How to Apply for Humanitarian Grants

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Many people wish to ease the suffering of mankind and make the world a better place through humanitarian work. Such projects include anything from building a school in your own community to providing clean water in Third World countries. For those who can't afford to launch a project on their own, humanitarian grants are an excellent source of funding.

Determine what kind of humanitarian project you would like to launch. Are you interested in doing work in distant countries or in your own town? Do you have specialized skills in construction, education, engineering or another related field? Do you want to work with children? Answer all of these questions first to decide what grants to apply for. Record your answers for future reference.

Determine when you want to start your humanitarian venture. Are you planning a year ahead or are you eager to start soon? Can you get time off for the project? Think carefully about these questions, and record your answers with the others.

Begin searching for grants. Certainly Google is an excellent place to start, but there are also specific programs that may fit your needs. For humanitarian work outside of the United States, the Peace Corps and Fulbright scholarship programs are two U.S. government-funded programs that offer full financial support. The possibilities for student loan deferment and a re-entry stipend also exist. For local work, consider turning to organizations heavily invested in your community such as the Rotary Club or American Legion. Contact local representatives of these organizations for more information.

Write a clear and concise statement of purpose. Grant applications will almost always limit you to a certain number of words. Be sure to explain both your passion for the project and why the grant is a good fit for you. Refer to the answers you recorded in Steps One and Two.


  • Send in your application early. Keep copies to refer to in case the funding organization wants to interview you.