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Awesome Rochester provides $1000 no-strings-attached micro-grants to help make Rochester more awesome.

We are Rochesterians eager to ‘foster the creation of surprise and delight’ in our community, and every other month we'll give $1000 to someone doing something that spreads joy or makes people laugh or makes us wonder.

Tell me more! This is no-strings-attached, wow-us-with-your awesomeness money. No reports, no tax-deductions, no non-profit status needed and no lengthy proposals. ANYONE can apply.

Wait, what? Anyone working on something fun, interesting, lovely, joy-inducing, thought-provoking, kindness spreading, curiosity-inspiring in Rochester can – and should – apply! We fund people who want to make their idea come to life in a way that makes our community more awesome. We generally prefer to fund individuals (instead of organizations), but on occasion we may change our mind!

How much? The winner receives $1000 to do their project. The sooner the better so that it inspires more awesomeness. Our ultimate goal is to create a self-generating culture of awesomeness in Rochester. No final reports required, but pics, social media and a visit with trustees to talk about your awesomeness is appreciated!

What do you fund? Here’s what we are looking for…

  • Joy & Surprise: Does it make people smile? Does it spread joy to other people in Rochester?
  • Impact: What will happen as a result of this project? Does it increase happiness in Rochester?
  • Uniqueness: Has this idea been done before? What’s new about this concept?
  • Bigness: Will this reach more than a handful of people? Will this have a positive ripple effect
  • Value: Will $1000 really make this happen? Will our money be the pivotal enabler of this awesome project?
  • Local: How will this help the city of Rochester?

We don’t typically fund:

  • Personal use: As awesome as you are, we’re probably not going to give you money to fund cars/home repairs/book writing projects/vacations/etc.
  • Nonprofits: We’re really interested in funding new projects, not the continuation of ongoing efforts. We generally prefer to fund individuals, but will sometimes consider specific and creative $1000 projects from organizations.
  • Vague ideas: Be specific enough for us to understand your plan, what you’ll do with the funds and why it will spread awesome.

Deadlines: We meet on the even months of the year (February, April, June, August, October & December). Applications must be received by the 10th of these months to be considered for review that month. All entries received after the 10th will be considered for the next even month award. (For example, entries received on October 11th through Dec 10th will be considered for December's award, and so on.)

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