Awesome Community Hours

Each month, Awesome New Orleans goes out into a different part of New Orleans to spread more AWESOME. We present the check to that month’s winner, share info and invite people to get involved with Awesome New Orleans, AND talk with interested potential applicants one-on-one about their awesome ideas!!

July Awesome Hours was held at Casa Borrega, a great new restaurant on O.C. Haley with delicious authentic Mexican food and a colorful, ecclectic, comfortable ambience. Our July winner was Voice Of The Ex-Offender for their awesome project, Campaign To End Employment Discrimination. Gahiji Barrow, V.O.T.E.’s Program Assistant, accepted the check and shared a bit about the project. Check it out!

Video is courtesy of Awesome New Orleans trustee, Ada McMahon

July Awesome winner, Voice Of The Ex-Offender (, for their Campaign To End Employment Discrimination. Gahiji Barrow accepted the check on behalf of VOTE. We're happy to support this AWESOME idea!

July Awesome winner, Voice Of The Ex-Offender (, for their Campaign To End Employment Discrimination. Gahiji Barrow accepted the check on behalf of VOTE. We’re happy to support this AWESOME idea!

July’s Grant Winner is…

Congratulations to July’s grant winner – Campaign to End Employment Discrimination!


VOTE - Campaign to End Employment Discrimination

Campaign to End Employment Discrimination, a project of Voice Of The Ex-Offender (VOTE), is a media outreach campaign aimed at encouraging employers to hire ex-offenders. VOTE is a grassroots organization dedicated to the economic empowerment and civic engagement of formerly incarcerated people and their community. 

Please join us at our next Awesome Hours event – Saturday, July 20th (6-8pm) at Casa Borrega, 1719 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. We’ll present a $1000 check to this month’s winner, Campaign To End Employment Discrimination. After the check giveaway, trustees will be available to talk one-on-one with you about your project ideas and help you to apply.

Remember, we make $1000 grants every month. Proposals are now being accepted for the August grant cycle. So if you didn’t receive a grant during this cycle, we encourage you to re-apply!

– Your friends at Awesome New Orleans


About Awesome New Orleans: Launched in January 2013, Awesome New Orleans awards monthly $1,000, no-strings-attached grants for “civic media” and “social good” projects to applicants in the Orleans Parish area. We accept applications from everyone who has a great idea– individuals, community organizations and nonprofits alike. Click here to apply!!

Our Decision-Making Criteria

So you’re interested in applying for an Awesome New Orleans $1000 grant? Since we launched in March, we’ve received nearly 100 applications and have given away a total of $4000 to projects that make New Orleans more AWESOME!

With the word spreading about Awesome New Orleans, I thought now would be a good time to let y’all know how we make decisions about granting.

SO, you may not know that we give out $1000 grants to civic media projects eight months out of the year. The other four months of the year are open. To read more about civic media, click here. Every month, each trustee votes on the top three projects s/he thinks should be awarded. Whichever projects get the most votes are discussed at our monthly trustee meeting. Projects that are not civic media focused do not make it to discussion (during the civic media months).


There are currently 20 trustees who gather monthly to choose the month’s grant winner. We all have different opinions, but here are some of the trends on how we vote:

Community Engagement – we love projects that are community-based, community-connected and representative of its target community. Projects that are about building community and that engage members of the target community win over projects that are only beautiful.

Social Justice – we love projects that are about fostering equity and justice.

Marginalized Groups – we support projects that prioritize groups of people who are often overlooked (esp. “people of color”, women, and poor folks).

Youth – we support projects that address issues related to disadvantaged youth.

Creativity – we like to encourage “out-of-the-box” thinking. We want to see new and fresh projects, non-traditional ideas.

Besides that, we like to support projects that could have a “ripple effect,” an impact beyond the project itself. And we’re not afraid to fund projects that don’t have other funding sources. Somebody’s gotta be the first! Finally, we like to support projects that are just FUN.

This is list is by no means a strict criteria for decision-making, rather it’s meant to provide a window into our process. We also fund projects that don’t fit into any of these categories as well!

So now that you know a little more, you may feel inspired to apply for a $1000 grant for YOUR project. Click here to apply!


Note: We only review grants for that month’s grant cycle. So, if you applied for a May grant, we will only review your application in May. We will not review your application for future grant cycles. If you want your application to be considered during another grant cycle, you must apply during that grant cycle. The good news is – you can apply as many times as you want!!