What We Fund


If you would like The Rockefeller Foundation to consider funding your project, you are welcome to submit an inquiry, but please keep in mind the following:

  1. The only way in which we receive unsolicited funding inquiries is through our online inquiry process.
    We ask that you not send proposals or letters of inquiry by mail or email unless requested to do so by a Foundation staff member. If your inquiry is related to a conference or The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center please use the Bellagio application process.
  2. We are a proactive grantmaking organization.
    As a result, we seek further information on an extremely small number of requests. Even fewer are funded.
  3. Incoming requests must clearly fit within the Foundation's funding strategy.
    The Foundation works to achieve its goal of creating meaningful and measurable impact for poor and vulnerable communities through smart globalization. To accomplish this, we currently are funding a portfolio of work structured around four core issue areas and focused on specific initiative strategies. To be successful, any funding inquiries must fit within our four core issue areas and one or more of our initiatives.
  4. Accordingly, there are three factors the Foundation takes into consideration when evaluating a project.
    a) Does your project fit within one of the Foundation's initiatives? Your project should commit to nurturing innovation, pioneering new fields, expanding access to and distribution of resources, and, ultimately, generating sustainable impact on individuals, institutions, and communities within the context of our active initiatives. Learn about current initiatives.
    b) Does your request clearly address one or more of our core issue areas? Our interconnected issue areas are selected because they are critical global challenges that the Foundation is distinctively positioned to address. Learn about our issue areas.
    c) Does your work affect people in one or more of the geographic areas in which the Foundation works? The Foundation works in regions where we can leverage our assets, experience, and expertise to help realize smart globalization. See where the Foundation works.
  5. If you feel your work relates to our funding strategy and you have met the criteria described above, please submit your inquiry through our online portal.
    Please note that the inquiry process does not include an opportunity to submit a proposal. Instead, we ask a series of multiple choice and short-answer questions. After submitting your answers, we will send an automated response confirming receipt. We will follow up with you if we have any additional questions or feel there is a possible fit between our work and yours. Please do not contact us about the status of your inquiry. Typically, it takes up to six weeks to review and reply to submissions.

To proceed with the funding inquiry, please fill out the form on the following pages.


What We Do Not Fund

The Rockefeller Foundation does not:

(1)  give or lend money for personal aid to individuals (sometimes referred to as cash grants),

(2)  offer direct fellowships outside our core initiative work, or,

(3)  except in rare cases, provide general institutional funding, contribute to endowments, or support building or operating funds

Funding Priorities

In 2006, The Rockefeller Foundation underwent a major shift in funding strategy. Some of the areas for which we used to provide major support are no longer areas of focus, including education reform, peace and security, and international arts and humanities. If your project is outside of our current work, we strongly advise you seek other funding resources (see below).

Other Funding Resources

We understand how hard it can be to obtain funding for your work, so you'll find the following resources useful in your search. It also might be helpful to note when using online databases that you search for funders and their funding areas within the most recent five-year span, as many institutions occasionally change their strategies to accomplish specific goals within projected time frames.