list of necessary expenses shows that you've considered how $1,000 will make a difference for your project.

A little about me:

I’m a graphic designer for a nonprofit in D.C with a passion for art, the environment, and bringing people together. Since art school, I’ve spent a lot of time dreaming up hands-on project ideas (from pancake food carts to farm camps). I’ve most recently started printmaking as a way to mass produce unique pieces of work away from screens, and realized the tactile carving process (and also biking and gardening!) paired with physically sending prints to friends and family has brought a lot of joy.

Tell us about yourself and your background -- especially anything that relates to how you will execute the project, relationships you have in place, skills, etc. These all help your application!

VERY IMPORTANT: How does your project *directly* benefit the city and citizens of Washington DC?

By physically placing the mobile studio around parks in the city, The Block Print Bike will share art with community members directly in D.C. and encourage them to take a break from technology to either enjoy the prints themselves or send them along as a way to connect with loved ones in a more tangible way.

We can’t emphasize this enough -- we only fund projects that are focused on the city of Washington, DC; not North Virginia, or Maryland, or Baltimore (there are AF chapters that serve those areas).

VERY IMPORTANT: When will your project take place, when do you need the money and how will you raise the rest of the money required for success?

The project will take place this summer, though the start date is flexible. As the weather starts warming up, more and more people will be itching to get outside and therefore will be more likely to run into The Block Print Bike around their neighborhood. While I don't anticipate needing any additional money, I have the option to start selling art in order to self-fund.

A specific date or time frame shows us whether or not your project is immediately actionable.

Showing your overall budget and other potential sources of funding is also super important to show that you'll be able to bring your idea to fruition and that $1000 will make a difference.

How did you hear about the Awesome Foundation and (optional) what are your social media accounts so we can help promote your awesome idea?

A friend of mine told me about the Awesome Foundation!

We don’t just stop at giving you the grant money if you win, we are always looking to help promote and keep supporting you, so we want to follow, tag, and promote you.

This question also asks about how you learned about us; we don’t spend any money on marketing so learning about how the most awesome grants proposals are finding us helps us keep spreading awesomeness!