Los Angeles, CA, March 27, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Michelson 20MM Foundation continues to explore novel ways to improve access, affordability, and efficacy in postsecondary education that lead to meaningful careers. Today, we are pleased to announce the launch of an endeavor that is designed to innovate learning and philanthropy itself – The Michelson Spark Grants program. Conceived as an experiment in expedited grantmaking, Spark Grants truncate the grant awarding process by committing to respond to applicants within fifteen (15) business days. Industry wait-times for traditional grants can range from three (3) to twelve (12) months. Michelson’s fast tracking grant promise is an innovative experimentation in postsecondary education that seeks to shorten the wait window.

Michelson Spark Grants seek to fill the urgent needs of educational organizations that are well-aligned with the mission of the Michelson 20MM Foundation. Our goal is to award grants of up to $25,000 to new projects that would otherwise go unfunded and unrealized through a traditional grant decision timeline. Michelson Spark Grants are open to United States-based, non-profit institutions and for-profit organizations that demonstrate high-alignment with the objectives of Michelson 20MM. We offer a rolling deadline approach, and intend to deliver a final decision to each applicant within fifteen (15) business days.

Michelson Spark Grants have a self-contained milestone focus, targeting projects with inflections points that can be fully funded through the grant award, rather than serve as a percentage of a larger budget. Enabling new partnerships, actualizing a new proof of concept, and launching dormant ideas are all examples of ideal proposals. Spark Grants are not available for the purpose of financing general operating expenses, ongoing inventory, salaries of team members, or general working capital.

Proposed projects will be evaluated on how well they meet the target outcomes of the Michelson 20MM Foundation, which include:

  • Increasing the number of underserved learners who enroll in postsecondary opportunities.
  • Increasing the number of individuals prepared for 21st century careers.
  • Decreasing the cost of postsecondary education for all students.
  • Increasing students’ college persistence.
  • Decreasing students’ average time to degree completion.
  • Advancing nascent digital technologies that are relevant to learning outcomes.

“My experience as a surgeon and medical device inventor has taught me that experimentation drives innovation forward,” says Dr. Gary K. Michelson, founder of the Michelson 20MM Foundation. “The Spark Grant program looks to test a new approach in fast grantmaking and philanthropy, while sparking to life inventive projects that promote educational and career success.”

The Michelson Spark Grants application process officially launches in April 2, 2019. To learn more and join our mailing list to receive the latest updates please go to www.20mm.org/spark-grants

About the Michelson 20MM Foundation
The Michelson 20MM Foundation supports and invests in leading edge entrepreneurs, technologies, and initiatives with the potential to transform learning and improve access to educational opportunities that lead to meaningful careers. Michelson 20MM was founded thanks to the generous support of renowned inventor and spinal surgeon Dr. Gary K. Michelson, and his wife, Alya Michelson. Learn more at www.20mm.org.

Contact: Ryan Erickson-Kulas, ryan@20mm.org or 919-690-0508