Information for Grantseekers

We do not accept unsolicited grant proposals. We make grants to organizations that have been recommended to us for funding through one of our advisory boards.

Our goal is to support environmental and social justice groups that would otherwise not have access to funding. We have developed a grantmaking model that relies on trusted advisors to identify organizations working in their region or issue area. Our advisors work as volunteers to identify groups; to help us allocate our grantmaking funds among those groups; and to provide on-going mentoring and other assistance to our grantees.

This approach allows us to avoid the costly process of soliciting and reviewing proposals, which, in turn, keeps our overhead low, enabling us to send more funds to where they belong—the grassroots. It also allows start-up and community organizations, which may be unfamiliar with the traditional proposal process, to gain access to seed funding.

Our reliance on our advisor network allows us to fill a unique and important niche and support hundreds of important projects around the globe. As a courtesy to them, we do not publish their contact information. We apologize for any inconvenience or frustration this policy may cause. We wish you well in securing funds for your own project and applaud your hard work in helping to build a more just and sustainable world.

Below is a compilation of resources we have put together to guide grantseekers in finding alternative funding opportunities.

Current AwardsGlobal NetworksPhilanthropic NewsFunds/FoundationsGrants/DonorsGrant Opportunities

The following are current and up-to-date options for awards to apply for:

  • Yale World Fellows Program-The Yale World Fellows Program provides emerging leaders with an exceptional opportunity to enrich themselves by enhancing their critical thinking skills, learning all they can about cutting-edge issues, and developing a strategic vision for their own professional trajectories and societal impacts. 14-18 fellowships are awarded each year.
  • The Guardian International Development Achievement award is designed to recognize some of the unsung heroes of international development. These are people who have made a profound contribution to the alleviation of poverty, working above and beyond the call of duty to make a difference to the lives of some of the world’s poorest people. This contribution can be made either directly – through their own work or activities – or indirectly as a result of others using their achievements to improve their lives (e.g. technological inventions or agricultural research). Deadline July 31st.
  • The Equator Prize is awarded biannually to recognize outstanding community efforts to reduce poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.The Equator Prize is designed to shine a spotlight on these leading grassroots efforts by celebrating them on an international stage. Equator Prize nominations are accepted from three regions of eligibility within the equatorial in Asia and the Pacific, Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition to worldwide recognition for their work, a monetary award, and an opportunity to shape national and global policy, all nominees are invited to join the Community Knowledge Service and are profiled in the Equator Knowledge Zone database of practice.
  • 2011 Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility (IPAF) -The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)  is inviting indigenous peoples’ organizations and communities, and organizations that work with them, to apply for grants that fund projects and partnerships to promote the development of indigenous peoples and their unique cultural identity.Grants ranging from US$20,000 to US$50,000 will be awarded to applicants from IFAD’s developing Member States through the Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility (IPAF).

These other foundation networks will have resources available for more grant opportunities:

  • Philanthropic News Digest, funded by the Foundation Center, provides current news on philanthropy. Can be sorted by thematic focus.
  • Chronicle of Philanthropy is daily non-profit news
  • Asia Pacific Philanthropy Consortium (APPC) acts as an information clearinghouse for the nonprofit sector in the Asia-Pacific region. This site promotes philanthropic activities while simultaneously offering resources for building and developing nonprofit, citizen-based organizations and programs. Notable features: the APPC’s online foundation index and resource database.
  • Global Philanthropy Alliance encourages grant proposals from grassroots organizations in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa working in the areas of community development, youth empowerment and local philanthropy.
  • Urgent Action Fund supports women’s rights movements worldwide providing rapid response grants and collaborative advocacy and alliance building.
  • The McKnight Foundation, Inc. seeks to improve quality of life for present and future generations though grant making, public policy initiatives/ reforms, and coalition building.
  • John D. and Catherine E. MacArthur Foundation makes grants worldwide in support of public interest media projects. They have four sectors of grant making, one including International Programs focused on international issues, including human rights and international justice, peace and security, conservation and sustainable development, higher education in Nigeria and Russia, migration and human mobility, and population and reproductive health.
  • The Asia Foundation a nonprofit, non-governmental organization committed to the development of a peaceful, prosperous, just, and open Asia-Pacific region.
  • The Conservation Food and Health Foundation promotes the conservation of natural resources, improves the production and distribution of food, and improves health in the developing world by establishing grants within developing countries in its three areas of interest (conservation, food, and health).
  • The Peace and Development Fund has three primary foci in providing services to our Community Partners – grant making, capacity building/technical assistance, and fiscal sponsorship. PDF has always looked at peace as just not the absence of war or militarism, but as the presence of equitable relationships among people, nations, and the environment.
  • The UN Trust Fund On Indigenous Issues: The Trust Fund will give priority to projects concerning the main areas of the Second Decade: culture, education, health, human rights, the environment and social and economic development. Indigenous organizations or organizations working for indigenous peoples can apply for small grants from the Fund. It is expected that the Fund will mainly be used for small grants projects with a budget for up to $10,000 covering one year’s expenses. Project proposals will open for 2012 on July 1st.

List of directories for grants and donors:

  • Latin America Donor Index provides a list of donors in Latin America and Information on the type of organization, geographic focus, and thematic areas of funding.
  • International Human Rights Funders Group provides a directory of human rights funders designed to enable both grantmakers and grantseekers to search for human rights funders by several key criteria: areas of rights funding, activities supported and geographic focus.
  • Global Giving connects those seeking funding with Donors. It provides a space where grant seekers can share their project online to connect with donors.
  • International Funders for Indigenous Peoples provides grantmakers and grantseekers with the means to bridge cultural differences and improve the effectiveness of indigenous philanthropy. For indigenous peoples, they provide funding opportunities and grant proposal advice.
  • Environmental Defender Law Center provides a list of resources for environmental defenders facing threats or legal actions.
  • Terra Viva Grants provides a database of funding opportunities for grant seekers. It is an interesting on-line listing of diverse international grant opportunities for agriculture, energy, environment and natural resources. This is a great database to search updated current opportunities. They also include monthly updates of grant opportunities.
  • The Foundation Center provides a Philanthropy News Digest posting current news and opportunities for Grantseekers. The “Request for Proposals” is a weekly digest of all current opportunities for grantseeker which can be organized by subject. (For international grant opportunities, select international affairs)
  • NGO news Africa provides an updated list of grant openings for grantseeking NGO’s in Africa.
  • Africa Grantmakers affinity group is dedicated to promoting increased and more effective funding in Africa through building and sharing knowledge. They provide a database of funders in Africa. Grantseekers can search by country and or thematic focus to find relevant funders.