Our community is filled with brilliant diabetes advocates just itching to do good deeds, but awareness campaigns and educational projects take both time and money, right? That's where the Diabetes Hands Foundation wants to step in and lend a hand ;). They've announced today the launch of a new project funding initiative called DHF Seeds, a grant program dedicated to fostering ideas for improving the lives of people touched by diabetes (ooh, sounds familiar!).
The Diabetes Hands Foundation is the organization behind of a lot of advocacy programs you've probably seen if you follow the activities of the DOC (diabetes online community). Our friend and fellow advocate Manny Hernandez founded the community site TuDiabetes back in 2008, and the DHF grew out of that to encompass the new Diabetes Advocates program — a consortium of us D-bloggers and online activists — as well as other initiatives like the Big Blue Test, the No Sugar Added poetry book, and the Word in Your Hand campaign.
The new Seeds program, funded by Sanofi US Diabetes, will award nine $2,000 micro-grants to non-profit 501(c)3 organizations and members of the Diabetes Advocates program, which is currently made up of 64 D-advocates and bloggers. Why those restrictions? Basically, 501(c)3 organizations are required to ensure that money they dole out goes towards charitable programs. Because other 501(c)3 organizations have IRS oversight, there is less risk when one 501(c)3 gives money to another. But rules get a little more complicated when money is given to an individual, which is why the DHF decided to limit grants to those already vetted by the Diabetes Advocates membership process.
If you have a big idea but aren't a 501(c)3 or a member of Diabetes Advocates, fear not. Manny suggests contacting an existing DA member to see about working together. Manny says he hopes the DHF Seeds program will encourage folks to work collaboratively.
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To be considered for funding, proposals have to fit within one of these three categories:
- connecting people touched by diabetes
- educating and informing people about diabetes
What kind of proposals are they looking for? Pretty much anything, so long as it's D-focused.
"Whether artistic, emotional or treatment-related, we are helping passionate advocates bring their innovative, creative and fun ideas to life," Manny explains. "The type of ideas funded through DHF Seeds might range from comic books to viral videos to online chats to poster campaigns." In other words, the sky's the limit!
A select group of Diabetes Advocates members will judge the proposals and pick the top five in each category. After that, the whole diabetes community will have a chance to vote online for their favorite proposals during a month-long open voting period in June. The top 3 proposals in each category will be announced on August 1.
Submissions for the DHF Seeds program will be accepted online starting starting Monday, March 19, but you have to act quickly. Proposals will only be accepted until April 2, so that gives you just two weeks. Still, Corinna Cornejo, a volunteer with DHF Seeds, says not to worry about the quick turnaround time.
"The written application is only about a dozen questions and we're looking for short answers," Corinna explains. "Writing up this application won't require the same level of detail or research that a traditional grant does. Other than sketching out the budget, an applicant should be able to write this application in a single sitting."
If you don't qualify to submit your proposal personally, or can't find someone to work with immediately, no worries there either. You'll have a chance to apply to become a member of the Diabetes Advocates program youself starting in mid-March, and could then apply for a DHF Seed grant during their next round of funding, which Manny says will be offered at least once a year (as funding allows).
So, what's your big idea? We can't wait to see what the community comes up with!