How do you select grant winners and why does it sometimes take a while before you announce the winner?
When we are selecting grant winners we look at tons of different factors. As a quick break down here are some important factors: Quality of the application, practicality of your projects goals, creativity, and frequency of ShareYourself usage (project updates, task and milestone creation, overall engagement with the community and others)
For the application, it is important that you provide details. Sometimes the application for a grant will be very vague and non descriptive. Usually when this happens it’s a red flag for us. Strong applications briefly explain their project, the goal of the project, and include an itemized breakdown on how the money will be spent.
After looking at an application, we take into account the practicality of the project. Will $1,000 be enough money for this project to be successful? Is this project not factoring in certain expenses - these are things that we look at.
Creativity is also pretty important to us. For a lot of our targeted grants we see the same projects over and over again. Tree planting projects are a great example. How can you make your tree planting project stand out from all of the others? What is different about your project that will make your project stand out?
Lastly, we look at your overall activity on the platform. It’s difficult for us to award projects that have never shared a project update on the site. We want everyone to collaborate and engage with each other on the platform, we want to see everything that is happening with your project. The same goes for tasks and milestones. If we see that your project has tasks and milestones we know that you have put a lot of thought into your project.
I encourage you to look at our awarded grants and look at some of our past winners by opening up any grant. You can view their projects and even message them for advice.
Are there any plans for ShareYourself to introduce grants for startup businesses that will be using entrepreneurship to solve existence community problems?
We have never created a grant specifically for businesses, but it is an interesting idea. There are no restrictions for businesses to apply to our current grants. In the past small businesses have won grants before. In fact, the goal of ShareYourself is to teach everyone entrepreneurship skills. Ultimately we hope that every single project on ShareYourself can eventually become its own small business.
Is ShareYourself an international organization or a Nigerian organization?
ShareYourself is an international organization with a presence in 87 different countries . In fact we are based out of Burlington Vermont in the United States. Years ago the majority of our user base was in the United States. However, we seem to have struck a chord in Nigeria, the amount of growth and site usage we have in Nigeria is leaps and bounds better than the growth we ever had in the United States. We do have plans to push and grow our community in other countries and even continents. All it takes is more support from you and the community and some marketing efforts.
Do you have a limit on the number of grants you give at a given period?
We try to do at least two grants a month that are provided by ShareYourself. The site is built to support external grants provided by other organizations, we’ve had outside organizations provide funds for grants a few times, and in the future we hope that most grants you see on the platform are provided by other individuals or organizations.
Does ShareYourself have a mobile app?
We do not currently have a mobile app. There has been discussion in creating a mobile app in the future. As of right now our team is too small to create one, it is on our to do list though.
Do you have a preference for new projects and new project creators in selecting grant winners?
We do not have a preference. We do however look at if you have already won a grant before. We have created some grants that specifically state that only new members will be eligible to win, but unless you see that written in a grants description all applicants will be judged on an equal playing field.
These were the best questions from our December 11th stream. Our next stream will be on January 7th. Click here to register! I hope you attend. If you have any other questions that were not answered in this blog you can reach out to me at [email protected] or even message me directly on ShareYourself by clicking here.