A list of microgrant programs for your good ideas.
I started a program called Helium Grants, which provided $1K no-strings-attached grants to encourage people to do the things they want to do (now on hiatus). In the process, I came across a bunch of other microgrant programs, which are documented below. All amounts are listed in USD unless otherwise specified.
If you're interested in starting your own microgrant program, I've also created a few templates, which you're welcome to use.
5x5 Night takes place once a month. The community votes on the ideas that will be presented at the event. The selected creators explain a $5,000 step that will move the idea forward, and will meet people who can help.
The Awesome Foundation is a global community advancing the interest of awesome in the universe, $1000 at a time. Each fully autonomous chapter supports awesome projects through micro-grants, usually given out monthly.
Bed-Stuy Create & Connect Fund
A community micro-grant fund launched by The Laundromat Project providing $1,000 grants to seed and support the creative ideas and civic actions of artists, cultural practitioners, community builders, organizers, and makers in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn (New York City).
cache money grants
$5K grants, paid in crypto (BTC, ETH, SOL), for "hackers and/or artists who want to tackle interesting new ideas in the crypto space."
Clarity Health Fund
$1,000 USD microgrants for progress in psychedelics and drug policy. Clarity Health Fund’s primary mission is to bring psychedelics into the wellness system. Larger grants are also available.
Climate Grants gives $1000 each month to people working on solving climate change, no strings attached.
Echoing Green Fellowship
A two-year, full-time fellowship for social sector leaders who challenge the status quo. $80,000 for individuals, $90,000 for partnerships, in addition to a flexible benefit stipend.
Emergent Ventures, a new fellowship and grant program from the Mercatus Center, seeks to support entrepreneurs and brilliant minds with highly scalable, “zero to one” ideas for meaningfully improving society.
The Farnsworth Fund provides $1,000 grants to create a entrepreneurial culture in northeast Indiana that welcomes new ideas and encourages them to dream bigger.
Feather Grants are an experiment in micro-patronage, providing tiny grants ($150 - $500) to individuals creating positive-sum value across a variety of fields.
Gumroad Creators Fund
Over the course of the year, Gumroad will allocate over $50,000 (10% of their profits) to a variety of creators and creative projects. Each "grant" will be between $500 and $5,000.
Indie Fund aims to support the growth of games as a medium by helping indie developers get financially independent and stay financially independent.
Macktez Summer Stipend
The Macktez Summer Stipend is a $1,000 development grant to encourage creative people to pursue and complete their personal projects.
Mitzvoters is a group that leverages $50/month collective giving to award $500 grants to "cast a vote about what we want to thrive."
Nagarathna Memorial Grant
Up to INR 80,000 (~ $1,100) to people. No questions asked.
Native Cultures Fund
$1,000-$10,000 for projects that support California native culture, arts, knowledge systems, and lifeways.
$5K to $50K for open source projects by independent researchers and developers. NLnet also funds standards efforts. Releasing software, hardware, and content under open licenses, and the application of open standards where possible are transversal requirements for projects to be eligible for grants.
Open Humans Project Grant
$5,000 for human data projects (ex. genetic, activity or social media data) that help grow the Open Humans ecosystem.
Up to $150 in microgrants for people who want to do "something chaotic."
The Pollination Project awards seed grants daily to social change leaders seeking to benefit the world (both individuals, and community groups that do not have paid staff). Up to $1,000 per initial grant. Successful grantees become eligible for additional grants up to $5,000.
Primer Grants are awards of up to $500 per student to fund ambitious projects from kids around the world.
Cover is a non-profit that gifts small ($500) grants to driven people. Their mission is to extend access to knowledge, networks, and opportunities for those who are working hard to achieve great things. Restricted to United States citizens and resident aliens.
The Prototype Fund is a collaboration between the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. You can get up to 47.500€ for your open source project. This grant is only available for people living in Germany, but available with any passport.
Up to $2,500 for emerging artists whose works might have difficulty being aired due to their genre and/or social philosophy.
$1,000-$3,000 "mini grants" for community organizers and science policy advocates across the United States, particularly those who organize efforts and coordinate the mobilization of people to promote discussion of science policy by electoral candidates. Science Debate is a nonpartisan organization.
The SciFounder Fellowship is "designed to encourage early-career scientists with great ideas to get started on their own companies. You will receive an initial investment of $400,000 and mentorship in the form of regular office hours for one year."
Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
$250-$1000 grants to support under-funded, small organizations and projects providing direct services to under-served communities. The projects they support tend to be progressive grassroots projects that promote wellness, joy, tolerance, and diversity within our communities, and that support the LGBTQ+ community. Bay Area projects preferred.
$100,000 over two years for young people who want to build new things. Thiel Fellows skip or stop out of college to receive a $100,000 grant and support from the Thiel Foundation’s network of founders, investors, and scientists.
Get $4,000 for your open source quantum computing project.
Inactive microgrant programs
To my knowledge, these grant programs are no longer active, but you might find them useful to read about as case studies.
- Abe's $100 Micro Grant
- ACX Grants - Scott Alexander awarded $1.5M+ in grants for "good research and good projects with a minimum of paperwork."
- AI Grant
- Awesome Journalism - Awesome Journalism awarded $1,000 grants every month for journalism story projects.
- Uncharted Journalism Fund (see retrospective)
Got another grant program to suggest?
This list, humble as it may be, is available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 License, meaning you are free to use it for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, without any attribution back to me (public domain). If you do use it, I'd love to hear about it! (Find me here: @nayafia) But you are in no way required to do so.