What is SoupGrant Lansing?

Our concept is simple: Fund micro-grants (SoupGrants) in our city and gather members of the community for a delicious, homemade, and healthy soup and bread meal.

At the meal, we hear from a range of two-three presentations competing for the SoupGrant. Everyone who makes a suggested $5 donation gets a vote for the proposal that they would like to see funded. We pool these donations together and at the end of the night award them as our SoupGrant!

SGL is the 3rd Thursday of every month. Attendees should bring a bowl and a spoon. The meal is free and open to everyone.

I have an idea. How do I apply for a SoupGrant?

It’s simple. All you have to do is fill out an application.

Due to a variable level of applicants, we do not have a firm deadline established. However, that being said, the earlier you can submit your application, the better. This allows us time to promote you on our website, Twitter, and Facebook and it also allows you to invite your own friends and followers!

Once you’ve been accepted, start letting your friends, family, and supporters know so that they can plan to come out and join us for SoupGrant!

What if I’m not accepted?

If you’re not accepted, we strongly encourage you to apply again! Unless you’re notified that there’s a problem with your application, you can simply resubmit the same application.

What kinds of projects are eligible?

Any creative/innovative project that is focused on making a positive impact in Lansing is eligible for a grant.

For example, if you plan to host a charity concert with the grant, plan a performance in Lansing. If you want to start a business, let us know how this business will benefit Lansing. If you want to fund an art installation, explain how this will be a positive thing for Lansing.

We are especially interested in projects that are accessible to a wide community audience, such as events that are free or low-cost to attendees, events that actively reach out to under-served populations, etc.

How does voting work?

We endeavor to make SoupGrant as open and accessible as possible to as broad a range of people as possible. To vote, we ask that you donate $5. Everyone’s donations get pooled together to create a SoupGrant – the money that we award to the night’s winning project.

I want to donate more money. Do I get more votes?

No. In order to be as open and democratic as possible, we restrict everyone to a single vote. If you would like to donate more money towards the winning project, you are more than welcome to do so!

I can’t be there in person, can I send along $5 and still vote?

No. SoupGrant absolutely relies on your presence at our monthly dinners. We’re not just a fundraiser, we endeavor to provide a forum where ideas can be shared and discussed and we need you there for that. That being said, we totally understand that people may have other places to be on Thursday night! Even if you can’t stay for the whole evening, you are still welcome to vote.

Why do we do it?

SoupGrant aims to spark dialogue about healthy eating and the availability and distribution of resources within our communities and how we can make our community a better place for everyone. Community participation in the grant-funding and selection process is key.

Do I need to represent a non-profit or other official organization in order to apply?

Everyone is welcome to apply! You don’t need to represent an official organization.

The SoupGrant program serves to directly fund great ideas and help visionaries build a network of support that reaches beyond monetary assistance for their project! It is intended as an open platform to discuss ideas and creative projects with new audiences, to meet new collaborators, and to share a vision of positive change in Lansing.

My proposal has been accepted. Now what? 

We encourage you to arrive early so that we can meet you before the night kicks off – to that end, please try to arrive by 6.15 or 6.30 if possible. In the meanwhile, we invite you to promote the event to your colleagues, friends, and followers! The more people that attend, the bigger the SoupGrant we award!

20 people x $5/vote = $100

30 people x $5/vote = $150

50 people x $5/vote = $250

You get the idea!

Is SoupGrant affiliated with a religious group?

No. Although we meet at Grace Lutheran ELCA and are exceedingly grateful for their support and generosity, we are not affiliated with any religious organization. We seek to provide an open and inclusive forum for all members of our community regardless of religious affiliation.

How much money does the winner take home?

Past winners have taken home anywhere from $65 to $260. As of December ’14, recent SoupGrant dinner have been consistently raising in excess of $150 – though that’s not a guarantee!

How do you hold winners accountable?

SoupGrant Lansing is about promoting an atmosphere of trust and accountability. We think of winners as new partners in transforming our community and we stay in touch – not to hound you, but because we want to continue partnering with you and promoting what you do in the community.

We do ask that past winners send us updates as progress warrants. You will be invited to come back and share your work at future dinners as well as send us updates via e-mail so that we can promote your work and your progress on our website.

I am presenting my business at SoupGrant. Can I bring along my product to sell to SoupGrant attendees?

No. We do want your business to succeed and make a profit. To that end, you are welcome to take orders at events and disperse appropriate information about your business, but we ask that no sales take place during SoupGrant events.

We look forward to sharing dinner and ideas with you!

For more information on the SoupGrant idea/model please visit The Soup Network website for a map of similar soup events happening around the world! Also, check out our interview with WKAR!

Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook for all the latest details regarding event times, locations, and guest chefs!