Global Catalyst Fund: Grants for Global Development

OVERVIEW: Global Catalyst makes tech heavy grants toward poverty alleviation, social tolerance, and diversity projects around the world.

IP TAKE: Global Catalyst is not a particularly transparent funder. Grantseekers seem to have to know somebody who knows somebody to get their attention. 

PROFILE: The Global Catalyst Foundation was established by the principals of Global Catalyst Partners, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. According to the foundation, it “initiates and supports innovative projects worldwide to improve education, alleviate poverty, promote social tolerance, and celebrate diversity.”

While the foundation supports a variety of groups that work within the context of its overall goals, it concentrates on technology in its grantmaking. As a result, a majority of its grants are tech related. Considering the fund's motto is “empowering people through technology,” grantseekers' projects should also emphasize technology in some significant way.

Global Catalyst grants range from $10,000 to $300,000, but the foundation offers little to no information as to how grantseekers can secure funding from Global other than contacting the fund directly for more information. The foundation also runs a Small Tech Grants competition, which provides up to $5,000 in funding for “projects engaged in the effective application of information and communications technologies for education and economic development purposes.”

Since the Small Tech grants program is not accepting new proposals, it is likely that the foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals. Grantseekers are advised to contact the fund directly and build a relationship with program staff. This is a foundation built by VCs, who by their nature, are always on the lookout for innovative and novel projects to fund.


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