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Attention Philanthropy 2010

At Worldchanging, one of our three main missions is to practice attention philanthropy.

Attention philanthropy is a gift of notice. In a noisy world, deluged in advertising, overrun with PR flacks and crowded with the superficial, one of the biggest barriers to success for a small, good idea or noble enterprise can simply be getting noticed in the first place.

Attention philanthropy is all about shining a light on good work, work worth supporting: it is grant-making that deals in praise, rather than money (though because many funders, journalists and change makers read Worldchanging -- and because these usually kick up a lot of buzz -- the result is usually also more media coverage, funding and networking opportunities).

Over the past few weeks, we have reached out to our network of friends and allies around the world, inviting them to become guest grant makers. Many of them responded by giving the gift of attention to a person, cause or resource they think deserves more attention than it gets.*

This week, we are presenting their "grants" – pithy spotlights of people and projects around the world -- in five days of concentrated attention philanthropy. We're pleased that the result reads like a globally sourced catalog of some of the sharpest innovators and cutting-edge institutions that you may not yet have heard of.

Here's your chance to do a simple, good thing. If the work you find on these pages inspires you, learn more. Visit their websites, contribute to their projects and, above all, help us spread the word far and wide.

And if you'd like to contribute an attention grant of your own, please click here.

Check back each day from May 25-28 as we add to the collection!

These are the grants we have published so far:

PROGRESS: Teaching Women and Girls Negotiation Skills

Ingrid Fetell and the Aesthetics of Joy Facilitating the Struggle Against Oppression in the Middle East and North Africa

Dx1W Competition: Third World Solutions to First World Problems

Any Sulistyowati and KaiL: Grassroots Worldchanging in Indonesia

Jeff Warren: Mapping the Oil Spill with Balloons and Kites

EnlightenNext: Awakening and Connecting People to Global Sustainability

John Mighton and JUMP Math: Turning Math Class into a Tool for Social Justice

Peer Water Exchange: A Web-Based Platform for Global Water and Sanitation Projects

Daily Dump: A Creative Commons Concept for Composting Worldwide

Dan Pitera and Detroit Design Collaborative: Rebuilding and Right-Sizing the Once Great City

Fifth Ward Enrichment Project and Great Plains Restoration Council: Empowering People in Houston

DMY International Design Festival Berlin: Making Good Design Accessible to Everyone

Khan Academy: Useful and Fun Online Learning

Food Loop: A Design-Led Social Enterprise for Localized Composting

Mette te Velde: Coordinating Fun Live Events for the Environment at Strawberry Earth

West Virginia Rx: A Grass-Roots Charitable Central Pharmacy

Pockets of Architectural Freedom: A Resource Map for Finding Green Building Friendly Jurisdictions

Retrofit Ramp-Up: The US DOE's Innovative Climate Action at the Local Level

WISER and ABD: Building Rural Retirement Incentives for Women

Oakland Green Youth Media Arts Center: A Creative Empowerment Hub

Sepp Holzer: A Permaculture Worldchanger

Women's Earth Alliance: International Development through Collaboration

The Remix Project: An Arts + Cultural Incubator in Toronto

Editor's Note: Click here to see last year's grants.

Photo credit: Flickr/DanBrady, Creative Commons License.

*Although we gave our grantmakers free reign to select almost any project that inspired them, we did require that they limit their submissions to projects in which they do not have a financial stake.

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This solar charity project builds photovoltaic infrastructure in the U.S. while funding global poverty programs with revenue from the sale of electricity and carbon credits produced by the solar array:

Posted by: Rob Powell on 28 May 10

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