Community Cultivation Grants: put a little octane in the tank to get your community going

Getting things off the ground in any open source community is a challenge.  Beyond motivation, you need some resources to help get things moving with outreach and educational programs. To help you overcome some of the barriers, the Drupal Association has been piloting the Community Cultivation Grant program, drawing on the same awesome attitude that has earned the Drupal Community its community-oriented reputation within the open source universe. 

Now moving beyond the pilot stage, the grant program continues to consider proposals and award grants on an ongoing basis. So far, more than $27,000 has been awarded to 23 organizations in 18 different countries. The funds are meant to assist organizers and leaders to transform, support, and educate their local Drupal communities. They fund creative projects and events like lecture series, sprints for newbies and Drupal Camps to spur growth by educating both inside and outside of the existing community.

A few of the recent grants supporting several unique themes include:

  • Room for Families: Village of Oak Park Drupal User Group’s monthly Ladder/Core Contributor Sprints seeks to broaden the number and type of participants by making accommodations for families with small children (safe, fun places for them to play) and older kids (providing assistance for them to participate and contribute.)
  • College Outreach: DrupalCamp Vietnam, is focusing on introducing Drupal to 500-700 computer science students, programmers and institutions interested in OS CMS. The camp takes place in November, and is expected to attract about 500 people early on as powerful web development tool for young IT students & graduates.
  • Group Learning: Drupal Rally Belarus will serve about 100 people in a Drupal-forum-like event that focuses on cooperation, practical tasks in an informal setting. 

A full listing of the projects that have been awarded is at https://association.drupal.org/grants/awarded

It is not hard to apply, if you have a idea that you think is worth funding.  You can get started at http://association.drupal.org/grants. The rolling application process means that there are no deadlines or grant cycles, so proposals can be submitted anytime and will be reviewed as they come in to ensure the association is responsive to groups and their event schedules. 

Applications are judged on the level of positive impact to the community and how effective the project will be in building and supporting that community.  Other criteria include the amount of the request, level of marketing efforts for the project, ability to measure the success of the project, and number of people who will benefit. 

If you or someone you know has a community-building idea or need that could use a little fuel, check out: https://association.drupal.org/grants/apply.