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 accepts letters of inquiry once per year, from September 15 to November 15. Final funding decisions are made by April. Grant cycles follow the same general timeline each year:

We encourage prospective applicants to reach out to us to review their project ideas prior to LOI submission. If you are interested in meeting with the NEFE research team to discuss your project, please email [email protected] and we will be in touch.

December, January, and February
Our internal review team evaluates each LOI, reaching out to applicants with any clarifying questions and conducting initial video calls as part of our due diligence.

February and March
We conduct second round video calls with applicants who we would like to move forward with. These calls allow us to engage in scholarly dialogue and continue our evaluation process, while providing applicants with an opportunity to give a formal presentation of their potential project. After second round video calls, applicants will be notified soon after if they have been invited to submit a full proposal to NEFE. We allow approximately three to four weeks for the full proposal to be submitted.

March and April
Our internal team reviews the full proposals, asks clarifying questions if necessary, and makes funding decisions. Final funding decisions are sent in April.

All applicants will be notified by email when we receive their LOI. If your LOI is highly rated by NEFE staff, we will contact you again in January to set up an initial video call. Otherwise, you will receive an email notifying you that no future action is needed. Final funding notification and LOI declinations will be sent in April.

Award notification and grant agreement:
After we notify you that NEFE has approved your proposal, 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 proposal, 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 meeting 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 a dissemination plan. 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 February 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 are generally sent in March at the latest.

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 applicants, which means we often say no to good ideas. The most common causes for an LOI not moving forward are:

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