Michelson Spark Grants

Michelson 20MM Foundation

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Next anticipated deadline: Mar 16, 2021

Later anticipated deadlines: Apr 27, 2021 11:59pm PDT

Grant amount: Up to US $25,000

Fields of work: Technology Access & Digital Literacy College Success / Persistence Career/College Preparation Vocational & Trade Education

Applicant type: For-Profit Business, Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach

Location of project: United States

Location of residency: United States

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About this funder:



Michelson 20MM Foundation

The mission of the Michelson 20MM Foundation is to improve access, affordability, and efficacy in postsecondary education that leads to meaningful careers. 

Sparks Grants Overview

The vision for the Spark Grants program is to introduce an innovative just-in-time grantmaking process to fill urgent needs for education organizations that are well-aligned with our Key Target Outcomes. We seek to fund highly impactful initiatives that would not be possible if they needed to wait through a traditional grant decision timeline.

Grant Evaluation Criteria

Baseline Grant Criteria

  • Grant ask is up to $25,000
  • Grant would cover a specific self-contained milestone focus
  • Accepted types of milestones: inflection points, things that may open up a new foothold with a partner (such as enabling a new partnership with a market leader), new proof of concept
  • Examples of milestone restrictions: general operating expenses (rent, utilities, server costs, etc.), on-going inventory, general working capital

Key Target Outcomes

  • Increase the number of underserved learners who enroll in postsecondary opportunities.
  • Increase the number of individuals prepared for 21st century careers.
  • Decrease the cost of postsecondary education for all students.
  • Increase students’ college persistence.  
  • Decrease students’ average time to degree completion.
  • Advance nascent digital technologies that are relevant to learning outcomes.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • The Spark Grant program is available to United States-based non-profits, institutions, and for-profits (for for-profit organizations we will apply additional scrutiny to mission alignment).
  • What we're looking for:
    • Alignment with Key Target Outcomes
    • Potential Impact of Grant
    • Measurability of Project Impact
    • Long-term Organization Sustainability
    • Scalability of Project


  • Examples of non-fundable items: no general operating expenses, nothing outside of the self-contained program/initiative, on-going expenses (rent, utilities, server costs, etc.), on-going inventory, working capital.