Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation is a Portuguese private foundation whose statutory aims are in the fields of arts, charity, education, and science. It reported an endowment of over $3.5 billion in 2012.

The Foundation states that while most of our support is proactive, funding is available to support a very small number of truly exceptional ideas and/or projects that contribute to meeting their identified objectives. under our three main strategic aims: Cultural Understanding, Fulfilling Potential and Environment.

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New projects must be Innovative, International and Independent yet Involving. The three main strategic aims of the Foundation are

Cultural Understanding – To help improve people’s perceptions of each other by providing opportunities through culture and between cultures.

This strand is focused on strategic initiatives that benefit international literature and translation as a whole and consciously avoids supporting any particular culture, language, author or work. Other art forms, such as theatre, film and music will not be considered under this strand, even where translation is involved. In 2012, priority will be given to organisations involved in the promotion of translation-related projects for children and young people.

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Fulfilling Potential – To assist the most disadvantaged in society to fulfil their potential by building connections and developing opportunities.

The Foundation are interested in receiving proposals specifically for social innovations which have potential forsignificant impact in reducing loneliness in later life by building connections and relationships. In particular, ideas which engage hard-to-reach groups will be viewed favourably.

Environment – To help in the development of a society which benefits from a more sustainable relationship with the natural world and understands the value of its resources.The Foundation values nature by identifying strategies that have impact in promoting the value of the environment and help to drive change to more sustainable lifestyles, through a creative engagement with the natural world.

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We are currently interested in supporting new ideas or approaches that will help to measure the impact of engagement with the natural world and/or promote a better understanding of the value of the marine environment.

The Foundation is looking for projects that:

  • Scope a new idea to address a specified need or implement new approaches that are already  successfully applied in other sectors or outside the UK;
  • Are relevant to our programme of work and meet one or more of the objectives in our strategic aims
  • Have a clearly articulated vision of how the work will impact beyond the project lifetime
  • Address and evidence a clearly identified need

What can I apply for?

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  • As a guide, grants are likely to average between £10,000 and £30,000.
  • Funding is given for the specific activity proposed and not for general core costs.
  • Although the Foundation may occasionally give further funding for projects that are developed as a result of the R&D support, we stress that we do not guarantee continued support.
  • The Foundation are open to co-funding projects but not where our contribution is a small part of a much larger budget.
  • Please note that the budget allocated for unsolicited proposals is modest and we approve only a small number of projects each year.

Who can apply?

The Foundation only accept proposals from not-for-profit organisations based in the UK or Republic of Ireland.  It only funds projects that take place in the UK or Republic of Ireland and directly benefit people in those countries. However, the Foundation are particularly interested in proposals that may also involve international partners or that emulate good practice in other countries.

Organisations are able to submit a brief proposal through an online Inquiry Form on the Foundation’s website.

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  1. Avatar Women & Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program (WAGEP) says

    Dear donors,
    We are a group of Liberian working with very poor women and less fortunate adolescent girls to improve their lives.
    Working with those very poor people with out financial support is difficult.Therefore,we are seeking your financial support to address the plights of our people.

    Thank you,
    Jessica Barpaye
    Executive Director (WAGEP)

  2. Avatar Ashish K Bardhan says

    Re: Request for joint venture for FOOD SECURITY for the Tribal and backward communities, who are in vulnerable situations.
    Dear Donor,
    We take the opportunity to introduce ourselves as an NGO, whose aim is to fight against hunger and injustice. Since 2002, we are trying to work with the poor and marginalized tribal people of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Orissa of eastern part of India. We are working with local communities to address collectively the people’s movements, hunger, inequity and injustice.
    We are reaching out with the target groups, through SHGs (Self-Help Groups) of which, mostly are poor and marginalized, belong to tribal communities, supporting them in their struggle to access their rights to food, shelter, work, education, healthcare and human security and helping them have their voice in the development decisions affecting their lives and livelihood.
    The people we work with include the dalit and tribal people, other sections of the rural poor, women, children, and minorities. Within these groups, our focus is on people in vulnerable situations such as people living with chronic hunger, ill health, migrant and bonded workers, children out of education, homeless people, trafficked persons, persons with disability, displaced people and refugees, and people affected by natural and human-made disasters.
    As we are working with the Tribal and other backward communities at the Purulia, Balasore and East Singhbhum districts, under the State of West Bengal, Orissa & Jharkhand respectively, that are why, we would like to propose the FOOD SECURITY program for the entire communities of target areas who are in vulnerable situation.

    We look forward to hear from your end.

    Thank you,

    Ashish K Bardhan
    Member Secretary, SPREAD/India