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Home » Scholarships » Apply Now: Cisco Global Impact Cash Grant Program 2024

Apply Now: Cisco Global Impact Cash Grant Program 2024

Apply Now: Cisco Global Impact Cash Grant Program 2024

Cisco welcomes applications for Global Impact Cash Grants from social impact partners around the world who share our vision and offer an innovative approach to a critical social challenge.

We identify, incubate, and develop innovative early-stage solutions with the highest potential for impact. Global Impact Cash Grants go to nonprofit organizations (NPOs) and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that address a significant social problem. We’re looking for programs that fit within our investment areas, focus on the underserved, and use technology to improve the reach and efficiency of services. We accept applications year-round from eligible organizations. A brief Letter of Inquiry (LOI) is used to determine whether your organization will be invited to complete a full application.

About Cisco

Cisco Systems, Inc. is an American multinational technology conglomerate headquartered in San Jose, California, in the center of Silicon Valley. Cisco develops, manufactures and sells networking hardware, telecommunications equipment and other high-technology services and products Cisco Systems was founded in December 1984 by Sandy Lerner, a director of computer facilities for the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Lerner partnered with her husband, Leonard Bosack, who was in charge of the Stanford University computer science department’s computers. The annual Cisco Global Pr… continue reading


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Cisco Global Impact Cash Grant Program

Aim and Benefits of Cisco Global Impact Cash Grant Program

The maximum request amount for first-time grant recipients is US$75,000.

Requirements for Cisco Global Impact Cash Grant Program Qualification

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

Organizational requirements

  • Organizations within the United States must be recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (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 United States 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 programs must focus on at least one of our social investment areas: crisis response, education, economic empowerment, and/or climate impact and regeneration.
  • For education, crisis response, and economic empowerment proposals, 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 program that specifically focuses on creating green jobs.
  • An 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.
  • The maximum request amount for first-time grant recipients is US$75,000.

Ineligible programs and/or activities

All applications must be completed using our 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 program itself; individuals; research programs; membership-based activities; programs 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 program run by a faith-based organization may be eligible. See our 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: programs 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 program; and/or school-related activities such as field trips, research programs, 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.)

Interview date, Process and Venue for Cisco Global Impact Cash Grant Program

Evaluation criteria

Global Impact Cash Grants multiply the impact of eligible organizations around the globe with national or multinational operations. To improve the quality of your grant application, we recommend that you carefully review the criteria we use to evaluate grants.

Addresses a critical social challenge with unmet need

The program addresses a problem that affects many lives within one of Cisco’s investment areas, and which has severe effects on the lives of individuals and communities within the target area. A significant unmet need exists due to a gap in funding or a need for innovative approaches.

Incorporates metrics to measure program impact

The program defines and utilizes SMART metrics (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) to help Cisco and the grantee measure progress toward success. The highest priority and funding consideration are given to proposals that clearly articulate the planned result of their efforts, as well as the metrics to measure that result.

Serves the underserved

The target audience is greater than 65 percent economically underserved, relative to the average standards of the target geography.

Makes innovative use of technology

The program makes innovative use of information and communications technology to improve the efficiency and reach of program services.

Employs an innovative approach with potential for broad impact

The program provides an innovative solution that creates an opportunity for significant reach beyond the direct benefits of specific Cisco-funded activities. For example:

  • Market effects due to major shift in economics, productivity, or effectiveness
  • Ability to catalyze behavior of other key agents or partners in ecosystem to achieve an order of magnitude more together than apart

Is designed to be replicable, scalable, and sustainable

The design of the program allows it to be easily and cost-effectively replicated in communities around the globe and to meet the needs of the target population without a nearly equivalent investment for each individual or group. The long-term plan for the program enables it to flourish significantly beyond the resources provided by Cisco.

Possesses outstanding leadership

The organization has an outstanding leader or management team with qualities such as vision, execution ability, passion, ethical approach, expertise, external relationships, and a credible track record in the relevant area.

Application Deadline

Not Specified

How to Apply

Global Impact Cash Grants multiply the impact of eligible organizations around the globe with national or multinational operations. We welcome applications from potential community partners who share our vision and offer an innovative approach with potential for broad impact.

Step 1: Determination of eligibility

Before spending time on a submission, we urge you to use the following resources to determine if your program is a strong fit with Cisco’s mission, strategic approach, and objectives for grant support. Only optimally aligned programs can be considered for funding.

We welcome you to get in touch with us to share your concept. We offer one pathway for for-profit climate investments and a second pathway for all NPO/NGO grant proposals.

Please choose the most appropriate pathway for your concept:

Step 2: Submission of Letter of Inquiry (LOI)

We will invite eligible organizations to register and complete the online LOI. This form requests detailed information about your organization, the program you expect to fund, population served, and your budget. Your answers will determine whether you will be invited to complete a full proposal. Before you complete the form, we recommend that you review our investment areas and policies.

Submission of an LOI does not guarantee that your organization will be invited to submit a full proposal. The forms are reviewed wholly within the discretion of Cisco and the Cisco Foundation. Review may take up to one business quarter (3 months).

Step 3: Invitation to submit full proposal (where applicable)

If a Cisco grant administrator determines that your organization’s program is aligned with Cisco’s mission, strategic approach, and objectives for grant support, they will invite you to submit a full proposal. If we need further information, a grant administrator will contact you. You can expect to receive our decision on your proposal within one business quarter.

For more details,visit Cisco website

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