Many of the challenges humanity faces are complex and dynamic, and our work to address these challenges requires deep understanding, collaboration and innovation.
At HU, we devote our resources—both our people and our funds—to catalyzing and incubating promising concepts, demonstrating potential solutions, and supporting the deployment of effective ideas. Grantmaking is one way we pursue those goals, alongside direct programmatic activities, strategic communications, and targeted advocacy.
We consider our grantees our partners. As such, we don’t just write a grant and collect the reports. We want to build strong and impactful partnerships with our grantees and to amplify and support their work when possible.
We seek to collaborate with impactful organizations and individuals committed to systemic change, but we do not accept unsolicited requests for funds at this time.
Letter of Inquiry
The first step is a letter of inquiry (LOI) – a chance for applicants to present their initial concept. It’s meant to be an easy lift for both the applicant and HU, operating as an initial screen before too much is on the line for anyone. Once submitted, the LOI is reviewed by HU’s team for strategic fit, programmatic goals, and potential impact. If the LOI is approved, the process moves to the Proposal stage.
This stage is the chance for applicants to more fully explain their program and the opportunity for which they are seeking support. Our team works with the applicants to finalize their proposal before it comes in for HU’s programmatic review and due diligence, and ultimately moves to the approval stage.
Once approved, the program under the grant can begin. Along with regular conversations with our staff, there are also several structured opportunities throughout the grant period for partners to share their progress, changes to their context analysis, lessons they are learning, and programmatic adjustments that are required. HU staff stays in touch with our partners as the program gets underway, in turn connecting them with programmatic, network, and communications support as needed.
Where does HU get its funding?
HU was founded and is wholly funded by Pam and Pierre Omidyar. HU is part of The Omidyar Group, which represents the philanthropic, personal, and professional interests of our founders.
How much funding does HU give out?
HU generally dedicates between $17M and $18.8M to grants in a calendar year, and last year’s average grant size was $114K. Our funding supports a broad range of institutions, networks, and activities across our strategic initiatives. You can learn more from our annual performance reports here.
How do I submit a proposal?
We do not accept unsolicited funding requests at this time.
Why doesn’t HU accept unsolicited proposals?
Our work is targeted and very focused on changing the systems that contribute to specific global problems. As a result, we seek out partners for specific interventions and activities that can lead to this change.
Do I have to be a U.S. registered 501c3 to receive a grant from HU?
Our grantees are generally registered charities in the U.S., or determined to be equivalent in their national jurisdictions, though our partners are also for-profits, fiscally sponsored, or still developing initiatives.