Michelson Spark Grants

With the COVID-19 crisis severely impacting the educational space, the Michelson 20MM Foundation is launching a new round of the Spark Grant program on April 6th to fund work that supports students and faculty at this time. We will accept proposals via our updated RFP until 11:59 pm PT on April 27th or until our funds have expired.

Submit a Proposal via our New RFP

Spark Grants is an innovative, just-in-time grantmaking process.

Our vision is to introduce a process that can 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.

The Spark Advantage

Timing

In the spirit of acting quickly, grants will be reviewed and awarded on a rolling basis. 

Eligibility

The Spark Grant program is available to non-profit institutions doing work in the United States.

Velocity

We are committed to reaching a decision on each application within 15 business days.

What We’re Looking For

Our vision is to introduce a process that can 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.

R

Alignment with key target outcomes

R

Long-term organization sustainability

R

Measurability of project impact

Grant Evaluation Criteria

Baseline Grant Criteria

  • Grant ask is up to $25,000
  • Priority will be given to proposals that have the ability to be impactful in a post-coronavirus world
  • Preference will be given to grants that cover a specific self-contained milestone focus such as inflection points, things that may open up a new foothold with a partner (i.e. enabling a new partnership with a market leader), new proof of concept
  • Examples of funding restrictions: general operating expenses (rent, utilities, server costs, etc.), general working capital

Key Target Outcomes

  • Increase access to and efficiency of emergency student aid programs
  • Decrease the “digital divide” through ensuring students, faculty, and nonprofits have access to devices, high-speed internet, technology solutions, and IT support
  • Accelerate the growth and shift to online and remote education via support for students and faculty

Spark Grants Evaluation Process

Day 1

Grant Application is Received

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.

Day 6

Reject or Move Forward Decision is Made

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.

Day 6-10

Call is Scheduled

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.

Day 15

Final Decision is Made

You will be notified of the Grant Committee decision within 15 business days of your application submission date.

Grant Committee

Phil Kim

Phil Kim

President

Mayra Lombera

Mayra Lombera

Vice President of Programs and Operations

Ryan Erickson-Kulas

Ryan Erickson-Kulas

Program Officer

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Want to Learn More?

Watch this 45 minute webinar to learn more about the Michelson Spark Grant program.