Thursday, November 14, 2013

Our final $1,000 micro-grant of 2013: YOU be the Trustee!

We’re nearing the end of our year here at Awesome Calgary, but before we break for the holidays, we still have one final $1,000 micro-grant to give away before it’s all said and done.

This time around, we’re doing something different. We’re giving YOU the opportunity to be a Trustee, and we’re letting YOU pick which four ideas from our submission pool will be invited to pitch their ideas in front of our Trustees of Awesome and the general public at our Pitch Night in December.

On Monday, November 18, we’ll start posting the submissions from our pool of submissions who have agreed to participate in this, each in separate blog posts, all at once. You’ll be able to read through all of the submissions the same way we do and get a taste of what we as Trustees have to do every month when we have to decide upon our Top4 Finalist and Honourable Mention short lists.

You’ll then have to decide on which are YOUR Top4 ideas out of that submission pool, or in other words, the four submissions you’d like to see at our final Pitch Night of 2013. You’ll be ranking them from 1 to 4, with 1 being your most favourite, and 4 being your “still my favourite, but I’ve got three others that I favour more” selection. Once done, you’ll submit your selections to us through an online ballot form that will be posted at the end of each submission for your convenience (Note: One vote per person participating, please).

The deadline to get your votes in will be midnight on Saturday, November 30 (which is just under two weeks for you to review the submissions). We’ll tabulate the results the next day, and then we’ll announce our final set of Top4 Finalists on the morning of Monday, December 2, along with our final Pitch Night and venue for the year.

So to sum up:

  1. We’ll post this round’s submission pool here at on the morning of Monday, November 18 for your perusal.
  2. You’ll read through all of the submissions and pick (and most importantly, rank) your Top4 favourites, or in other words, the four submissions you’d like to see be invited to pitch at our final Pitch Night of 2013.
  3. You’ll submit your ranked Top4 picks to us no later than midnight on Saturday, November 30 through an online ballot form to be released alongside the idea submissions on Nov 18.
  4. We’ll tally up the results and announce the final set of Top4 Finalists for 2013 here on the blog along with our Pitch Night date and venue on the morning of Monday, December 2.

Simple, right? Everything’s now live, so get cracking!

If you have any questions about any of this, feel free to reach us at We’d love to hear from you.

F.A.Q. (Will be updated frequently)

Q: What happens if I have more than four favourites?

A: Congratulations! You’re experiencing just one of the many dilemmas we go through as Awesome Foundation Trustees each and every month! You’re just going to have to whittle your short list down to four of them, using whatever method you feel it’ll take. Some AF-Calgary Trustee favourites:

  • Subjective points system (ex. Points for creativity, Awesome Impact, community involvement, bang-for-the-buck, uniqueness, probability of successful execution, broad appeal, is it a realistic idea, etc; basically, rank ideas based on whatever criteria is important to you).
  • Strenuous discussion and debate on the merits of each and every idea amongst your friends and peers (usually over food and beverages).
  • Reach out to the various submitters for more information on their projects.
  • Random number generator (method most favoured by AF nerds and geeks alike).
  • Weighing the probability of bribes and the effect of one’s biases on your personal selection process.
  • The ‘Dart Board’ method.

Q: But what happens if I have less than four favourites?

A: That’s not a problem! You don’t need to feel obligated to have to submit four choices. Just list your top 1 or 2 (or 3) choices, and for whatever is left over, choose ‘No Selection’ on the ballot form. Our super-secret scoring algorithm is smart enough to weigh your choices appropriately (which is why it’s important for you to also rank your choices when you submit them to us), knowing that if push came to shove and there was only one slot left to fill, you would prefer that your Number 1 choice made it in over your Number 2 choice, etc.

Q: Wait, you guys have a super-secret scoring algorithm?! How does that work??

A: Duh, it’s a secret! But if you really want to know, track down our Dean of Awesome at one of our events, and he’ll be happy to tell you in explicit detail about how it all works. Because he’s a nerd.

Q: Alright, sounds like fun. Where can I read the submissions?

A: All eligible submissions for this initiative can be found here and here. Read carefully through all of them before choosing your Top4 picks!

Q: OK, I’ve chosen my Top4. Where do I go to submit them to you guys?

A: Fill out our handy-dandy web ballot. The deadline to get your submissions in is midnight on Saturday, November 30, 2013. (Note: One vote per person, please; any suspicious looking entries will be discarded).

The final results will be announced on our website on the morning of Monday, December 2 as well as our end-of-year venue announcement.

Q: Wow, that was fun! I like what you guys do. What more can I do to help?

A: Glad you asked! We’re always on the look out for new Volunteers to help us at our events or with the day-to-day operations of keeping our chapter running in between micro-grants, and of course, we’re ALWAYS on the look out for new Trustees who wish to help fund more Awesomeness in the city. The more Trustees we have, the more grants we can give away and the more often that we can do it!

If you’d like to learn more about some of the wonderful opportunities that our Awesome Foundation chapter has to offer, there’s a checkbox at the end of the ballot form where you can indicate your interest. Otherwise, send us a message through our volunteer contact form at any time, and one of our Ninjas of Awesome will get back to you.

We’re looking at trying some different things in 2014 operationally and in the public just to keep things fresh, and we could definitely use some more help to try and pull it off. So if you feel that you have a skill or something else to contribute, we’d love to hear from you, whatever it is!

Q: How can I stay updated with what you guys are up to?

A: You can find us on Twitter at @awesome_calgary, on Facebook at, on Google+ at, on Storify at and right here on our blog at You can also sign up for our newsletter, which we’ll be using to announce our public-facing events and activities, news on what’s happening in the International AF world as well as follow up stories with previous Awesome Calgary micro-grant fellows, Top4 Finalists and Honourable Mentions on all of their awesome journeys.

Our chapter will be relaunching sometime in early 2014 with a new granting schedule, so make sure to follow us on our various social media channels above or subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to know!

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