The Awesome Foundation for the Arts and Sciences organizes regional groups of 10 people who commit to "showing up each month, stuffing $100 each into a paper bag, and giving that bag to the person we think has the best chance at achieving something awesome." The Toronto chapter is up and dispersing grants, with no strings attached.
Submissions through our application form are placed in a common pool viewable by all chapters. Each chapter meets monthly to select a project to fund. By consensus, trustees determine which project to fund, and the $1,000 fellowship is distributed accordingly. Some chapters also routinely contact applicants for interviews before awarding the fellowships.
Chapters are divided by geography, and more recently by topic of interest. While specifying a chapter to apply to is not necessary (all chapters can view the applications received by all other chapters), many chapters show a preference for local projects.
The Awesome Foundation
(via Confessions of a Science Librarian)
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