Do you have a zany, over-the-top, “no one will ever fund this because it’s too crazy” kind of idea? You’re in the right place! From Buffalo to Zimbabwe, we’ve supported an installation that lit up the Arizona Canal, a magazine controlled by its readers, and a street-side ball pit that encourages connectedness. There is awesome lurking in every corner. Our job is to find and fund it.

Welcome to Awesome Without Borders!

Awesome Without Borders is a program of the Harnisch Foundation that offers weekly, no-strings-attached $1,000 grants to boost brilliant ideas at a critical time during the project development, and is one of the 100+ chapters in the Awesome Foundation network.

In early 2013, The Harnisch Foundation — which has been practicing creative, progressive grantmaking since 1998 – fell in love with its ideological counterpart, The Awesome Foundation. (Basically, our peas found their carrots.)

The Awesome Foundation distributes a series of monthly $1,000 grants to projects and their creators. The money is pooled together from the coffers of ten or so self-organizing “micro-trustees” and given upfront in cash, check, or gold doubloons. The chapters are autonomous and organized by the trustees around geographic areas or topics of interest. The Foundation provides these grants with no strings attached and claims no ownership over the projects it supports. It is, in the words of one of our trustees, “a micro-genius grant for flashes of micro-brilliance.” To date, 106 chapters have been established in over 25 countries, with 1000+ projects funded.

The Harnisch Foundation wanted a chapter! So, Awesome Without Borders was born. Then we took it one step further and decided to fund one grantee each week.

Interested? Check out our FAQ which outlines our general guidelines for applications.


We are a hodgepodge of wizards, sprites, and flamethrowers granting wishes and sprinkling fairy dust on the most awesome ideas around. Meet the fun loving Trustees of Awesome Without Borders.


Although our Dean’s day might include screening a rough cut of a documentary she’s funding, or talking with one of her “up to something big” coaching clients, or considering grants from the Harnisch Foundation, Ruth Ann says our Awesome Without Borders chapter of the Awesome Foundation is one of her favorite ways to invest fast cash in awesome people and their eye-popping, heartwarming, soul-stirring ideas.


She has been on a date with a boa constrictor, spent weekends with wild lion cubs, and rode an elephant in the Barnum & Bailey Circus Parade. She was an extra in the classic movie Nashville, was an executive producer of the Oscar-winning documentary The Hunting Ground, and has a picture of herself holding the Oscar for Best Documentary won by Impact Partners, in which she is a partner. Back in the days of dial phones, when people called up to get the correct time and temperature, people in many American cities heard her voice delivering the info. She doesn’t read a note of music but she performed with the Nashville Symphony (narrator Peter and the Wolf)


Born and raised in the green valleys of Toronto, Canada, Glenna Fraumeni spends a hefty chunk of her time out of doors with curiosity, a backpack, and bike as constant accoutrements to her being. She holds degrees in Advanced Nursing and Bioethics and is true to her Canadian roots with a strong passion for speaking French when the moment calls. She provides community nursing care in homes, on outreach health buses and in the shelter system. Always with a new forest to explore, a MultiSport race to train for, or a wilderness first aid course to take. Have peanut butter? Will travel.


Jenny Raymond is a New Yorker. This job description includes: life wrangler, an oboist, momwife, and brainstormer-officiant with The Harnisch Foundation since 1999. Working with the Foundation, Jenny has been on the forefront of executing creative philanthropy experiments, from sustainable new models of journalism and empowering initiatives for girls and women, to spreading the passion of philanthropy itself, all the while proselytizing the fine art of cultivating relationships with funders to create long-lasting partnerships. But, Awesome Without Borders has, by far, been the juiciest melon in her trebuchet.



We are working hard to catch up on 1000s of applications. Please do not add to the pile of awesomeness right now.

Any applications submitted between August 24, 2021 and January 9, 2022 will not be reviewed, and no responses will be sent.

To be clear: Apply on January 10, 2022, and not one day earlier, because we don’t want to miss your awesome idea!

Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@AF_WB), Facebook (@AwesomeWithoutBorders), and here on our fab website for updates on our weekly grant announcements. You can also join our quarterly newsletter:

See you next year.

Awesome Without Borders Trustees