How do I know if my organization qualifies for funding?
All projects must fall within the Foundation’s geographic focus: The Foundation currently considers support for projects in: Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. In the Americas, we consider projects in Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Paraguay. Unfortunately, projects in additional countries cannot at this time be considered for funding; however the Foundation periodically reviews its geographic focus, which may result in country changes.
All countries must fall within one of the five program areas:
All organizations must be legally registered for at least one year in order to be eligible for funding;
Organizations within the United States must have IRS designated tax-exempt
status to be eligible to apply to the Foundation;
Organizations and agencies outside of the United States must be have legally recognized non-profit status to be eligible to apply to the Foundation;
All organizations must be able to provide their most recent audited financial statements as well as the amount of their overall operating budget.
Does the foundation accept unsolicited proposals?
The Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals. Potential applicants are
asked to please submit a letter of inquiry. The Foundation accepts letters of inquiry at any time during the year.
What should be included in the letter of inquiry?
A letter of inquiry should not exceed three pages in length. It must be submitted on the letterhead of the organization and should contain the following information:
A statement of need;
A description of the principal objectives/activities/outcomes of the proposed project;
A description of the population that will be served;
An explanation of the organization's ability/qualifications to perform the project;
An estimate of the overall project's budget and amount required;
A timetable for the project;
A sustainability plan with an explanation of how the organization plans to support the project following the end of the funding period.
Can letters of inquiry be sent via e-mail?
Yes, letters of inquiry can be sent via e-mail as long as they are on the letterhead of the organization.
Does the Foundation reply to all letters of inquiry?
The Foundation acknowledges receipt of all qualified letters of inquiry generally within 2-6 weeks. However, organizations may not receive a response if a request is submitted for a project that does not fall within our 5 funding categories, or for a country not included among our 29 designated countries. Most replies are done via e-mail, but for those organizations who do not supply an e-mail address, letters will be sent to the address provided. If your organization submitted a letter of inquiry and has not heard back from the Foundation within a reasonable time frame, feel free to contact us to confirm that we received it.
How will I know if my organization is invited to submit a proposal?
If the proposed project outlined in the letter of inquiry falls within the Foundation's program interests and funding guidelines, the organization will be asked by the Foundation to submit a complete proposal (Please see Application Guidelines). The Izumi Foundation will only consider those organizations that are invited to submit proposals following a letter of inquiry; unsolicited proposals will not be considered.
How often are applications reviewed?
The Board of Directors of the Foundation meets three times a year −April, June and November −to review proposals. If selected, proposals will be assigned a review date for any one of these three meetings. Proposals are generally due approximately 3 months prior to the scheduled Board meeting. All organizations that submitted proposals will be notified of the status of their proposal within 2 weeks following the Board’s decision. The Foundation may conduct a site visit prior to awarding a grant, or the applicant organization may be asked to meet with the Board of Directors regarding their proposal.
How long does the funding process generally take?
While it is variable, it will generally take between 6 and 12 months to receive funding from the time the letter of inquiry is submitted to the time the grant is awarded. This is due to the fact that there are a number of steps that must take place following the letter of inquiry. If an organization is invited to submit a proposal, they will be assigned to submit a full proposal to one of the three Board review rounds (April, June or November). The round they are assigned to will depend on when the letter of inquiry was submitted, as well as which review round has space. Since proposals are due approximately 3 months prior to Board review, this adds to the wait time. Once a proposal has been accepted for funding, however, the wait time to receive funding is very short. The recipient organization must first sign and return the “Terms and Conditions of the Grant Award,” at which time funding can commence. We ask that organizations are flexible in their time line of proposed activities given the timeframe of the funding process.
The Foundation does not support medical research, income generating, endowments, or fund raising activities; ongoing general operating expenses, existing deficits; capital costs - the acquisition of land, buildings, or vehicles; direct support to individuals, scholarships, school fees, or clothing; religious activities, media campaigns or lobbying of any kind. Priority will be given to projects that do not seek support for expensive international air tickets, overhead, or high foreign salaries. In addition, the foundation will only pay for one international roundtrip ECONOMY class ticket per project year.
The Foundation very rarely awards grants in excess of $100,000 and generally does not consider any request over $250,000 per year;
Grants made to organizations located outside of the United States rarely exceed 50% of the organization's overall operating budget.
The foundation awards one and two year grants and occasionally awards three year grants. We are unable to consider grants beyond this time period.
The Grantee retains the right to transfer funds from any line item in the Budget to another, up to 10 percent of the line item to be reduced. However, the line item to which such transfer is made may not be increased by more than 25 percent. Any budget changes beyond this amount must be submitted to the Foundation in writing and approved by the Board.
If my organization is selected for funding, what responsibilities will we have to the Foundation?
All grant recipient organizations will be required to sign a “Terms and Conditions of the Grant Award” agreement.
Recipient organizations will be required to file interim and final financial and evaluation reports.
Please note that that the Foundation does not pay 100% of grants up front. Generally, 75% is paid out initially and the remaining 25% is paid following the receipt of the final evaluation reports. All recipient organizations must therefore be able to cover these remaining project costs up front until they receive their final payment.