Big Green is not a traditional grantmaker. We work in a slate of cities and communities that changes over time. We often make grants in support of these projects, but those grants are generally initiated by Big Green in collaboration with organizations in the field, rather than through a proposal process. That said, if you believe growing food changes lives, and think we should know about your work, we want to hear from you! Feel free to fill out the form below, and we will review on a quarterly basis. Please know that we may not be able to return all inquiries. But if we become engaged in a project in your community, and are able to consider an investment, we will reach out to you!
About the DAO THE BIG GREEN DAO BELIEVES FUNDAMENTALLY THAT THE PEOPLE AND GROUPS WORKING ON THE FRONTLINES OF THEIR COMMUNITY KNOW WHERE RESOURCES SHOULD GO. PERIOD.
The Big Green DAO Is a first-of-its kind project to radically reconceive and restructure grantmaking. By putting nonprofits in the drivers seat and allowing them to make grant awards, we are valuing firsthand experience, subject matter expertise, and local needs. Within the Big Green DAO, donors and nonprofits work together as peers, participating in a democratic and entirely decentralized process to fund gardening, farming, and agriculture organizations and projects in the US. Launched in 2021, the Big Green DAO is the first nonprofit-led philanthropic DAO in the world. Inspired by the power of decentralization and the potential of blockchain technology to scale philanthropy more efficiently, we created the Big Green DAO to find a more efficient and equitable way to support organizations growing food. We rely on the wisdom of practitioners to make decisions and grow a thriving community of grantees.
$2.6MM granted since 2021
What is A “DAO”?A DAO (decentralized autonomous organization), is a blockchain-based organization governed by code instead of people.
A DAO (decentralized autonomous organization), is a blockchain-based organization governed by code instead of people. It’s community-owned by its members with a built-in treasury that nobody has permission to use without the approval of the group. The Big Green DAO is controlled by its grantees and donors, with everyone getting the same vote. While there are many versions of DAOs, the Big Green DAO is not fully autonomous and exists both on-chain and off-chain. It operates under the umbrella of Big Green’s 501c3, following all applicable laws and best practices for nonprofit organizations. We utilize numerous safeguards to protect both our grantee members and our donors’ investments in the project.
How does it work? THE BIG GREEN DAO IS A GRANTMAKER. ITS DAY-TO-DAY WORK IS FIRST AND FOREMOST, MAKING GRANTS TO ORGANIZATIONS AND UPLIFTING THE WORK OF NONPROFITS THAT ARE GROWING FOOD.
The DAO has two bodies. The first is a governing body called the Committee that provides leadership and supports the Community, which is made up of the nonprofit grantees and donors to the DAO. Each member holds a Token that empowers them to vote on DAO governance.
The DAO receives donations to its Treasury, which is the fund from which grants are made. It also funds education and events in support of the DAO's nonprofit member.
When a grant cycle opens, each member of the Community may vote on who should receive grants from the Treasury and how much the grant should be. Grants are awarded based on optimized consensus to reflect the majority perspective of the Community.
Successful grantees are awarded an unrestricted grant, Community membership, and a token to participate in future votes. The Community engages in peer-to-peer learning, DAO-facilitated education and professional development, and support one another in helping more people grow their own food.
Tokens & Voting
After a year, grantees can burn their token and reapply for funds and membership, or they can keep their token and Community membership without reapplying for funding.
DAO Leadership THE BIG GREEN DAO COMMITTEE IS MADE UP OF LEADERS FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY, EACH OF THEM WORKING TO GROW FOOD IN THEIR OWN COMMUNITIES
The DAO Committee leads the DAO in governance and grantmaking. They set the direction for the DAO each year and ensure that every decision is what’s best for the Community and the cause — changing the face of philanthropy while supporting the grassroots organizations working every day to grow food for their communities.
Hand, Heart, and Soul Project
Wande Okunoren-Meadows is a nationally recognized early childhood advocate with over 25 years of experience leading and championing community-based programming. As a disruptive innovator, she calls for designing meaningful solutions through collaborative partnerships that listen first, engage second, and support last.
As the Executive Director of the Little Ones Learning Center, Wande found that families had significant barriers to accessing nutrient-dense, sustainable, fresh food. She mobilized an internationally recognized grassroots effort to bring farm stands to the community, and her fight against inequity spawned a new venture to increase opportunities in historically under-represented communities. Hand Heart and Soul Project (HHSP) was founded to serve Clayton County through actionable training, resources, and support.
Wande is an advisor on many early care and equity initatives, such as Georgia Governor Nathan Deal’s first Early Education Subcommittee, and is the recipient of a number of prestigious awards, including the Fan Brooke Award for Grassroots Leadership from the Georgia Association for the Education of Young Children.
Brownsville Wellness Coalition
Veronica Dimas, known as “Vero,” is the Executive Director for the Brownsville Wellness Coalition, a 501C3 nonprofit. She was born and raised in Brownsville, TX and studied legal and social work at Texas Southmost College in Brownsville. She worked in the legal field for over a decade before following her passion for local food systems and obtaining her Master Gardener certification.
In 2014, Vero became the farmers’ market manager for the Brownsville Wellness Coalition, a 501C3 nonprofit with a mission to cultivate healthy food and lifestyles, and in 2016, Vero was appointed Executive Director.
As Executive Director, Vero created and directs five additional programs for the organization, including urban farms, community gardens, a mobile fresh food market, “La Cocina Alegre,” a healthy cooking and nutrition education series, and movement and exercise programs.
Vero is an advocate for healthy food, food security, and mental health. She is bilingual and serves on several local boards and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s SNAP working group. Vero lives in Brownsville, Texas and is the mother of four daughters. Her passions include community service, gardening, walks, and visiting farmers’ markets around the country.
Founder and CEO, Gardopia Gardens
Stephen Lucke, MA, COF is food systems expert and activist focusing on health and environmental justice, educating and empowering communities on how to lead healthy and sustainable lifestyles through urban agriculture. He became aware of San Antonio’s obesity epidemic and climate crises in his college years, sparking his journey to help find a solution to declining planetary and population wellness that disproportionately impacts BIPOC communities. In 2015 at 25 years old Stephen founded Gardopia Gardens to help solve the challenges facing his community by working with educational and community institutions to ensure current and future generations have the knowledge and skills to cultivate a high quality of life for themselves and society, fighting against malnutrition related diseases and environmental degradation.
Project Sweetie Pie
Catherine Fleming has over 25 years of experience in Information Technology, having worked for some of the industry's top corporations and rising to VP level. Catherine is also a real estate developer and property manager and has been involved in projects spanning the Minneapolis Light Rail Extension Project, the City of Minneapolis’s Green Zone Task Force, MICAH (Metropolitan Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing), & the Environmental Justice Coordinating Council. She has acquired and rehabilitated ALF's (assisted living facilities) and mixed-use properties. Catherine is a senior partner in a healthy vending machine company and has interests in properties across the US. Currently, she serves as the Chief Financial Officer at Project Sweetie Pie, a nonprofit organization working to achieve justice in the environment, food, climate, and economics. Catherine is a proud North Minneapolis resident and a social advocate for her community.
SSG Lacy McDonald
Lake Middle School & Outer Haven
SSG Lacy McDonald served honorably with the United States Army for 13 years with 2 deployments to Afghanistan. Currently, he volunteers full-time at Lake Middle School as a fitness coach and garden lead, providing weekly lessons to Lake’s center-based students. Additionally, he created a nonprofit organization called Outer Haven that provides outdoor urban education through fitness, camping, gardening, and archery. Lacy was a highly decorated Soldier being awarded the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Combat Action Badge, Army Commendation Medal with Valor, and nominated Soldier of the year in 2014 by the Chamber of Commerce of Aurora. Lacy has an extensive background mentoring and guiding the youth over the last 8 years. It is Lacy's goal to provide wisdom, character building, social-emotional support, and leadership skills for the youth today to become the leaders of tomorrow.
Dianna joined Big Green after nearly two decades working in public education in Wisconsin. She served as a high school teacher, curriculum coordinator, and middle school principal during that time. Dianna's background includes graduate coursework leading to a Master's Degree in Alternative Education, and licensure in Educational Leadership and Curriculum and Instruction. Her passion has been and continues to be working toward ends that help children reach their full potential, often through creative or alternate programming options.
Fund the future of philanthropy
There are thousands of organizations out there doing incredible work in food justice, it’s nearly impossible to choose just one to support. Your contribution will be put to work supporting hundreds of nonprofit and grassroots organizations across the country to grow more food and grow their voice and power in philanthropy.
Please note, due to the nature of cryptocurrency donations and because they are immediately converted into fiat per our nonprofit bylaws, we cannot offer refunds on any donations that are made in cryptocurrency.
Grant OpportunitiesGET STRAIGHTFORWARD, FAST FUNDING FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION FROM THE BIG GREEN DAO COMMUNITY
If your nonprofit is growing food, and you want to take an active role in creating a more equitable, accessible philanthropic future, the Big Green DAO is for you.
Applying takes less than 7 minutes
Food or gardening nonprofits can receive funding from the Big Green DAO. Successful applicants will also receive a DAO governance token to drive future funding. See the full list of requirements here.
BIG GREEN DAO OFFERS GRANTS Two to three TIMES PER YEAR. Subscribe to our mailing list to make sure you don't miss a grants round.
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