Awesome Foundation Austin Awards $1000 Monthly, No Strings Attached

Awesome Foundation Logo

Got an awesome idea? Would $1000, with no strings attached, make it a reality?

This is no scam. This is a grant that is provided every month by the Awesome Foundation Austin chapter.

Every month, Awesome Foundation Austin gives a one thousand dollar check to the applicant who has the most awesome idea.

From the Awesome Foundation website:

“The Foundation provides these grants with no strings attached and claims no ownership over the projects it supports. It is, in the words of one of our trustees, a micro-genius grant for flashes of micro-brilliance.”

How the Awesome Foundation Austin Works

The process is pretty simple:

  • 10 Trustees (on average) each contribute $100 per month.
  • People with awesome ideas submit an application for the grant.
  • The trustees meet together, review and discuss the applications, and pick the best one.
  • The winner is given a check for $1000, no strings attached.
  • The process is repeated every month, in order to spread the awesomeness.
Awesome Foundation Austin Chapter Get Together

Joel Bush and Jacqueline Hughes, Awesome Foundation Austin trustees, share a laugh at a local gathering

“This is not a 501(c)3 non-profit, and it’s not a corporation. It is part of a national organization, but very decentralized…we’re pretty autonomous,” shares Joel Bush, founder of the Awesome Foundation Austin chapter and one of the local chapter’s trustees. “The Austin chapter started after a few of us heard about it [the Awesome Foundation] on an NPR segment. Then we just contacted the Awesome Foundation in Boston about how to start a chapter here in Austin. We’ve been operational since January.”

When asked about the biggest challenge facing the Awesome Foundation Austin, he simply said, “We need to keep applications flowing in, and we need to reach as many communities as possible.”

That’s where we come in.

The Austinot Blog one of Austin's top blogs

The Austinot wants YOU to submit an application – if you’re selected, we’ll write an article about your awesome idea!

The Austinot is pleased to spread the word about Awesome Foundation Austin. We want to encourage our readers – who may have that great idea – to submit an application for the grant.

Hopefully you just clicked on the link above to see how simple the application process is. If you didn’t click on it, you should go back and do so – just so you can smile.

What Types of Ideas Does Awesome Foundation Austin Consider Worthwhile?

Hugh Forrest, event director of SXSW Interactive and the newest member of Awesome Foundation Austin has this to say:

“Creativity! We want to celebrate people who are doing massively creative things. It’s only a thousand bucks, but it’s meaningful. There’s a whole slice of projects that can be done with that kind of money. It’s all about the small butterfly that flaps it’s wings and creates a gale-wind.”

The Pay Phone Revival Project of the Awesome Foundation Austin

Connecting pedestrians with their surroundings was the aim of the Pay Phone Revival Project, selected for an award by Awesome Foundation Austin

Here are the awesome ideas that have been funded so far in Austin:

Austin Sea Veggies – A seaweed farm in Austin, TX

Murals By Teens – An art program for underprivileged youth

Burnet-Ohlen Treescape – Transforming Burnet Road and the surrounding area into a forest

Urban Nature, Urban Kids – Creating community through nature in a tough neighborhood

Astronomy For Underserved Populations – Helping everyone see Saturn

Children of Bagbanistan – Upcycling bags with kids on the east side

Slow Cooking for a Fast Food World – Fighting obesity through slow cooking and education

Pay Phone Revival Project – Creating meaningful interactions between pedestrians and surroundings

Children of Bagbanistan project

Awesome Foundation Austin selected this project, focused on upcycling bags on the East side of Austin

How You Can Help Spread the Awesomeness

We think the Awesome Foundation Austin is awesome. And we hope you do, too.

Help us help them by sharing this article via your Facebook, Twitter or even your website. Use one of the sharing buttons at the bottom of this article.

Sharing only takes a second, and who knows. Maybe the person you share with will be the next recipient of a cool grant that spreads awesomeness right here in Austin.


We always have unique content on the Austinot, and we love to give things away. You know, like CDs, event tickets and other cool stuff. But we can only give you stuff if you subscribe to us. Otherwise, we can’t get a hold of you. We promise never to spam (we hate it too). We only send out our Best of the Austinot newsletter 2 times a month. You’ll get a recap of our best articles and share our fun giveaways. Interested? Subscribe to Best of the Austinot here!


@EricHighland asks:

Had you ever heard of Awesome Foundation Austin before this article? What do you think about their concept?

  • Team CinnaMan

    Brittany, Eric, this is awesome! I had not heard about it and I think it’s very cool. I’m meeting with AMOA-Arthouse tomorrow and I would love to revive I♥Congress. $1,000 would be very helpful. Keep doing what you’re doing, you guys are great.

    • Eric Highland

      Thanks Michael. This is truly a great group. Very glad we got to meet with them. I highly suggest if you have an idea for something that you submit an application. The word is getting out, but right now they don’t have as many apps as they’d like to have. So chances of getting approved are better now than they will be in the near future. Hope you are well my friend!

  • Virginia Martin

    I think it’s great. I wish Conroe would try something like that…

    • Eric Highland

      You could always start one @facebook-100001508538934:disqus just contact the Awesome Foundation. They help people get started. We really like the idea. Maybe you could be the spark that gets Conroe started?