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How to Apply for Gates Foundation Funds

One of the biggest challenges for most NGOs rests with funding. There is rarely enough money to implement everything the organization wants to do. But innovative ideas that save lives deserve funds to help save lives. The Gates Foundation is one of the largest private donors on the planet and an excellent opportunity for many humanitarians. So here’s how to apply for Gates Foundation funds.

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About the Gates Foundation

Bill and Melinda Gates launched the Gates Foundation in 2000. It is the largest private foundation in the world, holding $50.7 billion in assets. There is also a third trustee, Warren Buffet. The Gates Foundation funds hundreds of programs across the globe and is one of the most charitable foundations out there.

They have several lines of work. Globally, the Gates Foundation works to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty. In the U.S., its goal is to improve education quality and access to information technology.

Grants and fundraising

The Gates Foundation commits billions of dollars in funding each year to programs in the U.S. and internationally. They have a strict grant-making policy. The Foundations makes grants to organizations only, and not to individual fundraising efforts.

Here are some examples of their grantee profiles:

  • Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa: the organization works with small-scale farmers to fight hunger and poverty.
  • Building Changes: the not-for-profit works with families in the Washington State area to fight homelessness. They seek innovative solutions for better support and coordination.
  • ONE Campaign: the campaign raises awareness on several important issues around the world. These include poverty, hunger, and disease. Their approach is advocacy-based and creative.

Four steps to apply for Gates Foundation funds

So how do you apply for the Gates Foundation funds? Here are the four steps that you should follow.

  1. Research the Foundation

First of all, make sure that you know your target audience. In this case, the Gates Foundation. The organization works all across the world with many lines of business. They have a solid strategy, mission, and vision. So your proposal should reflect that you understand all of these aspects.

At the same time, the Gates Foundation is evident on the lines of work that they support. So, you first need to make sure that your work falls under these categories. For example, they work extensively on global health, including anything from infectious diseases to vaccine development.

The Foundation also addresses global development issues, including emergency response and family planning. Further, they work on opportunity development, including gender equality and financial services for the poor.

If you are based in the U.S., you can apply for funds if your focus is on education, economic mobility, and postsecondary opportunities. Further, if you are an advocate in areas such as tobacco control or developmental policy, there may be grants for your with the Foundation.

  1. Review grant opportunities and requirements

The Gates Foundation does not receive grants that do not fall under their line of work. They are very clear in terms of their vision and mission. So, make sure that yours are aligned with the Foundation before you apply.

Also, you need to review all of the documentation that the Foundation looks for. If you do not have specific paperwork, prepare it first, before you submit your grant application.

  1. Prepare your documents

Each grant opportunity provides a list of things that you need to subject. You should follow the formats that the Foundation offers. They receive thousands of grant applications regularly. So, to stand out, you need to make sure that you make it easy for them to read your proposal.

Some of the essential information you will need to include is a summary, a project proposal, and a budget. You’ll also need to explain your evaluation and tracking methods.

  1. Submit your application

Once you have everything ready, you can submit your request. The Grantseeker FAQ on the Foundation’s site should help to answer any questions you might have about the application process.

Mistakes to avoid

When preparing the grant application, there are a few mistakes that you should avoid. For example, you cannot apply as an individual. It’s best if you are a registered U.S. 501(c)(3). You should also follow all of the outlined steps and not forget to submit the required documents.

While fundraising, be realistic about your opportunities. If the grant is not listed or you do not focus on the same lines of work as the Foundation, it’s probably a waste of time to apply. Finally, you should be very thorough in your proposal. Avoid any spelling or grammar errors, and make sure that everything you’ve included is clear and supported by evidence.

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