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Sparkplug Foundation

Deadline: March 28, 2018

The Sparkplug Foundation funds start-up organizations and new projects of established organizations in music, education, and community organizing. The Foundation aims to support the development of emerging democratic movements and communities working on issues of local democracy, justice, and sustainable energy in the rebuilding of the U.S. and global economies. Specifically, Sparkplug funds projects in three areas:

  • Community organizing: Sparkplug aims to support communities to address institutional injustices and to build a just society. Note that a community organizing project is originated by and from the community itself.
  • Education and teaching: Sparkplug aims to: 1) support projects that deal with “the whole student” and with learning as a community activity; 2) support projects that reach a lot of people or a whole community and that can make a big difference in people’s lives; 3) fund community-based education as empowerment; and 4) fund efforts by teachers to improve the education system by organizing and networking themselves.
  • Music: Sparkplug supports the development of music by helping to launch new voices and ideas. Generally, this means it funds emerging professional musicians or music-development programs.

Additionally, the Foundation occasionally seeks out groups working on particular issues that are timely, promising, and underrepresented. Currently, the Foundation is focused on:

  • Energy democracy: Ground-level community organizing at the intersection of utilities/energy infrastructure, housing/community resources, and racial justice

Sparkplug gives preference to projects run on small budgets, projects of smallish organizations, and projects that are less likely to receive corporate, institutional or government funding. Sparkplug funding is for materials and activities that help applicants’ work become more sustainable.

Amount: Grants generally range from $7,500-$15,000.

Eligibility: Nonprofit organizations with IRS 501(c)(3) status or organizations or individuals with a fiscal sponsor with this status. University-based projects, schools, and organizations must have budgets less than $1,000,000.

Link: https://sparkplugfoundation.org/

Note: This deadline reflects the response date for required preliminary questions. A letter of inquiry is due by April 10, 2018.

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