December 2, 2021

Notes on Small Grant Programs

Lots of energy right now around grants.

Growing up, I’ve always been mesmerized by people I perceived to be “moths” — humans fluttering around just outside of the bright glow of the traditional spotlight. While “butterflies” sparkled within traditional systems, moths seemed to be playing games entirely of their own making. I believe both human and insect moths are frequently underestimated. They’re just as smart as butterflies (or an AI, for that matter), beautifully complex up-close, and driven by a magical intrinsic force: agency. 

Reminds me of Nadia’s helium grants program:

I ran a personal microgrant program called Helium Grants for two years. After reading ~4,000 applications and awarding nearly $40,000 in grants to 26 people, I’ve decided to put it on indefinite hiatus and focus on other projects.

Since starting Helium, I’ve gotten questions about how to start a microgrant program, so I figured I’d capture my learnings in one place. Some of this advice overlaps with previous posts I’ve written; this one is my best attempt at a cheat sheet.

I’d love to start a micro-grant program to get people zero -> one for blogging. How to encourage people to start a (small b) blogging habit…….?