OVERVIEW: The International Foundation supports global development organizations that address poverty amongst vulnerable and underrepresented communities. It focuses on health, education and economic security.
IP TAKE: This foundation is relatively accessible, which makes it an attractive funder for grassroots organizations and NGOs new to the global development field. However, grantseekers should be aware of geographical restrictions.
PROFILE: Established in 1948, the International Foundation advances “[e]ducational, medical, philanthropic, humanitarian, scientific and literary enterprises of all kinds.” The foundation funds U.S.-based nonprofit organizations that partner with vulnerable communities in the developing world. It prioritizes projects that support health, education and incomes, while increasing local capacity to sustain their benefits through empowerment. Believing that "[c]harity alone [is not] enough," the foundation supports organizations and projects that empower local stakeholders and participants to deliver "[m]easurable and sustainable change that is 'owned'" by local communities.
While the foundation's programs are few, its scope of the global development challenges is relatively broad. For instance, its education program supports organizations that address literacy, access to basic education for pre-K through secondary school, and information technology. International's income program has supported organizations that work in agriculture, food security, the environment, and entrepreneurship. Furthermore, its health-related grantmaking supports water, sanitation and nutrition projects. For a closer examination of the kinds of NGOs and projects the International Foundation funds, read through its grantee list.
The foundation limits its grantmaking to organizations that work in the Global South and fall somewhere in the World Bank’s low- to middle-income classification. In brief, the Global South refers to developing countries located in the Southern Hemisphere; however, the foundation works in certain regions, such as Latin America, the Caribbean (LAC), Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Asia.
Grantees should be aware that the foundation will not support organizations that work in regions of the Global South that have recently been hit by a natural disaster, those that are stymied by chronic instability, or countries that are actively in conflict. This proviso renders a large swath of Global South countries ineligible for International Foundation funding. Grantseekers that can overcome these limitations will find that International is an approachable funder.
Grant amounts are typically limited to $25,000 or less. The foundation accepts applications at any time. International has also made it more straightforward for nonprofits to apply by offering a web-based application system.
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