Cisco Systems Foundation: Fundraising for Disasters & Refugees

OVERVIEW: The Cisco Systems Foundation offers a variety of grants in six focus areas: critical human needs (disaster relief), education, healthcare, economic empowerment, governance and ethics, and supply chain sustainability. A complex and wide-ranging foundation, Cisco Systems addresses both U.S. and international needs in both relief and long-term sustainability. 

IP TAKE: Cisco recognizes grants from small and medium-sized organizations. However, the foundation tends to fund larger organizations.

PROFILE: Established in 1997, the Cisco Systems Foundation makes grants available for both natural disasters and for human-caused disasters, such as civil war and genocide. Cisco Systems' Critical Needs and Disaster Relief focus area supports domestic and international emergency response grants for various disaster situations. Through its Critical Needs and Disaster efforts, Cisco Systems distributes three kinds of grants: Global Impact cash grants, Product Grants for technology, and Silicon Valley Impact Cash Grants

Although the Cisco Systems Foundation offers various types of grants for relief aid and resilience infrastructure, make sure to adhere closely to their eligibility and application process guidelines, as well as their deadlines, since they are complex and subject to change. Cisco Systems also distributes grants to proposals that clearly articulate the planned impact of their efforts according to their SMART Metrics system.

To help navigate their giving process for Global Impact grants, the Cisco Systems Foundation offers an online pre-eligibility quiz to assess Global Impact grant eligibility.


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