Michelson Spark Grants
We will accept proposals for Phase 2 of the Spark Grant program from August 5th to August 26th.
Spark Grants Overview
The vision for the Spark Grants program is to introduce an innovative just-in-time grantmaking process to fill urgent needs for education organizations that are well-aligned with our Key Target Outcomes. We seek to fund highly impactful initiatives that would not be possible if they needed to wait through a traditional grant decision timeline.
Please review our request for proposals to learn more about materials we ask be submitted.
In the spirit of acting quickly, grants will be reviewed and awarded on a rolling basis.
The Spark Grant program is available to United States-based non-profits, institutions, and for-profits (for for-profit organizations we will apply additional scrutiny to mission alignment).
We are committed to reaching a decision on each application within 15 business days.
Spark Grant Awardees
The Vera Institute of Justice, with support from the Michelson 20MM Foundation through our Spark Grant program, has launched a new publication titled “A Piece of the Puzzle: State Financial Aid for Incarcerated Students”. The report...Read More
The Michelson 20MM Foundation will be awarding our 4th Spark Grant to The Education Trust-West, a nonprofit that advocates for educational justice and the high academic achievement of all California students, pre-k through college;...Read More
The Michelson 20MM Foundation is excited to announce our 3rd Spark Grant awarded to The Common Application. The grant will be used to help the Common App leverage its assets to create a more uniform and streamlined approach for applying...Read More
The Michelson 20MM Foundation is excited to announce the awarding of $20,000 to the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera). The Michelson 20MM Foundation envisions a world where prisons become a gateway to higher education, rehabilitation, and for...Read More
Former First Lady Michelle Obama and Michelson 20MM Foundation President Phil Kim participates in College Signing Day event honoring Los Angeles students for their pursuit of a college education or career in the military, May 1, 2019,...Read More
Grant Evaluation Criteria
Baseline Grant Criteria
- Grant ask is up to $25,000
- Grant would cover a specific self-contained milestone focus
- Accepted types of milestones: inflection points, things that may open up a new foothold with a partner (such as enabling a new partnership with a market leader), new proof of concept
- Examples of milestone restrictions: general operating expenses (rent, utilities, server costs, etc.), general working capital
Key Target Outcomes
- Increase the number of underserved learners who enroll in postsecondary opportunities.
- Increase the number of individuals prepared for 21st century careers.
- Decrease the cost of postsecondary education for all students.
- Increase students’ college persistence.
- Decrease students’ average time to degree completion.
- Advance nascent digital technologies that are relevant to learning outcomes.
What We're Looking For
Alignment with Key Target Outcomes
Potential Impact of Grant
Measurability of Project Impact
Long-term Organization Sustainability
Scalability of Project
Spark Grants Evaluation
Director, Strategic Initiatives
- After an application is submitted the Grant Committee will do an initial application assessment. Within 6 business days you will be notified if your application is moving forward in the process.
- If you do move forward a follow up call will be scheduled within 6 to 10 business days of application submittal for an in depth discussion of your proposal.
- Applicants that do not respond within 48 hours to our request to schedule a follow up call will be determined ineligible for a Spark Grant.
- You will be notified of the Grant Committee decision within 15 business days of your application submission date.
Evaluation Timing Based on Rolling Applications
Want to Learn More?
Watch this 45 minute webinar to learn more about the Michelson Spark Grant program.