Our Grant Policies


We at GBF know how important it is to our grant applicants that their requests receive prompt and thorough attention. We always review submittals within 24 hours of receipt, but we occasionally encounter applications don’t seem to meet the qualifications we list below. The requests for clarification that follow these discoveries always delay the approval process, an unwelcome result for all concerned.

We ask prospective applicants to please first read the following policies carefully to ensure that we can help alleviate their particular circumstances.


What do we fund?

Our primary focus is to subsidize poets with sustenance needs; especially when the needs are time-critical. Only essential necessities for the applicant or the applicant’s immediate family are supported, such as for medical care, food, shelter, and some transportation expenses. One’s immediate family is defined as only the applicant him- or herself, and one’s legal spouse, parent(s), and children. No funding will be given for needs directly related to slam, i.e., entry fees, travel, or publishing.

Who do we fund?

We assist only active U.S. slam poets. To verify an applicant’s activity, we may ask for confirmation from the local slammaster.

How much do we grant each request?

Since funds are limited at present, awards now range from a minimum of $100 to a maximum of $500 per approved request. The GBF Board expects to change the maximum to a percentage of the funds available once reliable sources are established and sustainable funds are secured.

We are sorely aware that GBF will not be able to resolve all financial needs. Nevertheless, no application will be rejected because we cannot deliver the entire requested amount. Our goal will always be to fulfill at least some portion of every approved request.

How do we choose among applications?

When the requested amount is $200 or less, awards are made simply at the Administrator’s discretion. 

When the request is for more than $200, the applicant’s name and local slam (only) are passed to slam cognoscenti to screen for people known to be problematic to the slam community. Once cleared, the Administrator scrubs the applicant’s need statement of identifying information, then sends it to a panel of advisers, each of whom has been selected from the slam community. The advisers independently review the statement for its urgency and relevance to the GBF mission, then return their ratings to the Administrator. The panel’s average of ratings determines whether the request is funded and, if so, at what level.

How quickly do we act?

When the request amount is $200 or less, the GBF Administrator will respond immediately. Response will occur only after polling GBF advisers when the request is for more than $200. This can take as long as two weeks to complete.

How do we deliver grants?

By PayPal, Venmo or by mailed check, as preferred by the applicant.

What do we publicly report?

  • Our funding policies, as listed above.
  • Selected text from successful applications and statements of gratitude, but always with the applicants’ identifying information redacted.
  • Other information only when and where required by state and federal regulations.

How do applicants apply?

By sending the GBF Administrator your specifics: click here for the online application form. Poets may apply multiple times, but will be funded only once per calendar year.