Lack of funds is one of the most common problems facing local solar cooking projects in the many countries that SCI hears from. Raising funds for solar cooking projects has never been easy (although, decade by decade, the world solar cooking movement is making it a little easier).
There are three parts to the secret to raising funds for a solar cooker project, like the secret to doing a good solar cooker project, and most other kinds of work. You have to work hard, work smart, and keep with it year after year.
The main secret to growing in your fundraising abilities or your project work is to find other capable people to help you and to find ways to make their help useful.
In solar cooking, an important factor is whether solar cooking really makes economic sense where you are. You will be more effective if you yourself have solar cooked for at least several months and can describe your own savings in time, money and fuel.
For these reasons, it is useful to study SCI’s booklet, “Field Guide—Spreading Solar Cooking.” Among many valuable tips about likely allies, long term planning and other advice, this booklet lists many factors that are likely to influence whether solar cooking will become popular in your area. This is sold to people in the USA, Europe and Canada for $6. We can provide one free copy to those from other countries who request it.
In this essay, I will cover the following topics.
- An example of hard work and patience.
- Ideas for getting donations.
Solar Cookers International’s Experience: Few grants, lots of hard work
In 1978, SCI founder Dr. Bob Metcalf bought his first solar cooker. In the next 9 years, he showed many people how to make and use solar cookers, and he spoke to thousands of people about the importance of solar cooking. He gradually found others to help spread solar cooking, and in 1987, Bob Metcalf and 16 other people formed Solar Cookers International.
Yes, SCI was born in California, one of the richest places in the world, where it is easier to raise money than in most other places on Earth. Also, through hard work and many people helping, SCI has done better at raising funds than most new non-profit organizations, even in California.
Despite these advantages, SCI has not had it easy. Very little of our funds have come from grants. Most of our funds have come from sources I recommend to you:
- small to medium sized donations from individuals, church groups and any other organizations that might like what you are doing.
- earning income by selling solar cookers and supplies and charging for some of our other services.
Most of SCI’s money comes from donations from individuals. As I said, SCI started with 17 members. It took SCI 15 years to grow to 3000 members—and that is still far too small a group to support a worldwide solar cooking program. The lesson here is that without patience and hard work over many years, we would not have 3000 members now—we wouldn’t have 300 members, and we would be too poor to give you even this small amount of advice.
Some ideas for getting donations
The first step is to have a good, realistic plan and to know what the funds are needed for. You must be able to explain clearly and persuasively why promoting solar cookers in your area is worthwhile.
The second step is to directly ask people to help. More people will give you donations if you ask for donations than if you don’t ask. People are also more likely to donate if they know and respect the person who is asking for donations.
The third step is to keep track of the people who might give you money—perhaps people who attend one of your solar cooker demonstrations or people working to prevent deforestation or to promote public health measures. At SCI, we keep track of the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses of people who donate to SCI, people who are interested, and people we think we can get interested. We keep this information so that we can get back in touch with them, tell them why they should support us again, and ask for money. Even if you can’t mail out letters or make telephone calls to your potential supporters, you can keep a list of them and make sure you know where to find them and talk to them when you need to ask for their help.
A related step is to ask every one who does support your project to suggest other people who might support it. Better yet, get the people who suggest possible supporters to introduce you to these new people. The more you get everyone you know to think about who might support your project, the more suggestions you will get. Even if only 3 out of every 100 suggestions are useful, you will gradually make some progress.
It may be true that it makes sense to ask people who have more money to be the ones to donate. It is helpful to have someone work with you who has friends and contacts among people with money. However, an interesting fact in the United States is that poorer people donate a greater percentage of their income to charities and good projects than richer people do.
It is helpful to pay special attention to people who may be particularly interested in the good results that solar cooking can bring. In some cultures, churches, and the leading people in churches, are interested in easing the suffering of the poor—and churches and their leaders may have access to people with more money than the people you know. In some cultures, relations of family, clan and tribe may suggest that a wealthy relative who cares about his or her poorer relatives may be willing to help a solar cooker project.
In many places, a group of people who have contacts that could be useful to you are people who have contacts with people in the richer parts of the world. For example, there may be a branch office near you of a large, international environmental organization or development organization. The people who work there may know people from wealthier countries who would be interested in what solar cooking can do to help people. People from wealthier countries who become interested in your project may be able to help you find some sources of donations from their home countries. They may be able to give you good advice or put you in touch with other people who might help. Churches in your community with active links to churches in richer communities may help you to make useful contacts. Offices of international agencies like the United Nations may be good places to find people with good contacts that will help you. Universities, technical schools, agricultural schools, etc. may also be good sources for people with an interest in what you are doing and the means to help you or to find good contacts for you. Many of the wealthier countries support many kinds of technical or health aid programs to developing countries or send service volunteers to developing countries. Perhaps there are workers from the United States Peace Corps—or another country’s volunteer organization—in your area who might help you find some funds. There also may be scientific or environmental research projects going on in your area where there may be pools of people with above average income, good contacts and possibly a willingness to support a believable solar cooker project after it was explained to them. Many of your local, district, provincial or national government offices may have people in them with above average incomes and good contacts.
As you can see, there is no shortage of ideas of where to look for donations. The hard part is asking over and over again, being turned down 50 times for every time someone says yes. It takes patience and hard work, but there may be no better way.
You can earn funds from your solar cooker project if the following statement is true:
“It is easy to save more money from the fuel savings achieved with a solar cooker than it costs to make or buy the solar cooker.”
If this statement is not true in your area, then a solar cooking project will probably fail.
If it is true, then you should think of ways to tap part of the money being saved to help fund your project.
The most basic way to do this is to make cookers and sell them for more than they cost you to make. I know of someone in Kenya who has a small business making and selling things, and one of the things he sells is solar cookers, and he earns some of his money this way. Your project could earn money for itself the same way.
Even if your goal is to give cookers to poor people (which may not be a very good idea—it may just make them think that cookers are worth nothing), if you make cookers and sell them at a profit to people who can afford to pay, you can use some of those profits to help the poor.
You could also consider charging a small fee for solar cooking lessons for those who can afford to buy solar cookers and pay for lessons.
But there is no reason why poor people who now have to pay for cooking fuel should not help support your project. Here is an example, based on reality in one country in Africa.
An average family spends $4 per week for cooking fuel—about $200 per year. If they use the solar cooker for just 10% of their cooking during the year, they will save $20. In the process, they may use $1 or $2 worth of plastic cooking bags. If it is $2 for bags, the family could still save $18 per year with the solar cooker. So, if the price of the solar cooker to the family is $8, the family saves $10 per year in the first year—a good deal for them.
If the cookers cost only $2 for you to make, selling them for $8 gives you a gross profit of $6 per cooker. This money can be used to help pay your project’s expenses.
(The above example and later examples are based on US dollars which are similar in value, but not always equal, to Euros. In the US system, 100 cents equals 1 dollar.)
Before you proceed very far in your project, you should figure out what it costs to make a solar cooker where you are, how much the bags cost and how long they last, how much a family spends on cooking fuel where you are, and how much they can save in 6 months or a year by using a solar cooker on most sunny days. Then you’ll have a better idea of how much you can earn—if anything--by this approach.
Of course, there is a question about whether a family will be able to spend the $8.00 for the cooker and the 25 cents for the bag. Here are two ideas that I have thought of, although I don’t know of cases where they have been tried.
One idea is to sell the Cooker and the first bag for a small deposit and the agreement that once a week or once every two weeks, the buyer will have to pay their next payment. Their payments can be based on a percentage of their expected savings from using the cookers. So if you think a new solar cooker user can reasonably expect to save 50 cents per week, you might make their payments 40 cents for the first deposit and then 20 cents per week for the next 38 weeks. They could buy new bags from you when needed during your weekly collection. Whether this scheme can work depends a lot on your culture. If people would be likely to keep to the agreement and pay you the 20 cents every week, it could work. If people would be likely to damage the cooker because they hadn’t spent much money on it, and then refuse to pay you because the cooker no longer worked, this plan probably would not work in your area.
Another approach would be to rent the cookers to people. For example, if a person could expect to save 15 cents worth of fuel if you solar cooked their fish or their beans for them, then you could charge them 10 cents and they still would save money. It would be a lot of work, however, to make the rounds of a large area each morning to see who wanted to rent solar cookers that day. It would be easier in a compact area like a town than in a sparsely populated rural area. It would be easier still if the renters would bring their pots of food to you in one central place. With 10 or 20 cookers—because there is so little work in solar cooking—one person could cook 10 or 20 meals, and at a price of 10 cents a meal, that could be as much as $2 per day of income for your project.
Whether people are using cookers by renting them and taking them home, coming to you to rent cookers at a central location, or buying cookers by payments over many weeks, you will have some great opportunities. Each time you make contact with these beginners in solar cooking, you will be able to give them additional advice, guidance and encouragement in solar cooking. For example, if someone is paying 20 cents a week for 38 weeks, you’ll have 38 opportunities to visit with them, ask them if they have any problems and help them get the most out of their solar cookers.
Remember, people who learn to use their solar cookers well will also be likely to buy additional cookers in the future and tell their friends—so it is good for your business to make sure people learn to use the cookers well.
Another idea for making solar cookers available where funds are scarce is to see if it is possible to organize a small group of families to share cookers. Perhaps four families could buy a cooker and each would get to use it one day out of every four. Each family could keep part of their savings and contribute part of their savings to a fund to buy another cooker. When they had two cookers, each family could use one every second day, so all the families would begin saving twice as much as before. Eventually, they would have saved enough to have four cookers, one for each. Meanwhile, you would have sold four more cookers at a slight profit. In this way, your project gains, but each of the four families have gained as well.
Perhaps there will be a feeling of gratitude among families who have reaped some savings from solar cookers, have paid off their solar cooker and have begun a savings fund for their next solar cooker. Perhaps in their gratitude, some of these people can be persuaded to continue giving your project a small portion of the money they save by using solar cookers—a gift of gratitude that can help others the way you helped them. I am very uncertain about this—perhaps people would not donate to your project, if you have given them a lot of help in learning solar cooking.
Of course, these ideas will take a lot of work to bring in small amounts of money. However, they offer a way to get started. In time, the money may grow faster than the work does, as solar cooking becomes better known and popular in your area. The experience in working with a lot of users of solar cookers will be helpful for you, and by achieving success in this way you make your project more attractive to those who might want to donate or to foundations that might consider giving you grants.
Another way of making money with solar cookers is to use them to cook. For example, in places where baked goods such as rolls, small cakes or small loaves of bread are rare and appreciated treats, people have made money by using their solar cookers to bake. Because the fuel is free, these people can sell baked goods at a profit. The people who buy may be poor, but the roll or cake can be sold in small pieces that make an affordable treat for people.
Both you and the buyers of the baked goods would gain. The buyers gain a nice thing to eat at a price that is hard to find without solar cooking. Your project earns a small profit.
I have also heard of people using solar cookers to make jams and jellies or to make soy milk, then selling these products at a profit. In places where cooking fuel is very expensive, people are cutting down on the amount of beans and pulses they eat, because beans and pulses take longer to cook and require more fuel. Therefore, people may be happy to go to a buy a bowl of hot, cooked beans in the late afternoon. So, perhaps a small solar cooker business specializing in selling hot, cooked beans could make a small profit. There are probably other products that can be made cheaply in a solar cooker that people in your area would pay for.
The Difficult Search for Grant Money
I’ve saved “Grants” for the last of this 3 part series, because getting grants is probably the hardest way to get funds, it takes a lot of time, and it requires that your organization already be fairly strong and stable.
Most grant applications in the world are rejected. Only one in every ten grant applications are accepted. Most grant dollars go to groups that have already received some grant dollars before. It is rare for an organization to be able to get even half of its budget by grants. Therefore, even with grants, organizations must rely on other sources of support as well. Having other sources of support also helps you to convince grant givers that you are worthy of their support.
Here are some basic comments about how to get grants from “Grantmakers Without Borders”:
Few foundations will respond to grant requests made by e-mail.
Before seeking a foundation grant, first, look over the foundation's website, grantmaking guidelines, and other related materials to see if there is a fit between the foundation's grantmaking priorities and your programs.
If there is a good match, then follow the proposal submission instructions outlined by the foundation in their grantmaking guidelines.
Typically, you will first submit a "letter of inquiry," which is a short document describing the nature of your work and the purpose of the grant request.
“Funders on Line” has studied hundreds of foundations to see what types of information is usually required in writing a grant proposal. For their full guide to “Project Proposal Basics” see http://www.fundersonline.org/grantseekers/proposal_basics.html Here is a shorter summary of their report about what is usually needed.
The cover letter is the first document the funder will read and it is often the basis for either consideration or rejection. The cover letter should state the type of support requested, the goals of the project and how it fits into the guidelines of the funder, the total budget and the names of other funders contributing to the project, if available.
Other elements often required are:
Title Page and Table of Contents
Needs Statement The needs statement should be a concise, yet convincing overview of the needs your organisation wants to address with the project
Goals & Objectives Goals represent concepts or ideal situations that are not necessarily measurable. Objectives are specific, tangible and measurable outcomes that should be achieved within a specified period of time.
Methodology & Timetable How & when are the project's objectives going to be achieved? By whom? Be very clear, specific and realistic -with regard to the methods, the timetable and the human resources – as this will help convince the reader of your expertise and credibility.
Evaluation How are you going to measure your success or failure in reaching the stated objectives? In this section, you should provide an outline of the instruments that will be used for the evaluation, define who will conduct the evaluation and when they will conduct it, and state how the reporting will be done.
Future Funding Plans This section should describe the financial resources you will need to continue the project, once the support requested has ended, and how your organisation will obtain these resources.
You should be careful that you don’t give the funder material to read that the funder says in their guidelines they don’t want to receive.)
There are many different people and organizations that give grants—each with their own opinions about what is important. In general, the purpose of giving grants is to put money to good use to create real benefits. Therefore, in general, your job is to convince the grant giver that giving a grant to your project will be very likely to produce good results that they can measure and evaluate and brag about to their supporters.
For the people deciding who gets grants, it would be easiest and safest to give grants to organizations that they already know and trust for projects that are similar to projects that have already succeeded.
This makes it difficult for us in the solar cooking field. First, solar cooking groups are not well known among grant-giving organizations. Second, there have not been a lot of solar cooker projects that have already succeeded, so there is no clear, proven formula for success—although the world solar cooking movement is gaining experience in order to find formulas for success.
So, one of your tasks is to convince the grant giver that solar cooking is a good idea. You will have to explain in a clear manner the main reasons why you think it is a good idea and give some evidence to support your belief.
You also have to convince the grantor that your plan to spread solar cooking is a good plan. You will have to explain carefully what your plan is and why it will work. To do this, you probably will have to have gained a lot of practical experience in solar cooking before you write your first grant proposal. That’s why you may want to start with the other funding ideas suggested in the two other funding essays in this series--so you get the experience you need to make a good plan and to be able to explain—based on your experience—why the plan will work.
The third main task is to convince the grant-giver that your organization is the right one to do the project--that you have the skills to do it, the stability to carry through the project to completion, and the honesty to fulfill the agreements you make when you apply for the grant.
Most organizations take several years, at least, to grow to the point where they have the skills, stability and reputation necessary to get even a small grant.
Convincing a grant giver that your organization is worthy of a grant can be greatly affected by your reputation. If you have done several small projects through funds raised locally, that could help convince a grantor that you would be able to do even more good things with more money. But that may not be enough.
It is also good to find other organizations in your area that have connections with grantors. If an organization known to a grant giver recommends you, that will help you get a grant. Even if the grant giver does not know the other organizations, if you get several well-respected local groups or prominent people to endorse your grant, that may help convince the grant giver that you are worthy of their support, too.
The best resources are those close to you—people who can give you specific advice based on your local situation. In the first part of this 3 part series on funding, I talked about the importance of finding people who can help you. Look in many of the same places for people who can help you learn about planning grants, writing grants and finding grant-givers. Some of those places may be colleges, universities, technical schools, large or international non-governmental organizations operating in your area, scientific or research institutes, churches, government offices and eco-tourism facilities. Ask about other organizations in your area that have received grants, and then talk to the grants experts at that organization for advice on how you can get grants.
Many sources of advice, as well as lists of foundations, are available on the Internet. If you do not have access to the Internet, it would be useful to find someone in your area, or perhaps a relative, who does have access to the Internet, and get that person to help you for a few hours.
Below are some internet resources. In some cases, I also give information on how to contact these organization by regular mail (postal service) to ask for advice, help, or literature about fundraising.
Partnership for Clean Indoor Air
Apply for a Partnership for Clean Indoor Air (PCIA) award.
GEF Small Grants Programme
The Resource Alliance
It is the publisher of The Worldwide Grantmakers Handbook. It describes itself as: “…an international network working to build the fundraising and resource mobilization capacity of the voluntary sector, non-governmental and community based organizations. We are passionate in our commitment to help organizations to effectively mobilize support for their causes. We achieve this through training, knowledge sharing and networking activities in Africa, Asia, Pacific, Europe, South Asia and Latin America. The Resource Alliance does not operate as a donor agency and therefore cannot address individual requests for delegate sponsorship.” Contact Information: internet site: http://www.resource-alliance.org/ Head Office—London 295 Kennington Road London SE11 4QE United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 207 587 0287 Fax: +44 (0) 207 582 4335
General inquiries by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
East & Southern Africa Regional Office Ms. Wangui Kibe, Programme Officer Resource Alliance Representative P.O. Box 4932 Nairobi 00200 Kenya Tel: 254-20 4450656 Email: email@example.com
Charities Aid Foundation(CAF)
This is a little bit about what they say about themselves:
“Charities use a wealth of exciting materials and media to build relationships with their audiences and to raise the funds needed for their work. Today, those methods include electronic media from CDs to email and the Internet. CAF has been working since 1995 to help charities to understand and seize the opportunities that new media can present in a manner which complements their more traditional fundraising.
CAF's own fundraising schemes bring charities and donors together in order to encourage regular communication and committed financial support using tax-effective giving. In the UK, over 200,000 employees help charities through their payroll, with the first international pilot commencing this year in India. On the Internet, literally thousands of charities can now benefit from a secure online gift.
So how can we help?
- You can fundraise in print and online easily and effectively
- You can access a wide range of donors offering regular gifts at a high conversion
- You can build lasting relationships with individuals and access corporate networking
CAF has been helping to increase the financial health of charities across the world for over 75 years. By combining an intimate knowledge of the voluntary sector with extensive financial expertise, CAF provides an unusually diverse range of services. Today we manage more than UK £1.4 billion on behalf of charities in over 20 countries. Whether you are a large international non-governmental organisation or a local community project, CAF can help you give your voluntary income a significant boost.” Contact Info: Internet: http://www.cafonline.org/ Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent ME19 4TA Tel +44 (0)1732 520000 Fax +44 (0)1732 520001 Email: enquiries@CAFonline.org
Grantmakers Without Borders
PO Box 18182
Boston, MA 02118 USA
Phone 617.794.2253 Fax 617.266.0497 http://www.internationaldonors.org/index.htm
This is a useful internet site, especially the “Advice for Grantseekers” page.
The Grantsmanship Center
Internet page: http://www.tgci.com/
Sells how to get grant booklets for about $3 to $4. On website, lists of foundations that fund projects internationally.
Address: The Grantsmanship Center, P.O. Box 17220, Los Angeles, CA 90017 USA Telephone: 213-482-9860
Funders Online operates from the European Foundation Centre: 51 rue de la Concorde B-1050 Brussels tel.: +32.2.512.8938 fax: +32.2.512.3265 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.fundersonline.org It has many on-line resources—advice as well as information sources about where to find grants.
The Foundation Center
Internet site: http://fdncenter.org/ The Foundation Center 79 Fifth Avenue/16th Street New York, NY 10003-3076 Tel: (212) 620-4230 or (800) 424-9836 Fax: (212) 807-3677
Many on-line resources. Publishes directories of foundations.
Internet site: http://www.wings-cf.org
WINGS has contact information for foundation centers in many countries.
Kiva matches individuals in poor countries with individuals in richer countries who are willing to loan them money.
- Web site: http://kiva.org
- List of Kiva's field partners in each country: http://www.kiva.org/about/partners
European Grants Index
Published by European Foundation Center this index lists over 1,750 grants and programmes supported by 78 foundations and corporate funders active in Europe. Grant listings are arranged alphabetically by funder, and indexes are provided by funder country and recipient country, as well as by grant subject focus, population focus, geographic focus and type of support awarded. Also includes a statistical analysis of this data. Price: 45 ECU
Internet site for European Foundation Center: http://www.efc.be/
Brussels office: European Foundation Centre 51 rue de la Concorde Brussels Belgium tel.: +32.2.512.8938 fax: +32.2.512.3265 e-mail: efc
The Global Work-Ethic Fund
1521-16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036 USA
What they say they do:
“Vibrant and dedicated civil societies are strengthening democracy in developing and transition countries. But, to prosper in the long run, civil society--including what the US calls non-profits, NGOs, etc.--needs a huge increase in local financial contributions. There are two sides to the coin of solidarity. On the one hand, potential donors should rise to a new level of generosity, collaborating with the many groups trying to improve their societies. In most of these countries, people have traditionally channeled their generosity to their family and business circles. On the other hand, civil society organizations need to show that they are worthy of support. In particular, they need to be thoughtful and professional in the way they raise funds. The Global Work-Ethic Fund specializes in this aspect of solidarity, by offering training on how to diversify sources of income--which leads to financial self-sufficiency--and by offering hands-on advisory services for financial campaigns and projects. Promoting solidarity within a country, and professionalizing fund development within an organization, we strengthen the work-ethic, the sense that individuals and groups should look first to themselves to solve their own problems, doing their jobs with attention to detail, persistence, and ambition. The work-ethic rests on two points of honor:
- Self-sufficiency: people try to solve their own problems.
- Solidarity: everyone pitches in to solve common problems and help the needy.”
They publish and sell:
Más Dinero Para Su Causa
Más Dinero Para Su Causa (More Money For Your Cause) is a book on fundraising and philanthropy in Spanish particularly for the Latin American CSO. Written by Daniel Kelley, a veteran international fund raiser, the book opens the door to contributions from individuals, companies, foundations and governments. This 187 page handbook guides civil society organizations along the path to local and international money while addressing the “whys” and the “hows” of the business: planning a fund raising strategy, working with an effective Board of Directors, organizing campaigns, writing proposals and budgets, and thinking like your donors as you do so.
Kelley presents a sound understanding of Latin American realities, a business-like point of view, a logical presentation, clear prose, incisive commentaries and a sense of humor. A sequel to the 1995 best-selling book, Dinero Para Su Causa, Más Dinero is twice as big as its predecessor, and has up to date information on corporate sponsorships and the Internet.
To order, see: http://globalfund.org/resources.html
US National Council for Science
Supporters and Funders of the US National Council for Science and the Environment may include some foundations that would be of interest to you. Visit their website and look at the list of their supporters and funders: www.ncseonline.org
An organization in the Netherlands called Both Ends has an internet site which describes the organization as being helpful to development groups from the developing countries. Their internet address is www.bothends.org. At this site, if you click on "Services and Resources" you will see options that relate to fundraising. Both Ends' internet site also indicates that it can provide advice to groups through other channels besides their internet page. Their contact information is:
1018 VC Amsterdam
email: mailto:email@example.com telephone: 31-20-623 0823 fax: 31-20-620-8049
They offer some “one to one” assistance. In their own words:
“Environmental organizations in the South and CEE countries may apply for individual assistance in:
- project formulation, fund-raising and information gathering
- support in lobbying and campaigning
Eligble are environment NGOs?CBOs and networks in the South and CEE countries working on initiatives which:
- are strategically important
- show a clear vision on sustainable development
- are embedded in a local agenda”
They also offer fact sheets on various environmental issues and contacts and on fundraising.
Rotary International has provided funds to a few solar cooker projects. To proceed with this plan, you have to find a Rotary Club in your area that is interested in supporting a solar cooker project. I would say that you need to make sure that the Rotary Club is VERY INTERESTED and agrees with you about the basic approaches to carrying out the project. It must be very interested, because to get grants from Rotary International, your local Rotary Club will have to do a lot of work and may have to provide some funds itself. If you find a Rotary Club that is willing to work on this, they should contact Rotary International to find out the procedure for getting grants. Usually, Rotary International prefers to fund projects where a Rotary Club in a developing country is also getting funds from a Rotary Club or District in a wealthy country.
Be prepared to wait 2 to 3 years for the money to actually arrive.
Other international service clubs, such as Lions International or Kiwanis International may also have ways of helping. If you know of local chapters of these groups in your area, you could ask them if they know of ways to help you get funding.
Contact Wilfred Pimentel for Rotary-related matters.
Google's Project 10100 (pronounced "Project 10 to the 100th") is a call for ideas to change the world by helping as many people as possible. Here's how to join in.
- Send Google your idea by October 20th. Simply fill out the submission form giving Google the gist of your idea. You can supplement your proposal with a 30-second video.
- Voting on ideas begins on January 27th. Google will post a selection of one hundred ideas and ask you, the public, to choose twenty semi-finalists. Then an advisory board will select up to five final ideas.
- Google will help bring these ideas to life. They're committing $10 million to implement these projects, and their goal is to help as many people as possible. So remember, money may provide a jumpstart, but the idea is the thing. Good luck, and may those who help the most win. More information...
Fondation Ensemble is interested in many of the issues that solar cooking addresses. Their focus appears to be a good match for many solar cooker groups. One difficult part of Fondation Ensemble's guidelines may be that the country where the project will be implemented must be relatively free of corruption. They are involved in these countries: Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Chile, China, France, India, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Marocco, Peru, Romania, Senegal, and Ukraine. Contact info: http://www.fondationensemble.org/index.php/en - firstname.lastname@example.org