The Bennington Idea fund is a non-profit organization in Bennington, Vermont, that was founded in 2015. Led by volunteers and supported by local businesses, the Idea Fund invests in ideas by distributing grants to people and organizations.
The goal is simple: Empower people to alleviate poverty.
If you have an idea that could help people in Bennington, if you want to help us by volunteering your time, or if you or your business want to invest in our community through a donation to the Idea Fund, click on the buttons below:
The Bennington Idea Fund operates entirely on donations and volunteers.
First, businesses donate money to the Idea Fund—these are our investors.
Then organizations and people in our community come forward with ideas that will help alleviate poverty, and the Idea Fund team works with these idea generators to develop their projects. This is an important step in the Idea Fund model because we're trying to break down any barriers that exist between people in our community that have ideas and the resources they need to make them happen.
After the ideas are developed, idea generators apply for funding. Applications are reviewed by the Idea Fund Steering Committee, a group of local community members with varying areas of expertise on communtiy issues. The Steering Committee collaborates and selects which projects to grant money to.
Our team moniters the progress of projects that are selected for funding using specific, measurable outputs, created by the applicants during the application process. The team also works with projects that are not selected for funding, explaining why they were not selected based on feedback from the steering committee and connecting them with other community resources.
Finally, representatives of successful projects are then invited to join the Idea Fund team and help find, develop, and fund other projects.
The diagram below helps to explain how the Idea Fund model works: