Andy Howard

Awesome Newcastle

We’re about being useful and moving the needle and it just felt right.

A few months ago we decided to create Awesome Newcastle, a local chapter of the global Awesome Foundation. We’re about being useful and moving the needle and it just felt right. Last night Awesome Newcastle awarded its first no-strings-attached $1,000 grant.

Here’s what we’ve been up to. We called for board member applications and assembled an accomplished board who couldn’t wait to give up their own time and money every month. We have nine regular board members and keep a guest position open every month. Then we registered Awesome Newcastle as a chapter of the global Awesome Foundation. The Awesome Foundation was created in 2009 and has provided over $1.5m in grants via over 100 global chapters.

We launched the Awesome Newcastle website and began accepting applications from artists, creators, ideas people and leaders of Newcastle. We started blogging the amazing stories coming from Awesome Foundation chapters worldwide and connecting with global funded projects and board members on Twitter, Facebook and private Google Groups. Then we narrowed the Awesome Newcastle applications down to three finalists for the first funding round. Three finalists presented to the board last night. We discussed the ideas and voted to determine the winner, then handed over $1,000 cash. Each of the 10 board members (including Villagers) pay the cash from their own pockets, and I can’t think of a better way to spend $100.

There are no strings attached and Awesome Newcastle takes nothing in return (just good vibes). This is about paying it forward and helping make awesome happen.

Everyone in the Village works on Awesome Newcastle and helps it grow. We now have a forward-thinking board, we’re receiving applications from people making an impact, we have the satisfaction of paying it forward every month, and as an agency we get to nurture and grow the foundation along the way.

Thank you to the board members, applicants and supporters. Awesome Newcastle’s had an awesome start. We can’t wait to see where it goes next.

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