Global Impact Cash Grants (Cisco)

The application period is open for one or more cycles a year

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Location (s):

  • United States of America
  • Worldwide


Cisco welcomes applications for Global Impact Cash Grants from community partners around the world who share our vision and offer an innovative approach to a critical social challenge.


Application Process

Global Impact Cash Grants multiply the impact of eligible organizations around the globe with national or multinational operations. We welcome applications from community partners who share our vision and offer an innovative approach with potential for broad impact.

Step 1: Eligibility quiz

The eligibility quiz will help you determine whether your organization and program are aligned with Cisco's mission, strategic approach, and objectives for grant support.

Step 2: Initial information form

Eligible organizations will be invited to register and complete the online initial information form. This form requests detailed information about your organization, the program you expect to fund, population served, and your budget. Your answers will determine whether you will be invited to complete a full proposal. Before completing the form, we recommend you review our investment areas and policies.

Submission of an initial information form does not guarantee that your organization will be invited to submit a full proposal. The forms are reviewed wholly within the discretion of Cisco and the Cisco Foundation. Review may take up to one business quarter (3 months).

Step 3: Full proposal

If a Cisco grant administrator determines that your organization's program is aligned with Cisco's mission, strategic approach, and objectives for grant support, you will receive an invitation to submit a full proposal with an invitation code to the online application. If further information is needed, you will be contacted by a grant administrator. You can expect to hear from a grant administrator within one business quarter.

A request from Cisco to submit a full proposal application does not constitute a guarantee of funding.

Additional information

Cisco is not responsible for any proposal related expenses incurred by your organization, at any step in the grant application process. Grant policies and requirements are subject to change without notice, and become effective immediately upon posting to this website. The interpretation of these policies is wholly within the discretion of Cisco and the Cisco Foundation. All grants are made at the discretion of Cisco and the Cisco Foundation. Qualification under the policies listed on this website does not entitle an organization to receive a grant. We reserve the right to decline to make any grant requested.

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

Eligibility requirements

We identify, incubate, and develop innovative solutions with the most impact. Global Impact Cash Grants go to nonprofits and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that address a significant social problem. We’re looking for programs that fit within our investment areas, serve the underserved, and leverage technology to improve the reach and efficiency of services. We accept applications year-round from eligible organizations. An initial information form is used to determine whether your organization will be invited to complete a full application.

Organizational requirements:

  • Organizations within the United States must be recognized by the IRS as tax exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501 (c)(3), and classified by the IRS as a public charity
  • Organizations from outside the U.S. must provide information and documents to determine whether the organization is the equivalent of a U.S. public charity
  • Organizations to be funded must serve an audience greater than 65 percent economically underserved relative to the average standards of the target geography
  • Organizations and programs must focus on at least one of our social investment areas: access to education, economic empowerment, or critical human needs
  • An organization's overhead is not to exceed 25 percent (Organizations are occasionally exempt from this requirement; however, they must be exceptionally aligned with Cisco's values and criteria, and they must clearly explain and justify their overhead costs. Exemptions to the requirement on overhead expenses are determined on a case-by-case basis.)
  • The maximum request amount for first-time grant recipients is US$75,000

Ineligible programs and/or activities

All applications must be completed using our online application form. Cisco will not consider incomplete proposals or paper-based applications.

Proposals in the following areas are not eligible for a Global Impact Cash Grant:

  • Miscellaneous exclusions: general operating expenses, other than directly associated with the program itself; individuals; research programs; membership-based activities; programs that promote or serve one culture, race, religion, population group, or political viewpoint - rather than the community at large; religious, political, or sectarian organizations (Note: A direct service program run by a faith-based organization may be eligible. See our grant giving policies.)
  • Hospitals: private or public hospitals; hospital foundations; medical centers, research centers, etc. (Programs based in a hospital may be eligible; however, grant funds must go exclusively to direct service in the community, not to general hospital operating expenses.)
  • Schools and scholarships: private, public, or charter schools; school foundations, booster clubs, and/or fundraising organizations affiliated with a particular school; colleges/universities; scholarships, stipends or loans within a program; and/or school-related activities such as field trips, research programs, etc.
  • Events: athletic events, competitions, tournaments; conferences, seminars, workshops; festivals, field trips, or other recreational events; fundraising events or sponsorships (benefit dinners, walks/runs, concerts, sports teams, etc.)
  • Philanthropic: capital building funds, challenge grants, grant-making organizations (all other foundations including private foundations, family foundations, school foundations, etc.)


Deadline: The application period is open for one or more cycles a year

Cost/funding for participants:

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