Michelson Spark Grants

On July 13th we will open our LOI portal for our Smart Justice funding round. You can review copies of our LOI and full application in advance of the round opening. As a reminder, the grant committee will invite LOIs that advance to submit a full application within 6 business days of the LOI being submitted. To learn more about the Michelson Spark Grant Program and our funding priorities for this round view the recording of our launch webinar below or sign up for our Spark Grant email list via the form below.

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.

Spark Grant Awardees

Click the logo to learn more about the work we have funded.

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

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 alternatives to face-to-face high-quality educational programming in coping with the COVID-19 pandemic for individuals who are incarcerated.

Advance the revision and adoption of anti-racism curriculum development across systems of higher education.

Increase adoption of high quality, low cost instructional materials, including open educational resources, for educational programs based in correctional facilities.

Increase access to wraparound reentry support services for individuals reentering the community that establish innovative pathways to higher education and/or career technical training.

Strengthen higher education success for justice-involved students through campus organizations that liaise with campus services and advocate for formerly incarcerated students.

Increase justice-involved individuals economic mobility through workforce programming that leads to high growth, high wage careers.

Advance public policy solutions around higher education and workforce development that leverage federal, state, county, or city level systems change for justice-involved populations.

Spark Grants Evaluation Process

Grant Application is Received

After LOI is submitted the Grant Committee will do an initial assessment.

Reject or Move Forward Decision is Made

Within 6 business days you will be notified if your proposal is moving forward in the process.

Complete Full Application

Proposals that advance will be asked to complete a full application within a 72 hour period.

Applications Assessed

Full applications will be assessed and a follow up call will be scheduled with those that advance to the finalist stage.

Applicants who do not respond within 48 hours to our request to schedule a finalist call will be determined ineligible for a Spark Grant

Final Decision Made

You will be notified of the Grant Committee decision within 15 business days of your LOI 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

Emily Blake

Emily Blake

Program Officer

Sign Up For Notifications

Want to Learn More?

Download the slide deck or watch this 70 minute webinar to learn more about the Michelson Spark Grant program.