Robotics and LEGOs, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Pioneer Library System’s photostream

The Sprout Fund enriches the Pittsburgh region by supporting innovative ideas that catalyzing community change. On the first Friday of every even-numbered month (February, April, June, August, October, and December), they accept applications for their Spark Fund for Early Learning and their Hive Fund for Connected Learning. Grants are available for up to $15,000, with the average grant size being $10,000.

Spark funding is targeted at projects that help young children develop hands-on skills and digital literacies by expanding their capacity to do as well as to know. While, Hive funding supports connected learning experiences that help prepare tweens, teens, and young adults for college, the workforce, and civic participation.


1H7A7066.jpg, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Georgia Southern’s photostream

Project Criteria for both Spark & Hive funding include the following characteristics:

  • Creative & Innovative: supports inventive solutions and imaginative approaches to learning.
  • Collaborative & Cooperative: works with multidisciplinary teams in mutual support of shared goals and objectives.
  • Equitable, Accessible & Open: promotes the productive exchange of ideas and opportunities for all.
  • Engaging & Participatory: connects to the personal and shared interests of children, youth, and teens, and provides opportunities for them to actively produce, create, experiment and design.
  • Experimental, Catalytic & Transformative: tests promising new ideas with the power to advance learning.
  • Relevant & Impactful: offers enriching experiences attuned to the needs and potential of children, youth, and teens.

To learn more about Sprout’s Spark Fund for Early Learning, click here and go here to start your application.

For information on Sprout’s Hive Fund for Connected Learning, go here and click here to start your application.

The next deadline for both Spark and Hive grants requesting $5,001 to $15,000 is Friday, August 7, 2015 at 5:00 PM. Applications requesting $5,000 or less are welcomed on an ongoing basis.


On the edge, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Miika Silfverberg’s photostream