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The Schimel Lode: Encouraging Innovation and Collaboration for the Public Good

Seed Money and Pro bono Consulting Services for Innovation and Collaboration in the Washington, DC Area As of 2019 -

The Schimel Lode Board offers opportunities to bridge some philanthropic boundaries by encouraging and leveraging collaboration and innovation in the Washington, DC area. To do this, we aim to combine our pro bono consulting services and seed money with other sources interested in lower-risk productive experiments suited for these dynamic times of accelerating change.

Given the variety and value of human abilities, potential, and complex needs, some conventional grant categories and missions may constrain visions and strategies. We are therefore interested in synthesizing approaches and ideas using interdisciplinary approaches that also encourage self-sustaining processes. One way to thoughtfully nudge convention and comfort zones is collaborating with a foundation or public-private partnership on an experimental project, modest program, or grant situation. Another possibility is facilitating a cooperative stretch project with a few nonprofits that want to complement and strengthen their work and use of resources.

Imagine, for example, how the arts, technology, and education could be integrated to promote a self-sustaining process of each-one-teach-one skills relevant to the future of work. Or how would a creative mosaic of education, social justice, and health promotion be designed to inspire community action? Here are some other examples of approaches for transcending boundaries and encouraging interdisciplinary innovation and collaboration:

Participants would be involved in creating, activating, and testing ideas from the start. They will then have vested interests in making initially small-scale, experimental ideas viable and sustainable. Effective matches could then reflect the interests, expertise, resources - even passions and dreams - of the parties.

To encourage collaboration and innovation in the Washington, DC area, we offer seed money from $5,00o-$10,000 and pro bono consulting services primarily by Lode Board members. Additional resources and services may be provided by interested collaborators such as foundations and public-private partnerships. See the wide range of Lode Board membersí experience and expertise at

Following are examples of pro bono skill building and professional development processes the Lode Board and collaborators may offer to encourage participantsí self-sufficiency, effectiveness, and success:

There is no due date or schedule for inquiries from participants and conversations about possibilities and ideas. To apply for specific seed money and pro bono consulting services, potential recipients must consider and follow Step One of the instructions at

Since 1998, The Schimel Lode has been a donor-advised fund of the Greater Washington Community Foundation; it must approve choices of our Board. Though the Community Foundation and the Lode Board prefer credible participants with established bona fides such as 501(c)(3) status, we may consider less conventional ones such as alliances, social entrepreneurs, and collaborative groups.

We appreciate your carefully considering our experimental, experiential, collaborative approach. Please bring your open mind, imagination, and originality when we discuss ways to collaborate, innovate, and move beyond silos.