Apply for Grant2020-06-22T14:08:23-04:00

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

General Questions

What is the amount of an IAF grant and how long does it last?2020-06-22T09:54:53-04:00

The size of our grants depends on the needs of the organization proposing it and the amount of counterpart resources it mobilizes. 

Our average grant is $280,000 and lasts four years. Recent grants have varied from $50,000 to $400,000 over one to four years. Currently, we do not fund requests for amounts under $25,000 or for more than $400,000.

When can my organization expect a response to the proposal?2020-06-22T13:53:02-04:00

We will confirm receipt of your proposal as soon as we receive it. Within six to nine months, we will notify you of the status of the proposal. If you have not heard from us, we have not yet decided about funding. 

Before deciding about funding, our representatives will visit the submitting  organization  and the community(ies), meet residents,  and start a dialogue about the proposed activities. Typically, organizations adjust their original proposals during this process. If you would like to check on the status of your proposal, please email proposals@iaf.gov and include the date you sent it to us, your organization’s name and acronym, and your country.

What is the deadline for submitting a proposal?2020-06-22T13:54:19-04:00

We accept applications on a rolling basis. There is no deadline.

Can my organization submit multiple proposals?2020-06-22T14:03:45-04:00

Yes, your organization can submit as many proposals as it wants. However, we rarely fund more than one project at a time by the same organization.

How can my organization ensure that you will consider our proposal?2020-07-07T10:16:22-04:00

We only consider proposals that are submitted in the appropriate format and sent via email to proposals@iaf.gov with the name of the country in the email’s subject line.

What do you mean in the application when you say “governing structure” and “operating structure”?2020-06-22T14:05:54-04:00

By “governing structure,” we mean your organization’s form of leadership. You might have, for example, a board of directors, general assembly, fiscal council, and/or chief executive officer. 

By “operating structure,” we mean how your organization divides up labor. For example, your operating structure might include an educational team, a communications team, and an administrative department.

What do you mean in the application when you ask about the composition of an organization?2020-06-22T14:06:39-04:00

By “composition,” we are referring to the people who form the organization. An association is made of members, for example, and may also include volunteers and other interested individuals.

Budget Questions

What percentage of the total grant can fund overhead (administration, professional fees, operational expenses, salaries, and materials)?2020-06-22T13:08:45-04:00

In general, we do not fund proposals that request more than 50 percent in overhead expenses. Usually the lower the overhead, the more competitive the proposal.

Can IAF grants include salaries?2020-06-22T13:09:21-04:00

Yes, salaries qualify as an expense.

What percentage do you expect in counterpart funding?2020-06-22T12:50:35-04:00

We require that counterpart funding be part of your project’s budget, but do not ask for a minimum amount. However, proposals with higher counterpart funding are more competitive.

Remember, you can include cash or in-kind donations as counterpart, including land, supplies, infrastructure, labor, and office, storage, and meeting space.

What administrative expenses can my organization include in the proposed budget?2020-06-22T12:47:48-04:00

We allow the following administrative expenses:

  • operations
  • rent
  • utilities
  • insurance
  • salaries
  • office equipment and supplies
  • other costs (guidelines listed on the proposed budget form in the “Budget” section).

Eligibility Questions

Do you fund proposals in all countries of Latin America and the Caribbean?2020-07-07T10:18:32-04:00

We are currently unable to fund organizations located in Venezuela or Cuba. Because Puerto Rico is part of the United States, we also cannot fund projects there.

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?2020-06-22T13:39:18-04:00

Yes, your field office may submit the proposal. If the main office contributes funds, they may be included as counterpart resources for the grant.

Can a university apply for funding?2020-06-22T14:07:42-04:00

A local private university may technically apply for funding if its project fulfills all of our published eligibility criteria, including community leadership and social impact. A public university cannot apply for funding from us directly, but may partner with an organization that is eligible.

However, before your university takes the time to apply, keep in mind that we rarely fund projects submitted by universities. It often takes us longer than a school year to review proposals and release the funds, so student groups seeking funds for their projects will not receive them in time.

Can a municipal government entity apply for funding?2020-07-07T10:17:10-04:00

While we encourage our grantees to collaborate with local and municipal government entities, we do not directly fund government projects.

Will you fund a construction project?2020-06-22T14:07:18-04:00

Given our criteria that initiatives must be sustainable, we typically do not fund proposals in which a majority of the budget and activities focus on construction. 

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