Application Review Timeline

We understand that our process may sometimes seem slow. However, our goal is to give every application the attention it deserves. We receive many applications every month for just 30 grants. Each of these applications is carefully screened and reviewed by a minimum of four people on our team. It can take 10-13 weeks or more from the time we receive an application until the time you get an answer.

Each applicant who comes to us has a dream and vision that they want to bring into reality. We know that you are waiting for us to decide, and that in some cases you can’t get an answer from us in the time frame that would best serve your project. However, in order to be fair to all of our applicants, we need to give each person the attention and care they deserve, and need to look at applications in the order received.

We send notifications throughout the process, so please do check in with us if you have not heard from us and your application was submitted prior to the date above.

We are now prescreening applications received on or before November 1st, 2019.

If you applied after this date, we have not begun your review process and likely have not yet looked at your application.

Kenya & Uganda

Please note: for applicants working in Kenya and Uganda we run specific grantmaking programs in the region. Learn more about the timeline for those applications here.

I. Prescreening (takes 3-6 weeks from submission of application):

We pre-screen your application to make sure it qualifies for funding. If we identify an issue or question that our grant making team will have with the application, our staff will reach out for more information. The faster you respond to these questions, the faster we can move you to the next phase. Sometimes applications that simply do not qualify for grants with us are declined during this phase. We may also require references at this time, and will inform you if this is the case.

We will notify you once the prescreening stage is complete and your application is in line for a team to carry out their review.

II. Docket review (takes 4-8 weeks from completion of prescreening):

Once an application is ready to be put in front of our grant making team, it goes on a “docket”. We can only begin review once we have all the required information such as references and answers to follow up questions.

We have 9 grant making teams who review up to 10 applications per month each (so a total of 90 applications). Each team meets once a month, and so the time taken to have your application reviewed by a team may vary. Typically it takes 4-9 weeks between the date that an application passes through the prescreening phase until they are under active review by a grant making team.

About 30% of the time, our grant making team has more questions for the applicant before making a final decision. If there are further questions, it is good news because it means the grant making team is trying to find a way to fund you but can’t give a clear yes until certain issues or questions are resolved. The faster and clearer you are in responding to these questions, the faster this phase will take, and the faster you will get a final answer. Sometimes this process takes a week or less if you are timely in your responses to us and the answers allow us to make the final decision. The worst case scenario is that an application has to be re-reviewed by the team, which can delay the answer by 3-6 weeks. (We try to avoid this situation, but it does happen occasionally).

We will notify you when your application has been passed to a review team and they have begun their full review of your project. This process takes 10-15 days.

IV. Decision:

Once the grant making team has completed their review, you will be notified of the decision on your application.

V. Funding:

If your project is funded, we will send you a list of information we need and issue a grant agreement letter. Once we receive the required paperwork, it typically takes around 2-3 weeks to receive your first grant installment. Domestic grantee payments are typically made via check, while grantees outside the U.S. are paid by wire transfer or Paypal.

Thank you for your understanding and patience during this process,
and, more importantly, thank you for your commitment to a better world.