What to Expect When Applying for a NEFE Grant

We strive to be as transparent as possible in our grantmaking. No matter where you are in the process, here’s what you can expect.

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

Submission Deadline - Submit an LOI by the first Tuesday in June for a funding decision made in November. Submit an LOI by the first Tuesday in December for a funding decision made in May.

Months 1-3 - An internal review team at NEFE evaluates each LOI and reaches out to applicants with any clarifying questions as part of our due diligence.

Months 3-4 - NEFE sets up site visits with applicants who have submitted the most promising LOIs. Site visits allow us to meet in person and get a feel for your work, facilities and research concept. Once the site visit concludes, we most often extend an invitation to submit a full application. We usually give three to four weeks for the full application to be submitted.

Month 5 - Once we receive the full application, we review it internally, ask more clarifying questions and submit it to the Grants Committee of our Board of Trustees, who ultimately makes all of our funding decisions.

Month 6 - Final funding decisions are made at NEFE’s Board of Trustees meeting. Grant award notifications are made by mid-month (in May and November).

You will receive an email notification from us once we receive your LOI. If you have not heard from us by the three- or four-month mark to set up a site visit, it is likely your project did not move forward in the LOI process and will not be awarded funding. You’ll receive an email notifying you that no further action is needed. A final notification of funding and formal LOI declination will be sent mid-month (in May or November).

Award notification and grant agreement: Once you have been notified that your application is approved by NEFE’s Board of Trustees, we will send an official award letter and execute a contract. We will send a draft grant agreement for review, revision and signature. Funds are not awarded until an agreement is executed.

Performance timeline: Part of your full application and the grant agreement is a performance timeline that breaks your project down into five milestones. These milestones are determined by you and require a written progress report in addition to key deliverables as outlined in your proposal. An installment payment will be made by NEFE at each of the five milestones.

Messaging and dissemination: Once the final milestone is submitted, we will arrange a site visit to discuss your project and devise a plan to share the findings. During this process, we will ask questions and request review by the research team as we develop an executive summary, arrange interviews with media outlets and facilitate efforts to disseminate the results of your research within the financial education field, the academic community and the general public.

Spirit of collaboration: NEFE values and supports both independence in conducting research projects and a spirit of collaboration with our grantees. As such, keep in mind that:

It is important to NEFE that project outcomes be available to the public free of cost or limited to the actual cost of making it available.

Copyrights are retained by the grantee, with NEFE having license to use and distribute the intellectual property created in the course of the project for educational purposes.

NEFE takes an active interest in the project’s progress and outreach at its conclusion, potentially including media distribution.

If your research concept is not awarded funding, NEFE 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, so we often have to say no to good ideas. The most common causes for an LOI not moving forward are:

  • Inclusion of ineligible costs.
  • A concept that is too narrowly focused.
  • A concept that lacks innovation and originality.
  • A concept that has flawed research design and methodology.
  • A concept that frames the financial capability equation as “either/or” instead of “both/and.”
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