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In seeking the greatest impact possible with our available resources, the Luis von Ahn Foundation does not accept  unsolicited grant proposals, requests, or letters of inquiry. Grant application guidelines are available only for invited organizations.

Grantmaking Model

As a relatively small foundation working in a country with so many needs, we believe that by focusing on a few specific areas we will have time to delve into the issues, build relationships with organizations and leaders already doing the work, and ease into other areas and grantmaking responsibilities.

Our strategic approach will be deep, meaning we grant generous financial support (on average our grants are equivalent to 10-20% of an organization’s annual budget) to a few handpicked nonprofits.

90% of the Foundation’s annual grantmaking budget will be used to support the group of core grantees, and the remaining 10% will be used to offer learning grants.

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We chose the deep approach because we want to:

1. Enhance the quality of grantees.

  • Develop an intentional filtering and application process for nonprofits aligned with our mission, values, and focus areas.

  • Support organizations doing great, impactful work.

2. Build strong, long-term relationships.

 

  • Opportunity to get to know, on a deeper level, the nonprofits’ objectives, values, and outcomes.

  • Being supportive throughout the grant period and beyond, end goal: sustainability.

 

3. Impact.

  • With fewer grantees/organizations, impact will be more straightforward and evident.

  • In five years, we will be able to visualize the progress and growth of our philanthropic approach.

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How do we select grantee partners?

Instead of reviewing unsolicited grant requests, we invite organizations to submit a proposal when we

have reason to believe their work is aligned with our mission and values. This is a deliberate decision to ensure we are respectful of people’s time. We recognize that there are limitations in this approach. Our decisions are informed by the perspectives of our grantee partners and their leaders, and their alignments to our areas of focus.

In addition, we like to partner with organizations with the following profile:

  • Well-established organizations, implementing proven solutions, which have a track record of

     impact.

 

  • Mid-sized organizations in the scaling or maturity phase.

 

  • Specialized, full-time staff who are legally employed.

  • Meeting all the legal requirements of operation in-country.

 

  • Financial scale where our investment will have a meaningful impact.

 

  • Organizations with leaders that are closely-connected to the field work.

 

  • Organizations whose staff and leadership are mostly made up of women.

What do we not fund?

  • Individuals

  • Organizations that are dependent upon a religious affiliation or that are faith-based

  • International Non-Governmental Organizations (we will evaluate funding local offices/branches on a case-by-case basis)

  • Educational scholarships

  • Endowments or capital campaigns

  • Partisan organizations or political parties

  • Organizations that undermine democratic principles

  • Institutions that discriminate in policy or practice

If you would like to read the Foundation's Strategic Grant Making Plan click here.

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