Rita Allen Foundation Grant

Rita Allen Foundation

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Grant amount: US $25,000 - US $250,000

Anticipated deadline: Jan 15, 2019 2:00pm PST (Letter of inquiry)

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Research, Conference, Applied Project / Program, Education / Outreach

Location of project: United States

Location of residency: United States

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About this funder:

View past grantees & full 990 summary


NOTE: While the vast majority of our grant making is conducted through the Rita Allen Foundation Scholars program and through the Foundation’s research and consultation with sector experts, we also provide an opportunity for nonprofit organizations to submit unsolicited Letters of Inquiry if they believe they are an excellent fit for our portfolio.

Who We Are

We invest in big ideas in science and civil society. We support discoveries in their earliest stages that will ultimately improve human health, democracy and understanding. We seek out curiosity, collaboration, leadership and courage, knowing that the first steps in solving complex problems are steps into the unknown—and they are rarely taken alone.

The Rita Allen Foundation invests in transformative ideas in their earliest stages to leverage their growth and promote breakthrough solutions to significant problems.


The Rita Allen Foundation currently makes grants for charitable purposes in two primary domains:

  • Investing in young leaders in science and social innovation (Rita Allen Scholars)
  • Promoting civic literacy and engagement

Civic Engagement

The Rita Allen Foundation seeds new ideas and approaches in the field of civic engagement, believing that aware, informed and engaged citizens are our greatest assets for solving the most critical problems in our communities.

Our investments include innovative approaches to strengthening civic engagement in the United States through new technology, information and tools for citizens. Supported projects are nonpartisan, encouraging an informed and vibrant democracy without promoting particular political parties or policies.

This is an urgent time to strengthen civic participation. The weakening of traditional and investigative press coverage, the influence of money in politics, the perception that voting doesn’t matter, the polarization of politics and the often hostile tone of public debate have had serious, detrimental effects on people’s willingness and ability to productively contribute to the democratic process. Yet new technology and knowledge across sectors provide powerful new tools for democratic engagement and problem solving. We embrace learning through experimentation, network building and knowledge sharing to advance the civic potential of people and technology.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • The Foundation supports only United States-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations conducting work primarily in the United States.
  • In addition, the Foundation’s funds can be used only for purposes that are consistent with its status as a charitable organization.


  • The Foundation gives priority to organizations working on early-stage, innovative, collaborative projects within its grant-making domains.
    • Often, these projects incorporate the use of technology.


  • In general, it does not fund:
    • General operating support (except, in limited cases, for smaller startup organizations)
    • Civic education, including both K-12 and postsecondary civic education, either in or out of school
    • Building construction
    • Capital campaigns
    • Fundraising events
    • Endowments
    • Scholarships
    • Direct grants to individuals
    • For-profit organizations
  • Excluded purposes include, but are not limited to, lobbying activities.