How to apply

The Hungary Initiatives Foundation makes grants in the U.S. and Hungary. All prospective applicants should review the mission, program areas, and funding policy for the Foundation’s programs before making initial contact.

Our grant-making is carried out in three ways:

1.    We announce public grant opportunities (requests for proposals (RFPs)) that address a specific issue or area of interest.
2.    We initiate and start new programs, where we establish cooperation with other organizations.
3.  We occasionally and in special cases accept unsolicited requests for projects that fall within our program priorities and guidelines.

Because available funding is limited, letters of inquiry are strongly preferred for unsolicited ideas or projects so we can determine whether the project fits into our program policy.


Who Can Apply

Any and all US-based 501(c)(3) organizations can submit letters of inquiry and/or participate in our Requests for Proposals (RFPs). Eligibility criteria will be determined by the Executive Committee and tailored to the specific program category. Hungarian 501(c)(3)-equivalent organizations can participate in our RFPs when specifically stated.

Letters of Inquiry

The Hungary Initiatives Foundation prefers that any unsolicited requests be made through letters of inquiry to hif@hungaryfoundation.org. A letter of inquiry enables the Foundation to determine the relevance of the proposed project to the Foundation’s mission, and to provide advice on whether an organization should submit a full proposal.

The Letter of Inquiry should not be longer than one page and should include:

The introduction: name of your organization, the amount needed or requested, and a description of the project, staff involved, a brief description of evaluative methodology, and a timetable

The organization description: description of your current programs  and date of establishment.

The statement of need: description of the need you are addressing and how it is in line with the mission of HIF.

Other funding sources: describe other sources of funding, please keep in mind that HIF does not support as a matter of principle projects and programs that have no alternative sources of funding.

Letters of Inquiry should be signed by the leader of the organization and sent electronically to hif@hungaryfoundation.org to the attention of Anna Smith Lacey, Executive Director with the subject line “Letter of Inquiry”. 

Elements of the Full Proposal

After a grant application or a letter of inquiry is accepted, the Hungary Initiatives Foundation will request a formal proposal to be submitted electronically.

Once the Foundation requests a formal proposal from an organization, the principal investigator, or the individual responsible for the grant contracts on behalf of the organization, will utilize the following general guidelines to structure the solicited formal proposal:

•    Cover Letter: detail the total amount of money requested from the Foundation, the grant period, and a signature of the principal investigator.
•    Project Description: include an explanation of why the project is needed, who will be served, and what accomplishments are to be expected.
•    Total Project Budget: include the total amount of funds requested from the Foundation and a line-item expense and revenue budget showing all projected sources of funds for the program/project over the proposed grant period.
•    Also include a plan for financial and programmatic sustainability of the project.
•  A list of any expected dissemination activities, such as papers, articles, or briefings, and the organization’s plan for the evaluation of such dissemination.
•    The organization’s plan for the evaluation of the program/project’s final results.
•  Information about the organization seeking funds, including names and titles for the principal investigator and key staff, names and professional affiliations for members of the board of directors, legal classification, history, and recent accomplishments.
•    US-based organizations must provide proof of their tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status by the IRS. Applicants must submit copies of their organization’s published annual report and audited financial statements before the Foundation finalizes a grant. If these are not available, the organization will be required to submit a copy of its latest IRS Form 990 return.

These reports and other financial and organizational information are required for Hungary-based 501(c)(3)-equivalent or accredited educational organizations as well.

When to Apply

There is no formal deadline for letters of inquiry or unsolicited requests. Solicited requests always state the deadline for application as well as the date successful awardees will be notified.

Any organization should submit their unsolicited formal proposal to the Foundation at least three months before the start of the proposed project. All solicited and unsolicited proposals will be discussed and evaluated by the Grant-making Committee. The recommendations will be then submitted to the full Board of Trustees, which will vote on the proposals. The decision-making process will take at least 6 weeks.

The Foundation accepts proposals on a rolling basis.

Requests for Proposals (RFPs)

The Hungary Initiatives Foundation regularly announces public grant opportunities, inviting interested US-based 501(c)(3) organizations or, occasionally, Hungarian 501(c)(3) equivalent organizations to apply for specific grants. Every announcement will determine the types of projects that can be submitted, the eligibility criteria, as well as all relevant deadlines. The Foundation will provide the application forms and will determine what kind of supporting documents need to be attached. Requests for Proposals always include the specific deadlines. Proposals submitted after the deadline cannot be considered.

To see our current applications, please go to https://www.hungaryfoundation.org/programs-projects/current-applications

Grant Selection Procedures

The Board of Trustees determines the annual program policy guidelines, the main program categories, as well as the major programs to be funded. Any programs over $50,000 must be approved by the Board of Trustees with a majority vote.

A proposal under $50,000 may be approved by the Executive Committee.

In case of letter of inquiries and organizational requests, the management of the Foundation reviews the proposals and makes recommendations to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will discuss the proposals and make a recommendation to the Board that will vote upon it.

In case of Request for Proposals, the management of the Foundation reviews the applications, determining which ones fit the Foundation’s mission, program policy and the specific grant requirements. The management submits an executive summary and a recommendation to the Grant Making Committee who will then select the programs that will be awarded a grant. In case of public grant applications, where the available funding exceeds $50,000, the Board of Trustees will discuss and select the winning proposals.

Reporting

The grantee is obligated to use the grant funds only for the purposes for which the grant is made. The grantee also acknowledges that the Hungary Initiatives Foundation maintains to withhold and/or recover grant funds in cases where such funds are, or appear to be, misused.

In case of funded projects and programs, the acknowledgment of the Hungary Initiatives Foundation’s support must appear at all times, on every form of dissemination and communication platform, with the final approval of the Foundation.

During the Grant Term

In case of longer-term projects, the Foundation requires all grant recipients to submit periodic progress reports to the Foundation during the term of a grant. The principal investigator of the project is responsible for preparing and submitting the subsequent reports in a timely manner. The Foundation will provide the principal investigator with a reporting schedule at the beginning of the grant term.

Narrative Reports will contain a description of the progress that has been made on the program/project plan that was originally set forth in the grant proposal; a summary of any preliminary or incremental findings; and a list of any dissemination activities, such as papers, articles, or briefings.

Financial Reports are also due periodically until the program/project term is complete or all the grant funds have been expended. Reports must duplicate the format of the total project budget that appeared in the proposal, showing the amount awarded from the Foundation, a line-item expense and revenue budget showing all sources of funds for the program/project over the elapsed grant period.

•    No Cost Extensions: If a project’s work plan is delayed or cannot be completed within the original grant term, the principal investigator should submit a request for a no-cost extension to the grant manager. All requests should include the new project end date. If the extension is approved, the Foundation will issue a revised reporting schedule for the remainder of the grant term.

•    Grant Reprogramming: If, during the term of the grant, there is a need to alter the work or financial plan that was set forth in the original proposal, the principal investigator will submit a request in writing to the Foundation.

Conclusion of the Grant Term

The Hungary Initiatives Foundation requires a final grant report and accounting of how grant funds were used within 60 days of the end of the program/project or the expiration of the grant term. Final Grant Reports will contain narrative and financial reports duplicating the format of the annual progress reports, including a summary of the program or project’s findings, who was affected, how the project or program was measured, and a list of any dissemination activities, such as papers, articles, or briefings, relating to the program or project. The Executive Committee must approve the report before the organization can re-apply for another grant or grant extension for the continuation of same program/project.

The Final Product(s) of the program and/or project will be submitted to the Foundation immediately after they become available. Final products include, but are not limited to, published books, reports, monographs, articles, and edited volumes. Two copies of any final product should be submitted to the Foundation within the appropriate timeframe.

Any and all unused grant funds must be returned to the Foundation; the principal investigators should contact the foundation who will direct the organization with any further financial action.