Apply for Grant2020-05-14T17:23:15-04:00

Read instructions below for grant proposal criteria.

Download the application

Accepting proposals

The Inter-American Foundation (IAF) invites proposals for its grant program. The IAF funds the self-help efforts of grassroots groups in Latin America and the Caribbean to improve living conditions of the disadvantaged and the excluded, to enhance capacity for decision-making and self-governance, and to develop partnerships with the public sector, business and civil society. The IAF does not identify problems or suggest projects. Instead it responds to initiatives presented. Projects are selected for funding on their merits rather than by sector.


There is no deadline to submit a proposal. Proposals may be submitted throughout the year and will be reviewed as they are received. All submissions must conform to the guidelines posted here.


  • The IAF only supports projects in independent countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • There is no cost to submit a grant proposal.


The IAF looks for the following in a project it funds:

  • innovative solutions to development problems
  • creative use of the community’s resources
  • diverse array of community voices in project development and execution
  • substantial beneficiary engagement in:
    • the identification of the problem addressed
    • the approach chosen to solve it
    • the design of the project
    • management and evaluation of activities
  • partnerships with local government, the business community and other civil society organizations
  • potential for strengthening all participating organizations and their partnerships
  • feasibility
  • evidence of eventual sustainability
  • counterpart contributions from the proponent, the beneficiaries and other sources
  • the potential to generate learning
  • measurable results
  • evidence of beneficiaries’ enhanced capacity for self-governance

The following are INELIGIBLE for IAF grants:

  • proposals presented or directed by government entities
  • proposals from individuals
  • proposals presented or directed by entities outside the country in which the project is located
  • proposals from groups that do not contribute financial or in-kind resources to the proposed activities
  • proposals associated with political parties or partisan movements
  • purely religious or sectarian activities
  • pure research
  • welfare projects of any kind
  • charitable institutions
  • proposals solely for construction and/or equipment
  • requests for grants under US$25,000 or more than US$400,000
  • projects whose objectives do not encourage a shared capacity for self-help


Applications in Spanish, Portuguese, English, French or Haitian Creole are accepted throughout the year. Mailed applications should be sent directly to the Inter-American Foundation, Program Office. The IAF will not accept applications submitted by fax. Applications can be sent via e-mail to proposals@iaf.gov. E-mailed applications must include the country of submission on the subject line.

The initial review will take five months and will yield a small number of projects to be analyzed further through site visits. Proponents no longer under consideration will be notified. Depending on the complexity of the project and the number of site visits required, reviews of successful proposals may take up to 12 months.

Please visit the FAQ or contact the foundation representative for your country if you have any questions.

Note: The proposals mailbox should send an automatic response when the email with your proposal is received. If you do not receive this response, check your spam mailbox. If the response is not found there you may email inquiries@iaf.gov to receive confirmation.


The IAF’s application has three required parts:

  • Part 1: Cover Sheet
    This must be completed with the requested information.
  • Part 2: Narrative
    Responses to the questions cannot exceed 10 pages double-spaced in 12-point Arial font.
  • Part 3: Budget
    Follow the model in the application

IMPORTANT: Proposals that exceed the above parameters will be rejected. Failure to submit all required material results in disqualification.

Download the application

Frequently asked questions

What is the amount of an IAF grant and the duration of IAF’s support?2018-08-17T13:44:19-04:00

The size of an IAF grant depends on the needs of the proponent organization and the amount of counterpart resources mobilized. Recent IAF grants have varied from $25,000 to $400,000 over one to four years. Currently, the IAF does not fund requests for amounts under $25,000 or for more than $400,000.

Can an organization submit multiple proposals?2018-08-17T13:44:19-04:00

No, proponent organizations can only submit one proposal per funding cycle.

What percentage of the total grant can fund overhead (administration, professional fees, operational expenses, salaries and materials)?2018-08-17T13:44:19-04:00

In general, the IAF does not fund proposals that request more than 50 percent in overhead expenses. Usually the lower the overhead, the more attractive the proposal.

Can IAF grants include salaries?2018-08-17T13:44:18-04:00

Salaries are a legitimate expense.

What percentage is expected in counterpart funding?2018-08-17T13:44:18-04:00

Counterpart funding must be a component of the budget for the proposed project, but no minimum amount is required. Higher counterpart funding makes a proposal more attractive. Counterpart may be in cash donations or in kind, including, but not limited to, land, supplies, infrastructure, labor, and office, storage and meeting space.

What administrative expenses may be included in the proposed budget?2018-08-17T13:44:17-04:00

Allowable administrative expenses include operations, rent, utilities, insurance, salaries, office equipment and supplies and other costs listed on the proposed budget form in the budget section of these guidelines.

When can I expect a response to the proposal?2018-08-17T13:44:17-04:00

Your organization will receive confirmation of receipt. Within four to six months, you will be notified of the status of the proposal.

What is the difference between the governing structure and the operating structure?2018-08-17T13:44:17-04:00

The governing structure refers to the organization’s form of leadership which might include, for example, a board of directors, general assembly, fiscal council and/or chief executive officer. The operating structure refers to the division of labor. For example, the operating structure might include an educational team, a communications team, and an administrative department.

What is the composition of an organization?2018-08-17T13:44:16-04:00

Here the word “composition” refers to the people who form the organization. An association is made of members, for example, and may also include volunteers and other interested individuals.

My organization has a field office in the country where the project will take place but our main office is located elsewhere, will our proposal be considered?2018-08-17T13:44:16-04:00

Yes, your field office may submit a proposal and any contributions from the main office may be included as counterpart for the grant.

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