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How does Headwaters choose Giving Project participants?

Interested applicants submit an online interest form, which are typically available in October. After reading interest forms, Program Team or alum schedule one-on-one conversations to get to know each applicant better. Staff invite the new Giving Project participants to join the cohort by mid-December, with programming beginning each January.

Headwaters centers Black People, Indigenous People, and people of color in the Giving Project. We also prioritize LGBTQ-identified folks and participants from diverse age and class backgrounds. 

Who and what is Headwaters looking for in a Giving Project participant.

We look for people who will commit to the full six months of programming. If you have the time and capacity to fully invest in this unique cohort experience and are passionate about organizing donors to fund social movements, please apply.

We are also dedicated to meeting our overall goals for cohort diversity. Headwaters centers Black People, Indigenous People, and people of color in the Giving Project. We also prioritize LGBTQ-identified folks and participants from diverse age and class backgrounds. 

I'm interested! I work for an organization that plans to apply for a Giving Project grant, though. Can I still join?

Yes! People involved with grantee organizations can use the Giving Project as a way to inform and influence their own work. We use a conflict-of-interest policy to ensure that anyone closely involved with an applicant organization does not participate in the discussion or scoring of that organization’s application.

I can't make all of the program dates. Should I still apply?

Being present at all meetings is how we build collective analysis and support. We prioritize participants who can attend all meetings, trainings, and other sessions...including the final celebration each summer!

What if I told you I hate asking for money?

Frankly, most people do, and there are lots of reasons why. We work with each cohort to find their possible reasons during the staff-led fundraising training. That's when participants learn how to ask for money and to feel good about it. Participants begin to see that they are engaging in powerful, direct action for social change. It’s not just about fundraising; Giving Project participants become donor organizers – using their own donations and influence to bring in more donations from their networks. 

Does the Giving Project use social media or e-mail campaigns to fundraise?

No. We train participants in relational grassroots fundraising. This means participants lead face-to-face conversations with people in their networks. They share personal values through storytelling, and then make a direct ask. We avoid online, crowd-sourcing platforms. The purpose of the Giving Project experience is to build a participant's relational fundraising skills, which is the most challenging—and yet still the most effective—type of fundraising.

Can I still participate if I live outside of the Twin Cities Metro area?

You don't need to be in the area to participate. However, it’s worth considering that our program meetings are in Minneapolis and site visits take place throughout Minnesota. Headwaters doesn't provide travel stipends or cover lodging expenses. If you need of overnight accommodations, we can connect you with a Headwaters supporter to host you.

Is childcare available?

Yes! Headwaters is committed to providing childcare as part of the program. If you need childcare, please tell us during the application process.

I'm interested, but I can't commit this year. How can I stay connected and support?
  • Tell others about the Giving Project!  We need your help to get the word out.
  • Be willing to be fundraised. We need a list of supporters willing to have one-to-one conversations with our Giving Project participants who would be “easy asks.”
  • Donate.  In order to make Giving Projects work, we need financial support from people who love the idea and the work but can’t be involved themselves. You can choose to donate to the Giving Project or to the Headwaters’ general fund.