We wish we could say yes to every request! We can’t. In fact, we don’t accept unsolicited grant requests.

When we do invest philanthropic dollars, we’re most likely to say yes to projects that challenge unfair social norms, elevate diverse/inclusive/under-represented perspectives, and create opportunities for action, impact, and measurable results. We invest in what we think of as “leadership journeys,” supporting people in developing the skills that make them the leaders of their own lives. TheHF’s signature FunnyGirls™ program “trains the trainers” to deliver leadership lessons to girls through fun improv exercises.

Many of our grants and projects are partnerships with others. While we don’t accept unsolicited grant requests, we don’t mind being approached with a project where our partnership seems like a good fit for all of us and it doesn’t include an immediate request for money.

We do. We understand the need. And we understand it’s the least attractive area of investment for many funders because there’s no project to point to, no credit associated with keeping the lights on. We encourage all funders to consider supporting general operations.

*TheHF does not accept unsolicited grants.

When we consider an investment of any dollar amount, we are evaluating the opportunity based on the biggest “bang for the buck” in terms of outcome. Sometimes $500 makes a measurable difference in something we care about! Our grants are most often in the thousands; only a few times in our history has a grantee received $1,000,000 or more.

TheHF does not accept unsolicited grant inquiries. 

How do you feel about waiting for an answer? (And that the answer will probably be “No”?) We always have a high volume of inquiries and getting through ideas for media is not our top philanthropic priority. We are currently disappointing a long list of content creators with whom we already have a relationship. It is highly unlikely that you’ll rise to the top of Mount To Be Read before you need whatever you asked us for.  If you want to toss yours on the pile, [email protected]. We can’t stress this enough: There’s no guarantee anyone will read your unsolicited ask for months, if ever.

If you are seeking funding for a documentary, we are members of Impact Partners, and they always give consideration to every project presented to members, from the script development stage through production and impact campaigns. We also fund through the Sundance Institute’s Catalyst Film Funding consortium and their Film Financing project. This includes features as well as documentaries. Projects that come to us through those sources get our first consideration.

We’ve been in the grantmaking business since 1998, so it’s a pretty long list. Check it out! Through the decades, our focus has expanded and evolved with the changing times and our bigger budget. Whether we’re investing in storytelling, leadership development, an inclusive and equitable society, community building, or economic power and justice, our superpowers have always included early investment in cutting-edge ideas, and relentless expansion of our consciousness to be more aware of what we haven’t seen yet.

Awesome Without Borders was a project of the Harnisch Foundation, which sunsetted in 2024 after awarding over $570,000 in grant money to hundreds of projects. TheHF was the source of the weekly $1000 grants when the applicant was a charity recognized by the IRS with a 501(c)(3) designation. If the recipient wasn’t a nonprofit, the funds came from the personal account of TheHF founder, Ruth Ann Harnisch.

Awesome Without Borders was also a chapter of the Awesome Foundation, an international association of individual chapters usually associated with a geographical area where they give local grants, like Awesome Atlanta. Our chapter was “without borders,” meaning we accepted applications from anywhere in the world. If this sounds like something you and your friends would enjoy doing, start your own chapter! We had the most fun reading about all the awesome things that awesome humans were doing.