Apply for Grant2021-04-12T09:14:57-04:00

We accept grant proposals 365 days a year.

We invest in community-led development projects across Latin America and the Caribbean. We partner with local organizations that identify innovative, yet viable solutions to local development challenges—particularly in disadvantaged or excluded communities.

We do not suggest projects or identify problems ourselves. Instead we respond to project proposals sent to us by community-led organizations.

We decide which projects to fund based on merit, not sector. Our grantee partners promote more prosperous, peaceful, and democratic communities across a wide range of sectors.

We invite your organization to apply for a grant from us. To ensure we consider your application, please read through the following steps.

Step 1. Check if your organization can apply

We only support projects submitted by community-led groups that are based in independent countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

You will need to show that your organization has a history of working together as a group and is capable of effectively using grants funds.

We are currently unable to fund organizations located in:

  • Cuba
  • Venezuela

  • Because Puerto Rico is part of the United States, we also do not fund projects there.

We do NOT fund proposals submitted or directed by:

  • Government entities (including municipal governments and public universities)
  • Individuals
  • For-profit organizations
  • Organizations outside the country in which the project is located
  • Groups that do not contribute financial or in-kind resources to the proposed activities

Common eligibility questions

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?2021-02-18T17:08:57-05:00

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?2021-02-18T17:08:16-05:00

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.

Step 2. Check if your project qualifies for funding

Currently, we fund requests for amounts between US $25,000 and $400,000.

Tips for a successful proposal

  • Be inclusive

    • Involve many community voices in developing, carrying out, and evaluating the project, including those who will benefit from the project
    • Engage partners in local government, the business community, and other civil society organizations
  • Use community resources

    • Include counterpart resources like money, land, supplies, infrastructure, labor, and office, storage, and meeting space. These resources can come from your organization, those who will participate in the project, and other sources.
    • Identify a path to become sustainable after the IAF grant ends
  • Focus on results

    • Impact the community in a positive and measurable way
    • Show potential for strengthening all participating organizations
    • Enhance participants’ capacity to govern themselves

We do NOT fund proposals for:

  • purely religious activities

  • research activities exclusively

  • only construction and equipment
  • charity or welfare projects of any kind

  • projects associated with political parties or partisan movements

Step 3. Fill out the application

You can apply for a grant in Spanish, Portuguese, English, French, or Haitian Creole at any time throughout the year. There is no cost to apply and no application deadline.

Your organization can submit multiple proposals. However, we rarely fund more than one project at a time by the same organization.


Application Format

Our application has three required parts:

  1. Cover Sheet. Complete with the requested information.
  2. Narrative. Keep your responses no longer than 10 pages (total for all questions) double-spaced, and in 12-point Arial font.
  3. Budget. Follow the model in the application.

Common application 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 budget?2021-02-18T17:34:14-05:00

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).
What do you mean by “governing structure” and “operating structure”?2021-02-18T17:30:46-05:00

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 by the “composition” of an organization?2021-02-18T17:35:16-05:00

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.

Step 4. Send in your application

Please send completed applications via email to proposals@iaf.gov. Include your country’s name in the subject line.

We review proposals as we receive them. We only consider the proposals that follow all of the guidelines on this page and that include all three parts of the application.

Step 5. Wait as we review your proposal


You will automatically receive a response from proposals@iaf.gov after you send in your proposal. If you do not receive this response, check your spam folder. If you still cannot find the response, email proposals@iaf.gov again for confirmation.

After we review your proposal

Over the next several months (average: 6-9), we will notify you of your proposal’s status. If you have not heard from us, we have not yet decided about funding.

  • If we have not selected your organization for funding, we will notify you.
  • If we determine that your organization may be funded, we will visit you either virtually or in-person to gather more information and start a dialogue about the activities you have proposed. Most organizations adjust their original proposals during this process.
  • If nine months have passed since you submitted your proposal and you have not heard about its status, please email proposals@iaf.gov. Include the date you sent it to us, your organization’s name and acronym, and your country.

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