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What to Expect When Applying for a NEFE Grant

We strive to be as transparent as possible in our grantmaking. Here is what you can expect through every phase of the process.

Grant Cycle Timelines

NEFE’s grantmaking activities run on two six-month cycles per year:

June Grant Cycle
Submit your Letter of Inquiry (LOI) by the first Tuesday in June for a funding decision in November.

December Grant Cycle
Submit your LOI by the first Tuesday in December for a funding decision in May.

After LOI submission, both grant cycles follow the same general timeline:

Months 1-3
Our internal review team evaluates each LOI, reaching out to applicants with any clarifying questions as part of our due diligence.

Months 3-4
We conduct site visits with applicants who have submitted the most promising LOIs. Site visits allow us to meet in person if possible, engage in scholarly dialogue and continue our evaluation process. Applicants that complete a site visit will most likely receive an invitation to submit a full application. We allow approximately three to four weeks for the full application to be submitted.

Month 5
Our internal team reviews the full applications—asking more clarifying questions if necessary—before submitting to the Board of Trustees, which ultimately makes our funding decisions.

Month 6
Grant award notifications are made mid-month (in May and November).

All applicants will be notified by email when we receive their LOI. If your LOI is among the most promising submissions, we will contact you again before the three- or four-month mark to set up a site visit. Otherwise, you will receive an email notifying you that no future action is needed. Final funding notification and LOI declinations will be sent mid-month in either mid-May (December Grant Cycle) or mid-November (June Grant Cycle).

Award notification and grant agreement:
After we notify you that NEFE’s Board of Trustees has approved your application, we will send an official award letter and execute a contract. We will send a draft grant agreement for your review, revision and signature. We do not award funds until an agreement is executed.

Performance Timeline
If we invite you to submit a full application, we will ask you to break your project into milestones. These milestones create your performance timeline, which we will formalize in our grant agreement. We require a written progress report at each milestone, in addition to the key deliverables you've outlined in your proposal. NEFE releases funding in installments, making payments at each of your milestones.

Messaging and Dissemination When you submit materials for your final milestone, we will follow up with a site visit to discuss your project and devise a plan to share the findings. We will continue to work closely with you as our research team reviews your results and develops an executive summary. We also may arrange media interviews and facilitate efforts to disseminate your research results within the financial education field, the academic community and the general public.

Spirit of Collaboration
While we support independence in conducting research projects, we also value a spirit of collaboration with our grantees.

As such, keep in mind that:

  • We ensure that project outcomes are available to the public free of cost or limited to the actual cost of making it available.
  • The grantee retains copyrights, and NEFE has the license to use and distribute the intellectual property created throughout the project for educational purposes.
  • We take an active interest in every project’s progress, and we are very involved in outreach at its conclusion, which may include media distribution.

All applicants will be notified by email when we receive their LOI. If we have not contacted you again by the three- or four-month mark to set up a site visit, it is unlikely that your project will be awarded funding and you will be notified that no further action is required. Formal LOI declinations will be sent mid-month in either mid-May (December Grant Cycle) or mid-November (June Grant Cycle).

If we do not award funding for your project, we will provide feedback on your LOI by request. Please note that each grant cycle is highly competitive. We fund only 3 to 10 percent of proposals, which means we often say no to good ideas. The most common causes for an LOI not moving forward are:

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