External opportunities

Global Impact Cash Grant Programme

External opportunity |
Global Impact Cash Grant Programme

Cisco, an American-based multinational technology conglomerate corporation, welcomes applications for Global Impact Cash Grants from community partners around the world who share Cisco’s vision and offer an innovative approach to a critical social challenge.

Deadline: Cisco accepts applications on a rolling basis.

Grant size: The maximum request amount for first-time grant recipients is USD 75,000.


Global Impact Cash Grants multiply the impact of eligible organizations around the globe with national or multinational operations. Before applying, invited nonprofits can determine their organization’s eligibility by reviewing the requirements below and the grant giving policies.

Organizational requirements:

  • Organizations within the United States must be recognized by the IRS as tax exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501 (c)(3), and classified by the IRS as a public charity.
  • Organizations from outside the U.S. must provide information and documents to determine whether the organization is the equivalent of a U.S. public charity.
  • Organizations to be funded must serve an audience greater than 65 percent economically underserved relative to the average standards of the target geography.
  • Organizations and programmes must focus on at least one of Cisco’s social investment areas: crisis response, access to education, or economic empowerment.”
  • For each of these three investment areas, we will also consider proposals that address environmental sustainability within the context of that investment area. For example, we would consider funding an economic empowerment programme that specifically focuses on creating green jobs.
  • A nonprofit organization’s overhead is not to exceed 25 percent. (Organizations are occasionally exempt from this requirement; however, they must be exceptionally aligned with Cisco’s values and criteria, and they must clearly explain and justify their overhead costs. Exemptions to the requirement on overhead expenses are determined on a case-by-case basis.). Cisco Foundation does not tend to make grants to colleges and universities. In the case that such a grant may be made, Cisco Foundation does not support additional institutional overhead rates for colleges and universities.

Ineligible programmes and/or activities

All applications must be completed using Cisco’s online application form. Cisco will not consider incomplete proposals or paper-based applications.

Proposals in the following areas are not eligible for a Global Impact Cash Grant:

  • Miscellaneous exclusions: general operating expenses, other than directly associated with the programme itself; individuals; research programmes; membership-based activities; programmes that promote or serve one culture, race, religion, population group, or political viewpoint – rather than the community at large; religious, political, or sectarian organizations (Note: A direct service programme run by a faith-based organization may be eligible. See Cisco’s grant giving policies.)
  • Hospitals: private or public hospitals; hospital foundations; medical centers, research centers, etc. (Programs based in a hospital may be eligible; however, grant funds must go exclusively to direct service in the community, not to general hospital operating expenses.)
  • Healthcare: programmes focused on improving physical or mental health.
  • Schools and scholarships: private, public, or charter schools; school foundations, booster clubs, and/or fundraising organizations affiliated with a particular school; colleges/universities; scholarships, stipends or loans within a programme; and/or school-related activities such as field trips, research programmes, etc.
  • Events: athletic events, competitions, tournaments; conferences, seminars, workshops; festivals, field trips, or other recreational events; fundraising events or sponsorships (benefit dinners, walks/runs, concerts, sports teams, etc.)
  • Philanthropic: capital building funds, challenge grants, grant-making organizations (all other foundations including private foundations, family foundations, school foundations, etc.)

How to apply?

Application starts with the eligibility quiz. Eligible organizations will be invited to register and complete the online initial information form. If a Cisco grant administrator determines that your organization’s programme is aligned with Cisco’s mission, strategic approach, and objectives for grant support, you will receive an invitation to submit a full proposal with an invitation code to the online application.

For more detail, please visit the webpage of the grant.

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