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Dreamstarter Application Q&As

11/18/16 under Dreamstarter





Earlier this week we held a Q&A session for the Dreamstarter grant. We wanted to share a few of the questions and answers we received, that might answer questions other applicants have. Please consult our FAQ or email to answer any other questions you may have.

  • Q: Can the $10k be used for a stipend/pay for the mentee or do all the funds need to go towards implementation?

A: There is a cap of 10% that can do towards administration costs. Paying salaries and etc would be budgeted under this. The majority of funds should go towards programming. The Dreamstarter does receive a $500 award at the end of the grant period.


  • Q: The mentee would like to expand the programming in an existing program – Is it OK to expand an existing program if the addition is completely new?

A: Yes. Please be sure to highlight the differences and how the applicant is seeking to expand the existing programming in the application .


  • Q: Does the mentee/Dreamstarter have to implement in the community in which they live? or can it be where the mentor is?

A: The program doesn’t have to take place in the community where the mentee/Dreamstarter lives by rule, but the application should demonstrate why they'd like to do it there. We like to see that the project is really the youth's dream, and not only something the mentor came up with. And it also should seem feasible for the mentee/Dreamstarter to be involved in the project and present, without too much of the grant going to travel expenses.


  • Q: I'm having issues filling out the budget and timeline in the online application...Is there another way I can submit these sections?

A: Yes! You can email us at and we can send you either PDF or excel versions of the forms directly.


  • Q: During implementation, did most of the past Dreamstarters seem to use the whole timeline to implement the project? Or was it something done using half of the grant year, or a quarter etc? Looking at the mentee's dream, we may be planning and implementing either during the summer or school year but not really both.

A: Your projects do not need to be an entire calendar year, but the reporting deadlines & due dates that are fixed. For example, Year 1 Dreamstarter James Pine had all of his running camps take place over the summer of 2015, but the grant year was still technically open until June 2016. We've had Dreamstarters who use all of the grant period, some who use most of it, some who only use a small part. And all of that worked for us, as long as they used the funds within the grant period (you can't go past the end of the grant period with the funds). Just be sure to provide a clear and concise timeline with your application.


  • Q: Are there any types of projects that explicitly cannot receive funding?

A: Dreamstarter is a unique grant in that we don’t have a hard set of restrictions. Some things that may negatively impact your application include: not being on theme, not submitting a complete application, a very large % of your project going to overhead/travel costs that don't have clear programmatic value. Feel free to email us with your idea if you'd like more personal feedback.


  • Q: Does the program have to be related to a school to meet the education theme requirement?

A: No, what's important is that you are able to show how your program is related to the theme of education, it does not necessarily need to involve a school.


  • Q: One  question states “describe your community.” Does the applicant describe their home community in which they grew up? Or the community in which they attend college/live now?

A: They should be describing the community they intend to work in. However, if they'd like to include more background information of their hometown, they are more than welcome to.


Please email us any other questions you may have at! And don't forget to apply by December 16, 2016 at 6:00 PM EST.

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